Bataan diocese thanks Duterte for nixing nuclear power plant

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    BALANGA CITY — The Diocese of Balanga on Thursday expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for his stance against the use of nuclear energy in operating power plants.

    “We are so grateful and very appreciative of the decision of the President to rule out tapping nuclear power plant. It shows his concern for the safety of the people and his care for the environment,” Bishop Ruperto Santos said.

    Santos heads the Diocese of Balanga that comprises parishes in 11 towns and one city in Bataan. He is a permanent council member of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and chair of the CBCP–Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.

    “We have already expressed our sentiments that nuclear power like the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is not needed, being very dangerous and will only be again the source of graft and corruption,” the prelate said.

    Santos instead asked government to study, plan and recourse to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind and water.

    “Let us stop on insisting the rehabilitation of BNPP. The President has spoken, so be it. Thank you, Mr. President,” the bishop said.

    He considered the decision of Duterte against the use of nuclear power plant as victory for the diocese and its priests.

    “My dear priests, it is also our victory on what we are fighting for. United and together, we have a strong voice. Thank you to all of you,” Santos said.

    The bishop has issued a pastoral letter in strong opposition to the rehabilitation of the mothballed BNPP in Morong, Bataan.

    “Ang mga pari at mananampalataya ng Diyosesis ng Balanga ay tumatanggi at tumututol sa rehabilitasyon ng BNPP at ang ano mang usapin tungkol dito ay tigilan na, tapusin na at tama na,” he said.

    Streamers in all churches in 11 towns and one city and village chapels show the sentiment of the diocese against reviving the plant built by former strongman Pres. Ferdinand Marcos but ordered closed by then Pres. Cory Aquino.

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