Senator Imee R. Marcos tiptoed on proposals to reopen the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) because of constitutional prohibition on things nuclear.

‘’For me, we should explore the alternatives at the same time why not look at BNPP if it is really possible pero ingat tayo (but we should be careful because there is a) constitutional prohibition sa (on) nuclear,’’ Marcos, chairwoman of the Senate Economic Affairs committee, said during a TV interview.

‘’Nasa Constitution natin at ingat na ingat si Presidente Duterte, doon sa nuclear weapons, kasi merong prohibition sa Constitution ngayon na wag gagamit ng nuclear kung marahas ang pagagamitan (That is in the Constitution …that is why President Duterte is very careful on this issue…because there is a constitutional prohibition on the use of nuclear if it is for aggressive purposes),’’ she stressed.

‘’Medyo ingat sya doon at kailangan klaro sa ating yun (We should be careful on this and issues must be cleared up),’’ she explained, adding that the Department of Energy (DOE) itself has an open mind on this issue.

Marcos said there is a South Korean offer and another offer from Russia to resuscitate the BNPP.

She said Congressman Mark Cojuangco has cited the installation of the same BNPP’s Westinghouse nuclear power plant in Eastern Europe and South America which makes the reopening of BNPP easier.

Marcos lamented that BNPP’s processor has been stolen at ‘’yung ibang bahagi daw ay tsinap-chop nang bongga (other parts of BNPP had been stolen),’’ she added.

‘’Ang pakiwari naman ni Bataan Governor Abet (Garcia) ay gawin na lang cloud facility kasi shell structure na lang sya (Bataan Governor Abet Garcia thinks the BNPP shell structure could be used as a Cloud facility.

The BNPP was built during the administration of her late later, President Ferdinand E. Marcos from the 70s to the mid-80s.

Last October, President Duterte wanted the DOE to study the reopening of the BNPP.

In a press briefing, then Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said the possibility of reviving the mothballed nuclear facility was discussed by the President, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and former Pangasinan representative Mark Cojuangco, who leads a group of nuclear energy advocates, in a recent meeting.

“Pagdating po dito sa meeting with Secretary Cusi and former [congressman] Mark Cojuangco, ang sabi po ni President, ‘Start from the ground, pag-aralan mabuti but start from the ground’ (As regards the meeting with Secretary Cusi and former congressman Mark Cojuangco, the President said, ‘Start from the ground; study thoroughly but start from the ground’),” Roque said.

The President also wanted the residents of Bataan consulted as the decision to reopen the plant must not rest on the government alone, he said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (