“Mabuti ang gawi’t masama’y layuan. Pagsikapang kamtin ang kapayapaan.” (Awit 34:14)

Pahayag ng CBCP sa Usapin sa Marawi, Terorismo at Diyalogo

Sa Lahat Ng Mga Taong May Mabuting Kalooban:

Pagbati ng kapayapaan mula sa Makapangyarihan at Lubhang Maawaing Diyos.

Kami na mga Katolikong Obispo ng Pilipinas, ay nakikiusap sa inyong pagdamay at pakikipagtulungan. Lahat tayo ay sumisigaw mula sa nilalaman ng ating puso: Ang Digmaan sa Marawi ay huwag na muling maulit pa! Ang Digmaan sa Marawi ay matapos na! Nananawagan kami sa pagpapanumbalik ng maayos na pamumuhay at kalagayan, maging ng kapayapaan sa Marawi, gayundin ng kapaligiran nito sa lalong madaling panahon. Isang palaisipan sa amin kung ang pagpapatuloy ng Batas Militar o Martial Law, lalo na ang pagpapahaba pa nito ay magreresulta sa hangaring ito.

Naniniwala kami na ang digmaan sa Marawi ay hindi usapin ng relihiyon. Napakinggan namin at nabasa ang mga nakakamanghang kuwento kung paanong ang mga Muslim ay nagawang protektahan at tulungan ang mga Kristiyano na makatakas mula sa nakaambang kamatayan. Hanggang sa ngayon ang mga Kristiyano ay umaalalay sa libu-libong mga Muslim na umalis mula sa Marawi para sa kanilang kaligtasan. Ito ay mga hindi mapag-aalinlanganang tanda na walang digmaan sa usapin ng relihiyon.

Pagkundena sa Terorismo at Matinding Karahasan

(Condemnation of Terrorism and Violent Extremism)

Sa kadahilanang ito bilang mga Katolikong namumuno, mahigpit at ganap naming tinututulan gaya ng ginagawa ng mga dalubhasang nagtuturo ng Islam sa Mindanao, ang paghahasik ng matinding karahasan ng grupo ng Maute sa Marawi. Ang mga pinuno at kasapi nito ay sumapi na rin sa mga ISIS. Nilabag na nila at hindi pinahalagahan ang mga pangunahing katuruan at pinapahalagahan ng Islam sa pamamagitan ng pagdukot at pagbihag, pananakit at pagpatay sa mga inosenteng sibilyan.

Diyalogo sa Kapayapaan, ang Nagkakaisang Salita

(Dialogue for Peace, the Common Word)

Makiisa po kayo sa amin, mga minamahal na may mabuting kalooban, sa pagtataguyod ng mga diyalogo sa diwa ng pananampalataya (intra-faith dialogue) mula sa ating mga iginagalang na mga kasamahan sa ibang pananampalataya upang ang ating mga pananampalataya ay hindi mapagsamantalahan at maabuso sa pangalan ng terorismo at matinding karahasan. Siguruhin ng mga magulang, paaralan, simbahan at mosques na hindi maakit ang sinuman ng mga terorista. Turuan natin ang mga kabataan at ang mga nakatatanda na ang ating mga pananampalataya ay para sa kapayapaan. Walang relihiyon na nagtuturo ng pagkitil ng buhay ng mga taong walang kamalayan o dahil lamang sa sila ay nabibilang sa ibang relihiyon.

Makiisa po kayo sa amin at sama-sama po nating ipagpatuloy ang pakikipag-diyalogo sa iba’t-ibang relihiyon (inter-religious dialogue) na ipinananawagan ng mga daan-daang namumuno ng Islam sa buong mundo. Noong 2007, nanawagan sila para sa kapayapaan sa pagitan ng mga Muslim at mga Kristiyano ng kanilang isulat ang kilalang bukas na liham na “the Common Word” para sa mga namumunog Kristiyano. Napakatotoo ng kanilang mga salitang binitiwan! Isinulat ng mga lider na Muslim ang ganito:

Ang basehan ng kapayapaan at pag-uunawaan ay ganap ng umiiral. Ito ay bahagi na ng pundasyon at prinsipyo ng dalawang pananampalataya: pagmamahal sa Iisang Diyos at pagmamahal sa kapwa.

Ito ang kautusan ng Diyos sa Deuteronomio 6:4-5.

“Dinggin ninyo mga Israelita: Si Yahweh lamang ang Diyos. Ibigin ninyo siya ng buong puso, kaluluwa at lakas.”

Ang ating Panginoong Hesus, na iginagalang din na propeta sa Qur’an, ang bumanggit ng tekstong ito at nagbigay paliwanag dito sa Ebanghelyo ni San Markos 12:28-31.

“Narinig ng isa sa mga eskribang naroon ang kanilang pagtatalo. Natanto niyang mahusay ang pagkasagot ni Hesus sa mga Saduseo, kaya lumapit siya’t nagtanong, “Alin pong utos ang pinakamahalaga?” Sumagot si Hesus, “Ito ang pinakamahalagang utos, ‘Pakinggan mo, Israel! Ang Panginoon na ating Diyos – siya lamang ang Panginoon. Ibigin mo ang Panginoon mong Diyos nang buong puso, nang buong kaluluwa, nang buong pag-iisip, at ng buong lakas.’ Ito naman ang pangalawa, ‘ Ibigin mo ang iyong kapwa gaya ng iyong sarili.’ Wala nang ibang utos na hihigit pa sa mga ito.”

Kanyang pang ipinag-utos sa atin “Magmahalan kayo, katulad ng pagmamahal Ko sa inyo” (Juan 15:12)

Pagkilos ng may Pag-ibig at Pagpapasalamat

(Praxis of Love and Gratitude)

Ang mahalin ang ating kapwa ay nangangailangan ng pagkilos. Sama-sama tayong magbahagi mula sa ating mapagkukunang yaman upang ating matulungan ang libu-libong mga taong lumikas mula sa panganib sa Marawi. Ipanalangin natin ang kaligtasan ng mga nananatiling mamamayan, yaong mga nakadama ng dahas at dinalang-bihag ng mga terorista. Maging mapagmasid tayo at alerto, sa pagtulong sa mga namamahala ng ating kaligtasan na hadlangan ang mga banta ng terorismo sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Mindanao. Makipagtulungan tayo sa pamahalaan na maibangon muli ang Lungsod ng Marawi upang muling makabalik ang mga mamamayan nito at maisaayos ang nasira nilang buhay.

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Climate: Pope Appeals to Local Churches to Mobilize

February 1st General Audience| ZENIT photo

In the course of the General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, he greeted the delegation of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). The objective of the Movement is, notably, to sensitize Catholics through its networks, to promote ecological conversion “towards a low carbon society” and to require leaders to “engage in an ambitious climatic action.”

He thanked them for their “engagement in protecting our common home, in these times of grave socio-environmental crisis.”

“I encourage you to continue to weave networks so that the local Churches will respond with determination to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,” continued the Pontiff.

In the crowd, the GCCM delegation waved banners greeting Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral ecology: “Cheers for Laudato Si’.”


In the main body of his February 1st 2017 General Audience speech , Pope Francis spoke of Christian hope which is also the “expectation of the resurrection”.

Continuing his catecheses on Christian hope, the Pope meditated on the “helmet of hope” of salvation, of which Saint Paul speaks (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11). During the catechesis in Italian, he invited the crowd in Paul VI Hall to repeat Saint Paul’s words: “So we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians: 4-17).

He invited to “pray for loved ones who have left us, who live with Christ and in communion with us.

Synthesis in English of Pope Francis’ catechesis

In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we turn to the earliest writing of the New Testament, Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians. The Apostle writes to confirm this young Christian community in its faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, but he also speaks of the meaning of this mystery for the life of each believer. For Christ is the first fruits of the future resurrection. Before the mystery of death, and the loss of our loved ones, we Christians are challenged to hope more firmly in the Lord’s promise of eternal life.

Paul tells the Thessalonians to wear the hope of salvation like a helmet (1 Thess 5:8), in the knowledge that, because Christ is risen, the object of our hope is certain. Christian hope, then, is a way of life; we live daily in expectation of the resurrection. In that same hope, and in the communion of the Church, we pray too that those who have gone before us will live for ever in Christ. Let us ask the Lord to strengthen us in the sure expectation that one day we will be united with him, and all our loved ones, in the joy of the resurrection.”

(c) Translation by ZENIT, Virginia Forrester

Amnesty International: Philippine Lawmakers must urgently oppose attempts to reintroduce death penalty

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PUBLIC STATEMENT

AI Index: ASA 35/5222/2016

25 November 2016

Philippines: Lawmakers must urgently oppose attempts to reintroduce death penalty

Members of the Philippines Congress must oppose bills aimed at reintroducing the death penalty, Amnesty International said today. The re-introduction of the death penalty would not only represent a major setback for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country but also violate the Philippines’ obligations under international law.

A sub-committee of the House of Representatives is currently considering seven bills that, if adopted, would reintroduce the death penalty for a wide array of crimes. In what appears to be an accelerated procedure, the bills could be considered by the House of Representatives and the Senate before the end of 2016. The Philippines, which fully abolished the death penalty for the second time in 2006, is party to an international treaty that categorically prohibits executions and commits the country to the abolition of this punishment. These obligations cannot be withdrawn at any time.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances as a violation of the right to life, recognized by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; and as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It is an irrevocable punishment, imposed and administered through justice systems that can be vulnerable to discrimination and error.

At a time when more and more countries are abolishing this punishment and 141 in total are now abolitionist in law or practice, a move to reintroduce the death penalty would set the Philippines starkly against the global trend towards its abolition. It would also undermine the country’s strong track record of advocating for the commutation of the death sentences imposed on Filipino nationals abroad, such as overseas workers. The legal assistance and political pressure the authorities of the Philippines have provided to those facing this punishment in other countries has undoubtedly contributed to the protection of their rights, including the right to a fair trial.

Amnesty International is further concerned by the Philippines authorities’ claims about the death penalty’s ability to deter crime and provide justice to victims, in order to justify this reintroduction. When governments are upholding their obligation to respect and protect the human rights of victims of violent and other serious crime, they also have the responsibility to ensure that all relevant human rights are protected and respected. This includes ensuring fair judicial processes, as well as that punishments are not cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment or amount to torture and have as primary aim the reformation and social rehabilitation of prisoners.

The proposed legislation would make crimes that do not involve intentional killing punishable by death, including drug-related offences or aggravated circumstances of kidnapping, rape and robbery. Under international law, in countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty, the punishment must be restricted to intentional killing. The proposed legislation would also prescribe the death penalty as the mandatory punishment for certain circumstances, breaching another prohibition set out in international instruments.

There is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect. Statistics from countries that have abolished the death penalty show that the absence of the death penalty has not resulted in an increase in the crimes previously subject to capital punishment, while evidence shows that punitive policies have little influence on the prevalence of drug use.

Amnesty International urges members of the Sub-Committee on Judicial Reforms of the Committee on Justice, and of the Congress more broadly, to reject in full the proposed legislation.

Background information

The Sub-Committee on Judicial Reforms of the Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives is currently considering House Bills Nos. 1, 16, 513, 3237, 3239, 3240 and 3418, on the reintroduction of the death penalty.  The Philippines ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, on 20 November 2007.

As of today, 141 countries—more than two-thirds of the world’s countries—have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. The number of countries that carry out executions has also been declining, with only 11 countries known to have carried out executions every year in the past five years. In 2015, 169 (88%) of the 193 UN Member States were execution-free.

In the Asia-Pacific region, 19 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes following the abolition of the death penalty in Fiji and Nauru in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and a further eight are abolitionist in practice. In 2015 Mongolia also adopted a new Criminal Code, effective from 2017 that abolishes the death penalty.

Pope at Angelus: This Advent, Let’s Prepare the Way of the Lord

‘With the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, it is God Himself Who has come to dwell among us, to free us from selfishness, sin and corruption, as these attitudes are of the devil’

pope_francis_angelus

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In this second Sunday of Advent’s Gospel reading, we hear echoed the invitation of John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3,2). With these same words, Jesus will start his mission in Galilee (cf. Mt 4:17); and this will also be an announcement that will bring the disciples on their first missionary experience (cf. Mt 10,7). The Evangelist Matthew greatly wishes to present John as one who prepares the way for Christ’s coming, and the disciples, as continuing Jesus’ preaching. This is the same joyful proclamation: come, the kingdom of God is at hand … indeed, it is in our midst! This is very important: “The kingdom of God is among you,” says Jesus. And John announces that Jesus will say later: “The kingdom of God has come, has arrived, is in your midst.” This is the central message of all Christian mission. When a missionary goes, a Christian goes to proclaim Jesus, he does not go to proselytize, as if he were a fan seeking his team more closely. No, just announcing: “The kingdom of God is among you!,” the missionary prepares the way for Jesus, Who meets His people.

But what is this Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven? They are synonyms. We think now to something about the afterlife, eternal life. Of course, this is true, God’s Kingdom will extend endlessly beyond earthly life, but the good news that Jesus leads – and that John anticipates – is that in this Kingdom of God, we do not need to wait for Him in the future: He approached, [and], in some way, is already present. We can experience right now this spiritual power. “The kingdom of God is among you!,” says Jesus. God comes to establish His dominion in our history, in the ‘today’ of every day of our lives; and where it is accepted with faith and humility, love, joy and peace flourish.

The condition to become part of this Kingdom, is to make a change in our lives, that is, convert, convert ourselves every day, one step forward every day … [It] is to leave the convenient but misleading streets, the idols of this world: success at all costs, the power at the expense of the weak, the thirst for wealth, pleasure at any price. And instead open the way for the Lord Who comes. He does not take away our freedom, but gives us true happiness. With the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, it is God Himself Who has come to dwell among us, to free us from selfishness, sin and corruption, as these attitudes are of the devil: looking for success at all costs; seeking power at the expense of the weakest; having the thirst for wealth and seeking pleasure at any price.

Christmas is a day of great joy, also exterior, but is primarily a religious event for which spiritual preparation is needed. In this Advent season, let us be guided by the exhortation of John the Baptist: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths” (v. 3). Let us prepare the way of the Lord and straighten His paths, when we examine our conscience, when we watch our attitudes, to chase away these sinful attitudes that I mentioned, which are not of God: the success at all costs; the power at the expense of the weakest; the thirst for riches; the pleasure at any price.

May the Virgin Mary prepare the encounter with this always greater love, which is what Jesus brings, and Who on Christmas, was made small, like a seed fallen into the earth. And Jesus is this seed: the seed of the Kingdom of God.

[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

On the Lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

Position Paper of the Philippine Action for Youth Offenders (PAYO) and the Child Rights Network (CRN) on the Lowering of the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility

 

The Philippine Action for Youth Offenders (PAYO) and the Child Rights Network (CRN) vehemently oppose the proposal to lower the Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) from 15 years old to 9 years old. This move undermines the best interest of the child and will not solve the problem of children committing crimes. It distracts us from the real reasons why children offend such as poor parenting and supervision, peer pressure, social isolation, family conflict, and poverty. Moreover, it is an impulsive reaction to public perception media hype that the number of crimes committed by children has increased since the enactment of the law. This perception is unfounded. There is no clear evidence to back this claim and no attempt has been made to analyze the possible factors that influence the crimes committed by children.

Lowering the age of criminal responsibility will result to negative consequences for children and the public. It will increase the number of children detained for long periods of time, making them more likely to become hardened offenders. Detention/ Jail conditions in the Philippines are not rehabilitative. They are harsh: children have been reported to experience torture, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while in detention. Research also shows that detaining or incarcerating children is more damaging to them than beneficial. It has a profoundly negative impact on young people’s mental and physical well-being (i.e., depression and poor mental health), their education (i.e., learning disabilities not recognized or addressed), and their future employment (i.e., reduces their ability to remain in the workforce). Detention may also increase the likelihood that young people will recidivate, compromising public safety. 1

Incarcerating children goes against established principles of proportionality and fair treatment and contradicts the best interest of the child and the rights of the child to maximum survival and development. Lowering the MACR further reinforces the existing situation of syndicates using younger children in their criminal activities. Our focus should be on catching the adult syndicates instead of punishing the children, who are clearly the victims in this situation.

Emerging knowledge about cognitive, psychosocial, and neurobiological development in adolescence also provides evidence that young people should not be held to the same standards of criminal responsibility as adults. Steinberg, L., & Scott, E. (2003)’s study argued that “Adolescents’ decision-making capacities are diminished as they are less able to resist coercive influence and their character is still undergoing change.”2 Another study by Steinberg L. (2008) on adolescent risk-taking found that risk-taking increases between childhood and adolescence due to changes in the brain’s socio-emotional system.3 The immaturity of young people due to their brain underdevelopment influences their decision making and susceptibility to perform risky activities. This, along with the influence of criminogenic environments where children reside (i.e., many CICL live in communities where crimes are rampant) and the CICL’s personal circumstance (i.e., poor, lacking in education, neglect/ abandonment, poor parental supervision) can be considered mitigating factors in their criminal culpability.

Our Congress took thirteen years to craft the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (JJWA). In 2013, it was amended to improve provisions on the administration of the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), handling repeat offenders and children at risk of offending, and providing intervention and rehabilitative services for CICL. The MACR was preserved at 15 years old. It is imprudent to cast aside all the years of diligent study and in-depth discussions to formulate a Restorative Juvenile Justice system in the Philippines without careful research and in consideration of the current facts and laws promoting and protecting the rights of children.

There are indeed challenges in implementing the JJWA and these must be effectively addressed. However, difficulties in implementing the law cannot be used to justify the amendment; otherwise, the rights of children will be compromised merely on the basis of expediency. This does not mean ignoring the complaints of duty bearers tasked to implement the law. There are legitimate concerns that must be attended to by means of thorough study of processes to assist CICL and children at risk. What is glaring, however, is the lack of evidence based information to support the moves to lower the MACR and the negative impact of criminalizing children. Lowering MACR is a violation of the right of the child to genuine protection

Any attempt to amend the JJWA should be carefully studied and must ensure consonance with the Philippines’ commitments to international agreements, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules) and the UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines). The CRC’s General Comment No. 10 clearly states that: “Rule 4 of the Beijing Rules recommends that the beginning of MACR shall not be fixed at too low an age level, bearing in mind the facts of emotional, mental, and intellectual maturity… From these recommendations, it can be concluded that a minimum age of criminal responsibility below the age of 12 years is considered by the Committee not to be internationally acceptable… At the same time, the Committee urges States parties not to lower their MACR to the age of 12. A higher MACR, for instance 14 or 16 years of age, contributes to a juvenile justice system which, in accordance with Article 40 (3) (b) of CRC, deals with children in conflict with the law without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that the child’s human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected.” President Rodrigo Duterte, in his inaugural speech clearly said that “… Let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honor treaties and international obligations.” We will hold the President to this promise to ensure that the CRC and the other abovementioned international agreements are respected and upheld.

At this time, let us focus our efforts on fully implementing the JJWA, supporting and capacitating duty bearers so they can effectively execute their responsibilities under the law. Let us support programs that strengthen families and teach parents how to effectively raise their children without the use of corporal punishment and violence which have been found to increase delinquent behaviors in children. Moreover, effective programs and services to prevent young people from offending or re-offending, to facilitate diversion of CICL, and to restore those who have been harmed through restorative justice practices must be established.

In the true spirit of our Constitution, our legislators must recognize the vital role of the youth in nation-building and promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being.

1 The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities. A Justice Policy Institute Report by Barry Holman and Jason Ziedenberg

2 Steinberg, L., & Scott, E. (2003). Less guilty by reason of adolescence: Developmental immaturity, diminished responsibility,

and the juvenile death penalty. American Psychologist, 58(12), 1009-1018

3 Steinberg, L. (2008). A social neuroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking. Developmental Review, 28, 78-106

The Philippine Action for Youth Offenders (PAYO) is a coalition of 16 civil society organizations and several individuals working together for the realization of a just and humane society for children in conflict with the law (CICL). Upholding the principles of Restorative Justice, it promotes and protects the rights of CICL through advocacy, lobbying, training, research, and networking.

The Child Rights Network (CRN) is an alliance of government and non-government organizations advocating for the passage of national laws that will protect and fulfill the rights of Filipino children. CRN member-organizations adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which was ratified by the Philippine government in July 1990. The Network aims to generate support for children’s issues among different stakeholders, including children, legislators and decision-makers in the national government.

Kaliwa Dam: An Earthquake Hazard

kaliwa_dam

Environmental Justice Atlas photo

The intensity 5 earthquake that shook General Nakar last November 10, 2016 should convince   MWSS and NEDA to totally scrap the Kaliwa dam in General Nakar and search for creative  alternatives open even to the latest pro-environment and renewable energy technologies. In no way should they endanger peoples’ lives especially now that climate has become unpredictable due to global warming.

We should not forget that, being situated in the “Ring of Fire”, Luzon was devastated with the intensity X earthquake in July 15, 1880 destroying many structures including the churches in Manila, Infanta and Mauban.

Chief Volcanologist Renato Solidum said that anytime now an earthquake of intensity IX can happen. The last time that West Valley Fault moved was in 1658. For the last 1400 years it has moved 4 times at an interval of 400-600 years.  No one can say that Manila is far from General Nakar. The 1968 Casiguran earthquake of intensity IX killed 260 people with the collapse of Ruby Towers in Manila which is 400 kilometers away. The Kaliwa dam is just a few kilometers for the Infanta Segment of the Philippine Fault Zone which runs through General Nakar too.

Dr. Steve Godilano who studied the Kaliwa dam recognized the inconsistency of MWSS’s denial that Kaliwa dam is sitting on an earthquake fault because in the plan itself MWSS provides for a higher factor of safety.

MWSS has been hiding the truth from the Dumagats and the 100,000 stakeholders downstream in Infanta, General Nakar and Real.   We need transparency, not manipulated data. All documents related to the Centennial Dams must be made available to the public. Moreover, even some LGUs who are supposed to look into the welfare of their constituents have been campaigning for the dams and intimidating with threats those government personnel who oppose the dams while ordinary people are deprived of basic services.

We, the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance, re-iterate our call for  MWSS, NCIP and LGUs to be  totally transparent. Put the welfare of the people of today and of the next generation over and above any monetary considerations.  We call on the people to be fearless: let us be inspired by Pope Francis to protect the vulnerable and   save Sierra Madre – our common home. 

Fr. Pete Montallana
Chairperson, SSMNA
November 13, 2016

Statement of the Diocese of Balanga on the Nuclear Power Plant

bp_santos_balanga

The  Diocese of Balanga, Bataan welcomes with appreciation the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte to rule out tapping nuclear power for the country’s energy needs thereby showing a concern for the people’s safety for the proper care of our environment.

We have expressed repeatedly our stand on nuclear power and in particular on the Bataan nuclear power plant that sits on our province, a testament to monumental graft and corruption; that it is unsafe and can harm our land, water, air, marine creatures and our people as pointed out by experts. Very innovative scientific discoveries have created alternative sources of energy that are far safer and more protective of the environment, such as solar, wind and water. 

Let us turn to these renewable sources of energy and let us stop insisting on the rehabilitation of Bataan nuclear power plant.

Ruperto Cruz Santos
Bishop of Balanga


President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday said he is not keen on using nuclear energy to bring down power costs in the Philippines, saying the country has yet to come up with “tight” safeguards against possible nuclear disasters.

“Not maybe during my presidency. Huwag muna ngayon kasi we have to come up with safeguards. Really, really tight safeguards to assure that there will be no disasters if there is a nuclear leak or explosion somewhere in the nuclear reactors that we will build,” he said. (GMA News Online)