House Members Should Subpoena and Fully Consider All Gov’t Documents on Safety /Non-Safety of the BNPP!

More than 2,000 attended the rally attended by Morong and Bataan residents as well as civil society groups such as the Bataan Nuclear Free Movement (BNFM), Nuclear Free Asia, Network Opposed to BNPP, Freedom from Debt Coalition, and Greenpeace.

More than 2,000 attended the rally attended by Morong and Bataan residents as well as civil society groups.

WE THE LEADERS of the Consumers and Communicators for Truthful Information (CCTI) are alarmed that almost 200 House solons have already signed their support for Rep. Mark Cojuang­co’s House Bill 4631 seeking to operate the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. This move is clearly premature!

As early as 2003, the CCTI’s Basic Declaration, titled “Quest for A Culture of Truth,” has stated:

“It is universally held in democratic soceities that sovereignty resides in the people and all governmental authority emanates from them.  Adequate accurate information should therefore flow between the people and the government, among groupings of people and among individual citizens, in order to forge and certify the people’s sovereign democratic will on general and specific policy matters and in order to make possible their mobilization and synergy.  The Culture of Truth is a crucial requisite in democratic governance, in the sustainable preservation of law and order, and even in living collectively with a modicum of human decency, human dignity and human harmony.”

And we also emphasized in the same Declaration “the right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized” under Section 7, Art. III of Bill of Rights. So should mem­bers of Congress have any legitimate reason to waive such right to know, considering that they are the ones directly legislating?  Should these legislators have any legitimate reason not to consider government-commissioned studies diectly relevant to the bill under consideration seeking that BNPP be operated?

The CCTI now dares to assert that Congress of the Philippines, and each of the chambers thereof, has the power to compel any instrumentality of the Republic to make available to it any and all inform­ation that has reasonable bearing on any bill being subjected to its consideration, so as to dignify the logic of all hearings any which chamber or committee may hold “in aid of legislation,” and in particular the House of Representatives, being Constitutionally endowed with the “power of the purse,” has the requisite power to compel full explanation of any amount sought in any bill under consideration for the release from the people’s tax money for any expense. For this reason, we find it obviously an affront on this logic that the members of the House appropriations committee have already agreed to earmark the amount of PhP100 million partially for the contemplated repair and remedy of some of the defects of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) without compelling the availability of the government-commissioned documents on the alleged thousands of defects of this said plant, rendering an infirm, mysteriously-originated, judgement that such amount would be enough to render the plant safe for commissioning and operation as contemplated in Rep. Mark Cojuangco’s House Bill 4631.

The CCTI demands that the members of the House of Representatives assert their right to free and informed choice as they consider the merits and demerits of the aforecited bill – indeed, of any which bill! — so they would be in a position to consider these fully in exercising their sworn duty to legislate prud­ently, and to be able also to fully and honorably explain to their constituents and to the succeeding generations, how they shall have individually arrived at their respective final votes thereon.

Marikina City   April 24, 2009

Walter C. Caancan, National Spokesperson, on behalf of Vic del Fierro, Chairman;
Ed Aurelio C. Reyes, secretary-general; and other officers and the general membership of CCTI


35 President Quezon st., Industrial Valley, Marikina City, Metro Manila, Philippines

0915 -8786341


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