Remembering ’85 Welgang Bayan vs. BNPP Draw Thousands to Bataan
“Ayaw namin ng Nukleyar” this was the sentiment running through the hundreds of green-clad anti-BNPP gathered to commemorate the historic Welgang Bayan Laban sa Plantang Nukleyar of 1985.
According to Nuclear Free Bataan Movement Chairperson Monsignor Tony Dumaual, the 1985 Welgang Bayan (WB) represents the vigor with which Filipinos fought against the commissioning of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), this commemoration retraced the route taken twenty-four years ago from two points, Dinalupihan in North and Orion in the South, meeting up at Barangay Tuyo, Balanga.
He added that GMA’s announcement in Japan that nuclear remains to be one of the options, shows that it is she who is pushing for the BNPP, and is only hiding behind Cong. Mark Cojuangco.
Reminiscent of the WB, NFBM re-enacted the historical moment in Barangay Tuyo, Balanga when soldiers’ barricades and an armored personnel carrier (APC) blocked the advance of North contingent, prompting the South contingent to get them.
NFBM leaders lit fireworks and let go of a streamer held up with balloons with the call ‘Remembering the Lessons of Welgang Bayan, Dismantle the BNPP’ at Bgy. Tuyo. Also a marker was erected in memory of that incident.
The march-caravan against BNPP was joined by Bataan Bishop Socrates Villegas with local priests from different towns such as Fr. Ronnie Loreto of Morong, Fr. Froilan Miguel of Dinalupihan, local officials headed by 2nd District Rep. Abet Garcia, including Mayors and councilors from the towns of Dinalupihan, Samal, Orion, Orani, Mariveles and Balanga City.
Around 3,000 participated from as far as Manila, Pampanga, Zambales and all twelve towns of the province. Veterans alongside a new anti-nuke advocates marched from Samal to Balanga in the North while those coming from Morong, Bagac, Limay and Mariveles marched from Orion to Balanga in the South.
The marchers also carried an appeal to free anti-nuke activist Archie Bathan, arrested last month by elements of Police Mobile Group. NFBM believes that Bathan’s arrest is part of scare tactics to preempt the growing anti-BNPP movement.
According to Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) Chairperson Pete Pinlac, the warm response is a clear indication that opposition to the BNPP is beyond the province of Bataan, encompassing the whole country. We have opposed, are opposing and will continue to oppose until the Monster of Morong is no more.
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