Philippine presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte, daughter of sitting President Rodrigo Duterte, vowed to incorporate nuclear power plants into the country's energy mix if they win the May 9 election.
Marcos Jr., a former senator and the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., emerged as the leading candidate in a Pulse Asia presidential survey, garnering 56 percent of the vote.
Their remarks follow President Duterte’s executive order on Feb. 28, which authorizes the use of nuclear power as an alternative energy source. The duo said they believed that it would serve as “a good springboard for the next administration” to pursue nuclear energy goals.
President Duterte’s executive order also includes a recommendation to revive the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which was built during the rule of Marcos Sr. in 1984.
The $2.2 billion BNPP was decommissioned following the collapse of Marcos' dictatorship in 1986 for safety reasons, compounded by the fear caused by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that same year.
“His father, Ferdinand Sr., and crony Herminio Disini sank the country into unimaginable debt by taking out a multibillion-dollar nuclear loan package from Westinghouse Electric Corp.,” Mariano said.
“We will never allow Bongbong Marcos Jr and Sara Duterte to use the same scheme,” Mariano added.
Ferdinand Marcos Sr. ruled the Philippines for two decades, placing the country under martial law in 1972, during which time thousands of opponents were jailed, killed, or disappeared.
The dictator was overthrown in the 1986 “people power revolution” and was accused of amassing more than $10 billion while in office. He died in exile in 1989.