Duterte: Nothing definite yet about nuke power prospects
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said there was nothing definite yet about the intent to explore with Russia the possibility of setting up nuclear power plants in the Philippines, saying he still would have to discuss the proposal with the Cabinet and. if necessary, had to talk it out with Congress to see to it that there would be no violation of the Constitution.
“I have to talk to this Cabinet. I can’t affirm nor deny that it’s part of the proposal,” the President said of the reports that the country’s officials had signed a memorandum of intent to explore the possibility of setting up nuclear power plants in the Philippines with the help of Russia.
“The hard line will come after I shall have consulted [the Cabinet], including people of the industries, such as food or agriculture,” he said.
Earlier, Russian media reported that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi had signed an agreement with Russia’s state nuclear power company to explore prospects of joint cooperation in putting up nuclear power plants in the country.
The report said Cusi signed the agreement during the Philippine-Russian business forum where the President spoke on Friday.
The President still refused to disclose details of the agreement.
“It was just a broad outline. Nnothing is definite yet,” the President said during the brief press conference here after his arrival.
“That’s why, I said can’t talk without [consulting first with] the Cabinet, because if there’s something in that agreement that would require the consent of Congress, then we have to go to Congress and argue our case. It was just a broad outline, nothing definite yet,” he said.
He did confirm reports that Russians were also interested in a joint exploration for oil and natural gas in the West Philippine Sea. But he refused to reveal more details about it.
“Just wait for the final report after the Cabinet meeting,” the President said.
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