MANILA – Department of National Defense Undersecretary Benito Ramos was criticized Saturday for “unwarranted fear and panic” as North Korea prepares to launch a satellite into orbit this month.
Antonio Tinio, ACT Teachers Party-List Representative, said that although North Korea is launching a satellite, not a nuclear warhead, “the NDRRMC report is riddled with politically-charged rhetoric, irresponsible generalizations, and absurd recommendations that grossly exaggerate any danger posed by the North Korean rocket.”
Tinio found the advisory “outrageous and unacceptable” and further said that “such exaggerated language is totally inappropriate coming from a bureacrat in charge of ensuring public order and safety.”
Not only was the recommendation “spreading misinformation and sowing fear among the public,” Tinio also said the recommendation contradicted Philippine Nuclear Research Institute’s (PNRI) statement that the North Korean rocket is radioactive free.
“The PNRI Director Alumanda de la Rosa clearly stated that the rocket will not carry a nuclear warhead and that no radioactive material will be carried on board, so why ask the whole population of Luzon to stay indoors? It’s totally out of proportion to the danger posed by the rocket debris, which is expected to fall in Philippine waters some 200 kilometers east of Luzon. Why is this government asking nearly 50 percent of the population to cower under their roofs when the splashdown will take place far from Philippine soil?” he said.
On Monday, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) ordered local government officials in Region 1 (Ilocos),Region 2 (Cagayan Valley),Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 4-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon),Region 5 (Bicol), and the Cordillera region to prepare contingency measures for the expected launch of a rocket by North Korea between April 12 and 16.
In a news release, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said: “Considering that the debris of the missile test might fall in Philippine territory, you are hereby directed to take all precautionary measures to prevent loss of lives and property.”
Robredo also warned scrap metal dealers against touching the debris should it fall on Philippine territory.
He urged them to call the PNRI, whose personnel are equipped to handle and analyze the debris.
Satellite Launch A weather satellite is successfully launched on a Delta IV booster, May 24, 2006, from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The chief mission of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite is to watch hurricanes and typhoons as they develop in oceans.Courtesy photo