Gov’t scored for ‘creating panic’ on Nokor rocket

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2012 12:59 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2012 12:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A party-list representative slammed the government for sowing “unwarranted fear and panic” as North Korea prepares to launch a satellite into orbit this month.

ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio said the advisory issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on North Korea’s “missile test” merely created fear among the public.

"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," said Tinio in a statement.

"They are spreading misinformation and sowing fear among the public. It's outrageous and unacceptable," he said.

The advisory, "NDRRMC Update: Suspected DPRK Long-Range Ballistic Missile Test, ca [sic] April 12-16, 2012," was signed by Department of National Defense Undersecretary Benito Ramos.

Tinio clarified that North Korea is launching a satellite, not a nuclear warhead.

"Yet Usec. Ramos even refers to it as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile or ICBM, evoking the doomsday weapon of the Cold War. Such exaggerated language is totally inappropriate coming from a bureaucrat in charge of ensuring public order and safety," he said.

He also blasted the NDRRMC for recommending residents of Luzon to stay indoors during the rocket launch.

Tinio 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.