By Jigger J. Jerusalem
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sept. 22 (PNA) – Firebrand Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday called the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) “hypocrites.”
Duterte made the statement after the ceremonial switch-on of the 405 coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
In his speech, Duterte said that the EU and the US, both highly industrialized countries, were trying to regulate the use of non-renewable energy sources in developing nations like the Philippines.
“While the EU is hell bent on imposing the lowering of the carbon emissions, they also forget that they were the first to maximize the use of fossil fuels and the first to pollute the planet,” Duterte said.
The President said that the EU was playing “double standards” when it wanted to control the carbon footprint when they themselves created the problem in the first place.
He said the EU wanted the third-world nations to lower the emission of carbon in such a way that these countries could not move forward with their development agenda due to the energy protocols being set by the international environment-regulating bodies.
“Kataw-ana ning mga puti (these Caucasians are ridiculous),” he said, referring to the EU and the US who had released statements condemning Duterte over the rising cases of extrajudicial killings in the country as a result of the government’s war on illegal drugs.
Duterte, however, said that, at present, the use of coal in producing energy was the most viable option for the Philippines.
“If we want to industrialize our country, because we are left behind by so many generations, we have to keep up with developments. [Coal plant] is the main option right now because is cheap, it’s available, although it may have an impact on the planet,” Duterte said.
Duterte made the statement to a limited audience of 350 invited guests, during the inauguration of the 405-megawatt coal-fired power plant of the FDC Misamis Power Corp. (FDC Misamis) in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, Thursday afternoon.
The FDC Misamis facility is seen to augment the energy needs of Mindanao which industry players consider as very timely considering the power deficiency being experienced in the island in the past few months.
Duterte said the operation of the FDC Misamis power plant would help stabilize the Mindanao grid, especially in the Zamboanga peninsula where residents and businesses had suffered from 12-hour blackouts.