Binay: Nuclear terrorism will affect OFWs

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

ANY act of nuclear terrorism in any part of the world will affect a large number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) currently living and working abroad, Vice President Jejomar Binay said Saturday before leaving for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands.

"[W]ith over 10 million of our kababayans living and working overseas, any act of nuclear terrorism in any part of the world will inevitably victimize scores of overseas Filipinos," Binay said.

The Vice President is representing President Benigno Aquino III in the biennial summit. He also represented the president in the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

Binay is also the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns.

The Vice President said the threat of nuclear terrorism is not confined to nations who possess nuclear weapons or operate nuclear power plants, but rather a global problem that demands the attention of the international community.

"The Philippines does not possess nuclear material that may be turned into a nuclear weapon by terrorists or other non-State actors, nor does it operate nuclear power plants. Yet the relevance of nuclear security to the Philippines cannot be underestimated," he said.

"We could become safe havens or transit and staging grounds for those who want to commit acts of nuclear terrorism. Terrorists can steal from radiological sources in our laboratories, factories and hospitals in order to build a 'dirty bomb'," he added.

A "dirty bomb" is one type of a radiological dispersal device (RDD) that combines conventional explosives, such as dynamite, with radioactive material.

The Vice President said that through the commitments made and the cooperative arrangements forged in the past summits, the Philippines has been able to enhancing its own security measures, through technical and financial assistance from partner states and organizations.

The summit is expected to gather around 53 heads of state, including United States President Barack Obama, who initiated the holding of a summit on nuclear security in 2009.

The first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington, DC in 2010. (Jun Sarmiento/Sunnex)

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