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Leftist solon questions visit of U.S. soldiers in RP
In The Press Posted on August 15th, 2009.
A LEFT leaning lady party-list lawmaker perceived to be running for a Senate seat in next year’s elections has questioned the visit of 6,000 American soldiers aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George Washington that docked at the Manila Harbor recently.
Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza has aired concern on the presence of U.S. troops for the so called 4-day “goodwill” visit to the Philippines as she asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to explain the nature and scope of the visit.
“The presence of U.S. troops raises a lot of questions. While the U.S. claims that this is part of the routine port visits, we do not exactly know what other agenda they might have as there are no definite limits to their so called ‘humanitarian’ trip,” said Maza.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said “the arrival of the USS George Washington may not only be violative of the nuclear free provisions under Article II (8) of the Constitution but could even pose as a safety threat to Filipinos especially since reports have been unearthed that the ship was dangerously threatened by fire just more than a year ago.
“The Philippine government must prohibit the entry of nuclear powered warships into the country much less allow it to dock in highly populated areas like the Manila Harbor. Furthermore, the people must be informed whether the hundreds of U.S. servicemen who entered the country through Manila Bay have applied for visa in the same manner that Filipinos are required to get visa while visiting the U.S.,” he added.
According to reports, some of its 6,000-strong crew, headed by Capt. David Lausman USN, will also participate in community development projects, a 10-barangay outreach program, sports events, and various other “humanitarian” pursuits.
“Is this part of the deal sealed by GMA during her recent U.S. visit? Under what arrangement or agreement allows this “visit” and its “humanitarian” components? Are they here for rest and recreation as well? What cost will it entail to our government?” Maza added.
The militant lady lawmaker also expressed concern that the presence of a large number of U.S. troops serves as magnet for attacks from enemies of the United States.
“It has been our experience that the presence of U.S. troops has encouraged the proliferation of prostitution,” said Maza.