Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

GMA slams critics over USS Reagan’s presence

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday slammed critics of the presence of the nuclear powered USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippines.

The President stressed there has been no violation of the Constitution in giving the green light to the ship to help in relief operations for victims of howler Frank.

The President defended the USS Ronald Reagan as she returned home from a 10-day visit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

The President later led the send off of a cargo plane containing relief goods for Aklan, the worst hit province in the Western Visayas region. These include Iloilo, Panay and Aklan.

In the briefing of the National Disaster Coordinating center, the President inquired about the USS Reagan.

“Has the USS Reagan arrived already…because the Philconsa (Philippine Constitution) says they can come in,” the President said.

The President said the USS Reagan would merely stay at the edge of Philippine waters.

Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro said the issue was “moot” since the vessel was not in the internal waters of Philippine territory.

The USS Reagan is presently at the west of Panay.

Teodoro said the carrier is here to support air operations in bringing relief items to communities devastated by the typhoon last June 21.

The USS Reagan, Teodoro said, has its own mission in helping relief operations logistically, and to transport relief goods to outlying areas.

Seven of 16 U.S. Seahawk helicopters and four C-2 cargo planes have been distributing relief goods to victims in Iloilo, Aklan, Roxas City, Antique and Sicogon island.

Teodoro assured that the carrier would not stay for long in the Philippines but did not give a timetable.

He stressed that the U.S. government was very sensitive to constitutional issues and would ensure not violating them, pointing out that the carrier is coordinating with the Philippine Air Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“Once their mission is done, they go,” Teodoro said.

It will be recalled that U.S. President George W. Bush told President Arroyo in their meeting in Washington D.C., that he was sending the aircraft carrier which was stationed in Hong Kong to provide relief to the victims. By: Efren Montano - Journal Online

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Meanhile, for readers asking what submarine was seen sneaking out of SubicBay yesterday, authorities won't give details about the sub. But based on the photo taken yesterday, its a Los Angeles Class Attack Submarine like the USS 772 Greenville

Related Articles:

SBN Readers said (shoutbox July 4) that this is the sub we are talking about

The guided missile submarine USS Ohio (SSGN 726). Ohio is the first ballistic missile submarine to complete conversion to the new class of guided missile submarines (SSGN). Three other submarines are undergoing the SSGN conversion process including USS Michigan (SSGN 727), Florida (SSGN 727) and Georgia (SSGN 729). U.S. Navy photo by Chief Journalist Dave Fliesen

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