May 15, 2011
The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) expressed suspicion at the scrapping of Manny Pacquiao’s courtesy call at Malacanang for a hush-hush visit of President Benigno Aquino III and his top officials to a
aircraft carrier. “It appears that PNoy prefers playing little brown brother instead of honoring a Filipino boxing hero. Given the circumstances, his visit to the USS Carl Vinson cannot be an innocent tour. The Americans talked to PNoy about something they wanted to remain secret, out of earshot of the Filipino people and out of the prying cameras of the media” asserted Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general. US
The group reiterated its opposition to the VFA and support for its scrapping. Moreover it called for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in order to promote transparency in government and access to information by the people. PM is calling on the Senate to repudiate the VFA and on Congress to pass the FOI bill.
“Such a top secret agenda in the middle of the high seas could be anything from more concessions about American access to Philippines as per the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) to increased US intervention in the war against Muslim insurgents as a follow through to Osama Bin Laden’s assassination,” Miranda speculated.
She added that “It could have been understandable that since PNoy likes fast cars, he would also be obsessed with big ships. But the visit came at the invitation of the Americans not at PNoy’s insistence.”
“We cannot be faulted from assuming the worse due to the suspicious circumstances. This is a big issue despite Malacanang’s attempt to downplay the event as a tour and douse the fire of speculation about the incident,” Miranda furthered.
PM is preparing for protest actions against the four-day visit of the USS Carl Vinson. It also warned at a repeat of the
Subic rape case with thousands of US servicemen due to have rest and recreation in the country.