- Category: Nation
21 Oct 2012
- Written by Marvyn N. Benaning / Contributor
U.S. warships visiting Philippine ports must be assumed to carry nuclear weapons.
This view was aired over the weekend by the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), noting that the US policy of neither confirming nor denying that such ships carry nuclear armaments must be taken to mean that they have those weapons.
Pamalakaya noted that some countries generally opposed to nuclear weapons do not allow any US nuclear warship to dock at their ports.
There is no sense for US aircraft carriers and other ships to carry ballistic missiles armed with conventional warheads, Pamalakaya argued.
“But President Aquino and top officials of the administration are ignoring this highly strong probability,” the group added.
The US Embassy in Manila last week announced that the aircraft carrier USS George Washington would arrive in Manila for a goodwill visit on Wednesday.
This port call is supposed to “further enhance the strong historic ties” between the US and the Philippines.
The aircraft carrier, which has two nuclear reactors that allow it to sail for nearly 18 years without refueling, was commissioned on July 4, 1992.
Its flight deck length is 1,092 feet, while its width is 275 feet. The ship is 244 feet high and can carry 75 aircraft.
“The Aquino administration, as usual, wants to make it appear as regular port call but that is not the real score. The real score is that the US is preparing the country as staging ground or launching pad for nuclear attack against entities or nations that would challenge its dominance as a global policeman,” Pamalakaya National Chairman Fernando Hicap said.
Pamalakaya scoffed at the participation of US sailors in community projects here and noted that the professional exchanges that the government talks about will involve the current territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
Earlier, Hicap charged Mr. Aquino of violating the Constitution by allowing US military forces to use the Subic International Airport.
“The Subic International Airport is just a name. In real life, it is a US military facility operating on a regular basis to accommodate increasing numbers of American troops gearing for wars of aggression in different parts of the globe,” Hicap said.
With the arrival of more than 2,200 US troops last week for the Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise with 1,600 soldiers of the Armed Forces in various parts of the Philippines from October 8 to 18, he said, “it has become clear that Subic is now back in the limelight as the largest American base outside the US mainland.”
Hicap said the proposal of Visiting Forces Agreement Commission Executive Director Edilberto Adan to allow greater use of Subic by US forces is an open endorsement of the retaking by the US of its former naval base.
Pamalakaya lamented that the Congress has not said a word about the continuing port calls of US nuclear warships and noted that legislators should take action on the matter.