Comment from a reader on the post Where Was the US Military?
I agree with the poster here. I'm American and I am all for increased U.S. presence here in Subic Bay for both the local economy and the fact, Philippines (and the rest of SE Asia) does need help with China.
I was surprised to see no visible assistance from the US military when Olongapo was so hard hit. All during the previous week there was US soldiers in huge numbers everywhere walking around SBMA, Ayala mall, downtown, etc., more than I had seen in a long time, and then all of sudden they were gone right as the people of Olongapo could have really used their help.
I even found the following quote posted online:
OLONGAPO CITY – The city Monday (Sept 23) morning was placed under a state of calamity after 16 out of 17 barangay was under floodwaters due to heavy rain since Sunday, September 22.
Olongapo City Councilor Winnie Ortiz said, “[The] city council declared [a] state of calamity thru phone. Unanimous decision. Mayor Rolen Paulino is coordinating with the US Ambassador Harry Thomas for the US Navy, currently in Subic for joint Philippine-US military exercises, to help in rescue and relief in Olongapo."
Well what happened to that assistance? This was a big missed opportunity for the US Navy to really help the Filipino people and make the anti-US militants in Manila look like jerks.
It would be great if someone could directly ask US Ambassador Harry Thomas why the US Navy didn't help the people of Olongapo? And if he replies how the US gave P4.3 million (US $100,000) in aid for the storm victims, that was a token gesture if I ever saw one. US $100K is pocket change for the US government and that's supposed to help all the storm victims in Philippines? The damage to Olongapo and Subic alone will be in the tens of millions of dollars.