Laude murder bites: Philippine local business reels from US Navy port call cancellations!

Nine United States Navy vessels that had planned port calls at their former base in Subic Bay, Philippines have reportedly had changes of plans opting to pass on their scheduled rest-and-recreation (R&R) there. According to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chair Roberto Garcia, the port calls from these ships were “put on hold until further notice”.

As expected, the business community there are furious. Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) issued a statement on Sunday expressing the disappointment of local businessmen who had been counting on the business servicemen going on shore leave from these vessels would bring.

“This anticipated visit could have meant a better Christmas for the business owners and their employees…. But after the cancellation, one can only imagine the disappointed faces,” the SBFCC said in a statement sent to the Inquirer on Sunday.

visiting_forces_agreementAnti-American sentiments erupted all over the Philippines and amongst Filipino expat communities in the United States two weeks ago following the killing of Filipino transgender Jeffrey Laude allegedly by US Marine Pfc Joseph Scott Pemberton. Various left-leaning groups led by “women’s issues” group GABRIELA had joined forces with militant elements in the gay community to condemn the incident as a hate crime and one that could be directly attributed to the increased presence of American forces in the Philippines. They have called for the “abrogation” of the Visting Forces Agreement (VFA) which governs this presence citing its ill-effects on the national insecurity surrounding their “sovereignty” long suffered by Filipinos since the US granted the Philippines independence in 1946.

Many Filipino politicians have since joined in on the “outrage” bandwagon announcing intentions to “review” the VFA. Leading the charge is Philippine Senator Miriam Santiago who reportedly called the VFA “a failure” and pointed out that the agreement, signed by Washington and Manila in 1998, “was signed without the concurrence of the Senate”. Santiago lamented that since the signing of the agreement, the Philippine military had “not modernized sufficiently.” Earlier than that, a bloc of left-leaning polticians in the Philippines’ House of Representatives filed a “joint resolution” calling for the termination of the VFA. The authors of Joint Resolution no. 17 are the usual suspects…

Joint resolution no. 17 called for “immediately abrogating” the 15-year-old VFA and urged Pres. Aquino “to send a notice of termination” to the US government. It was filed by Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Javier Colmenares, Carlos Isagani Zarate, Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap, ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio and Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon.

Observers have noted how the militancy and outrage exhibited by supposedly “progressive” activists surrounding this incident had been baldly disproportionate to the amount of “activism” they exhibit over far more statistically significant crimes that grip the Philippines. There have also been many victims of violent crime who were homosexuals and transgenders. The fact that the suspected perpetrator of Laude’s killing is an American servicemen seems to have played a significant role in attracting this level of attention.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of criminal cases deemed to be at the same level of gravity and hienousness are currently tangled up in the notorious red tape that characterises the Philippines’ infamously snail-paced criminal justice system. Families of victims who could afford it and have the “right” connections often spend millions to expedite their cases. Unfortunitely for the majority of Filipinos, justice is more a luxury than a human right and it often takes a case that aligns with the political agenda of mainstream politicians and militant groups alike to arouse any semblance of “indignation” and media attention.

Indeed, Filipinos’ renowned colonial mentality — a cultural trait that predisposes them to favour, shower with extra attention, and afford special treatment to people of European descent — is alive and well even after almost 70 years of national “independence”. In the case of the Laude killing, all-American jarhead Pemberton conveniently provides a nice fair-skinned fresh-faced effigy to the “evil America” doctrine of these noisy political relics of the Cold War in the Philippines.

Meanwhile the Philippines hobbles along in mediocrity, and the “pride” and “self-determination” promised by the cabal of “nationalistic” Philippine senators who booted out American forces in 1991 continues to elude the country. Perhaps it is really a crisis of priorities that the Philippines suffers and not much the crisis of economy and politics that the “experts” say is the real issue underlying the Philippines’ chronic failure to prosper.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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9 Comments on "Laude murder bites: Philippine local business reels from US Navy port call cancellations!"

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Jetlag807
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Looks like the Philippines will get a taste of the question you posed in your last article “What will the Philippines do if America walks away?”.

Gerry
Guest
Miriam ‘NUT – CASE’ Santiago is really good at spouting her mouth off at the right time to get attention(she did not graduate from Harvard either, I ‘went to Harvard’ too…on a delivery of food, LOL !). BUT who is the big mouth psycho going to call next time that Manila is under-water and needs the help of outside entities to come to the rescue,huh? Just like what happened in the aftermath of ‘YOLANDA’, the USA military was the only entity capable of leading a rescue operation and was practically expected to do so….and the USA did so willingly too… Read more »
justakano
Guest

100% right on.
As is said..(be careful what you wish for)

America..go home. And take all the US aid cash with you. Your people at home need it far more than the Philippines do.
You don’t need “big brother” at all. So please kick them out once and for all. Ya, that will teach those long nose kano’s a lesson to mess around with our queers.

Sea Bee
Guest

Do not call the USA when the thousands of Filipinos working in West Africa decide to return home. Do not call the USA, when ebola sweeps through metro Manila. What plans has the government made for quarantining hundreds of people? Look at their snail’s pace in rescuing from the big typhoon in Tacloban. If that is any indication of their effectiveness; watch out!

archie
Guest

Punyetang Laude case yan, naapektuhan tuloy ang mga trabaho sa Subic. Masaya na kayo LGBT? Tang ina nyo puro kayo gender equality di nyo muna inisip na hindi naman base militar ang may kasalanan kundi isang tao lang.

Hyden Toro006
Guest
There is a Mutual Defense Treaty with the U.S. However, we must build our own Armed Forces. Not using OSOLETE euipment and materials. Hand me down junks, that more belong to the scrapyards. These Politicians and Generals pocketed most of the Defense Budget, for many years, up to now. The money should had been used to buy modern weapons and equipment. It is not good to politicalize the Laude-Pemberton criminal case. These activists of all shades; have nothing to do than to hitch their issues to anything. To have something to shout for, in the street politics. We have to… Read more »
Peter Park
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I’m not against the people who have “the third preference” or transgender as they say. But if the military guy killed this person, as findings say that Laude, supposedly conspired to steal the American soldiers’ stuff by making out in a room. It’s a double whammy, deception and stealing..It is not a hate crime, but he got murdered because of stealing and the fact that G.I. thought that he was a girl when in fact its not..

Pallacertus
Guest

Sources, please.

Peter Park
Guest
If the transgender people supports the actions of this person Laude, then they’re most likely involved in deception and stealing which is not right!! The Visiting Forces Agreement puts Philippine sovereignty at a disadvantage. Anyways, what is Philippine Sovereignty? Is it defined by the actions of the government so busy stealing, making shows to deceive voting masses in a desperate attempt to hide under wraps what they’re doing with taxpayer money. Or the actions of the Philippine Citizenry? so busy with living and making lives, as the saying goes “to each to his own”..being negligent of what’s happening in the… Read more »
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