More US ships arrive in Subic
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT—Another United States naval ship arrived in this former American naval base on Wednesday, the third to visit Subic Bay this year.
USNS Carl Brashear, a dry cargo ship, docked at the Alava Pier on Wednesday, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority’s seaport department said.
The replenishment vessel arrived for a routine port visit but seaport department officials did not disclose the number of crew members on board.
Two more US naval ships, the USNS Pecos and the USNS John Ericsson, arrived here this month for a routine port visit and to replenish supplies.
Rose Baldeo, president of the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce, said the arrival of the three US ships was an indication that port calls to this free port have resumed.
Baldeo said many business establishments here and nearby Olongapo City suffered revenue losses after nine US ships canceled their port calls starting in November, after an American soldier was linked to the murder of a Filipino transgender woman.
Baldeo cited one restaurant owner who lost about P1 million after the restaurant stocked up on food supplies in anticipation of the “liberty” (rest and recreation) of American troops, a week after transgender woman Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude was killed in a motel in Olongapo on Oct. 11 last year.
It was during that time when some 3,500 US servicemen were barred from leaving their ships due to the investigation of Laude’s death.
The suspect in Laude’s killing, US Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton, was charged with murder in December.
“Seeing the US ships return here is a welcome development,” Baldeo said. Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon
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