SOME militants and politicians were disappointed over Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach's pro-United States bases sentiment in the Miss Universe 2015 pageant held on Monday.
During the question-and-answer portion for the top five finalists, Wurtzbach was asked: "Do you think the US should have a military base in the Philippines?"
Wurtzbach answered, "I think we're very welcoming to the Americans, and I don’t see any problem with that at all."
She said that both countries have always had a good relationship with each other.
"We were colonized by the Americans and we have their culture in our traditions even up to this day," she added.
Wurtzbach's answer caused dismay among different activist groups.
In a tweet, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said he hopes that Wurtzbach’s reply was not her final answer and that she would keep an open mind.
“I hope she would find time in the future to sit down with the victims of abuses by US troops, many of whom are women,” he said.
Bayan has been leading calls to abolish the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) signed last year, allowing the US to put up military bases in the country.
Meanwhile Gabriela Representative Emmi de Jesus said Wurtzbach’s views “contradict” her stand on her concern for humanity, specifically her support for raising HIV-AIDS awareness globally which was the question for her in the final three Q&A portion.
“We hope she will have a change of mind and heart on this issue by learning the history of our nation under US colonial rule,” De Jesus said.
Former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño also tweeted.
“No problem with return of US bases? Ganon?” Casino also said that Wurtzbach must be briefed by when she returns home.
“She could have at least acknowledged that there are problems that have to be addressed re. US bases in PH. Pag-uwi ni Pia she should be briefed by Gabriela on the issue of US troops in PH to help her get a better perspective.” Casino said.
Another staunch critic of Edca, presidential aspirant Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, also turned to Facebook to congratulate and criticize the newly crowned Miss Universe.
“Congratulations, Pia! You are regal. But from what I've heard, we need to talk. See you!” said Santiago.
Santiago is one of the senators who believe that Edca is unconstitutional and should have been sent to the Senate for ratification, instead of being an executive agreement as Malacañang views it.
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement signed on April 28, 2014 allows the United States to rotate troops in the Philippines and build and operate facilities on Philippine bases, for both American and Philippine forces. (Sunnex)