Thursday, October 26, 2006

US Sailors On A Mission To Spread Goodwill In RP

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Crew of USS Harpers Ferry on a mission to spread goodwill. Scenes on Thursday 26 Oct 2006 at Pasobolong Elementary School in Zamboanga City in Southern RP. (Mindanao Examiner)
ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 26 Oct) - About two dozen sailors from the U.S. transport ship USS Harpers Ferry on Thursday trooped to a small village in the outskirts of Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines to donate books and foods and help locals paint a school.

“We are really so happy to see the sailors here. They gave us books and foods and were helping us paint the rooms. We want to thank President George Bush, the U.S. military, the U.S. Embassy and the American people for the humanitarian assistance and we will never forget this day,” Imelda Mabalot, the principal of the Pasobolong Elementary School, told the Mindanao Examiner.

The sailors arrived on a convoy of vehicles at around 9 a.m. and bringing with boxes of paints, bottled water, sandwiches, biscuits and books. Two sailors were also spotted carrying sewing machines and canned apple juice distributed to the school in the village of Pasobolong, about 20 kms east of Zamboanga.

“We are here to help the Filipino people and the U.S. forces are involved in many humanitarian missions in the southern Philippines to help the people and promote peace side by side with the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said U.S. Air Force Major John Redfield, public affairs officer.

U.S. soldiers provided security to the sailors while they paint school rooms and mingled with villagers.

The USS Harpers Ferry arrived is anchored off Zamboanga City. It arrived Wednesday to deliver five ambulances donated by an Italian philanthropist, Armando de Rossi, of the 3P Foundation.

The ambulances, worth $20,000 each, came from the United States and were shipped to Subic Bay, a former U.S. base outside Manila. They will be donated to the Zamboanga City Fire Department; the Jolo Rescue Network; the Camp Asturias Hospital and the Red Cross on Jolo island and a clinic on Tawi-Tawi.

De Rossi said about a dozen more ambulances would be delivered to the southern Philippines and distributed to areas where the vehicles are needed.

"These ambulances are donation by people all over the world who cared about Mindanao and its people. We are concerned about the people, about the peace and development efforts in the Philippines and we will continue to help the Filipino people," he said.

The 3P (Promotion of Peace and Prosperity in the Philippines) Foundation purchased 14 Ford F350 ambulances to donate to places throughout the Philippines in an effort to bring better medical supplies and capabilities to local provinces.

De Rossi said that once the ambulances are delivered to their final destinations, they will save plenty of lives. "We're just here to promote the goodwill of America to the Filipino people, and to show the Filipinos that the United States cares," he said.
De Rossi is actively involved in humanitarian activities in Jolo and had donated tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and medical equipment on the island. (Mindanao Examiner)

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