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US says fuel delivery to Philippines done via ‘proper channels’


Gaea Katreena Cabico – Philstar.com

January 11, 2024 | 4:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — The delivery of fuel from a naval base in Hawaii to Zambales was coordinated through “proper channels,” the United States government said on Thursday.

Kanishka Gangopadhyay, a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Manila, confirmed that commercial tanker Yosemite Trader is currently in the vicinity of Subic Bay to transfer clean fuel from the US military facility at Red Hill in Pearl Harbor. 

Sen. Imee Marcos on Wednesday criticized the “inexplicable silence” of both Manila and Washington on the shipment of 39 million gallons of fuel from the US Navy. 

The president’s sister, who chairs the Senate committee on foreign relations, said this raises suspicions that the delivery of fuel was in anticipation of a war erupting between China and the US over Taiwan.

The US Embassy, however, said the fuel transport was “one of multiple shipments of safe, clean fuel” to other locations in the Pacific. 

Similarly, the Department of National Defense said the shipment was “part of regular commercial transactions between the US government and Philippine companies.” 

“All arrangements for the transfer and storage of this fuel were made through the proper channels, using established logistics contracts with Philippine commercial entities,” Gangopadhyay said. 

Data from international shipping trackers show the oil tanker departed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 20, 2023. Marcos said the vessel entered Philippine territory on Tuesday. 

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