After meeting US diplomats, Pacquiao gets to tour modern American combat ship

Published February 18, 2022, 11:28 AM

by Ben Rosario

Just a week after meeting with United States (US) Embassy executives presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao was seen exchanging pleasantries a with another batch of American officials aboard the battleship USS Jackson.

Senator Manny Pacquiao aboard USS Jackson

Pacquiao was invited for a private tour of the warship currently docked at Manila Bay.

Commanding officer Michael Root and the littoral combat ship’s personnel welcomed Pacquiao and thanked him for accepting their invitation for a tour of the ship.

Pacquiao was accompanied by US Embassy officials led by acting Deputy Chief of Mission Chief Gamble and key members of the senator’s team, including Communications Director Bernard Peralta, political affairs chief Ron Munsayac and Executive Assistant Benjamin Garcia-Ascue.

The independence-class combat ship was part of the 2002 US-Navy initiated program for the development of the first flee of littoral war vessel. Well-equipped with vital battle weaponry, the USS Jackson was launched in 2014.

Pacquiao told reporters during an interview on Thursday, Feb. 17 that it was a real honor to be invited to tour the warship.

He revealed being ecstatic to see Filipino-Americans among the members of the crew.

“Sana magkaroon tayo ng ganyan (I hope we can have something like that),” said Pacquiao of the vessel.

This is the second time the Philippine senator took a side trip from his busy campaign schedule to be with American officials.

It will be recalled that on Feb. 6, Pacquiao was invited by US Embassy officials to discuss matters ranging from politics to other issues relating to Philippine-US relations.

Pacquiao also discussed the West Philippine Sea issue with US Internal Political Unit acting chief Ken Gardner, political counselor Brett Blackshaw, and US Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava during the meeting.