MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs has formally asked officials of Manila City Hall and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to explain why a "Comfort Woman" statue was erected along Roxas Boulevard.
In a letter tagged as "Extremely Urgent," DFA Assistant Secretary Millicent Cruz-Paredes said they need to know the background information and the actual process before the statue was erected, given the sensitive issue it tackles.
"Taking into account the sensitive nature of the comfort woman issue both domestically and bilaterally with Japan, the department requests for background information regarding the monument," the December 12 letter read.
Japanese embassy officials already went to Manila City Hall to seek explanation from its officials. But City Administrator Jojo Alcovendaz earlier said they did not have a hand in the "Comfort Woman" statue's installation.
"They regret that the statue was installed along Roxas Boulevard. I hope they will not take it against the city, ano? Kasi, Mike, we didn't have a hand in the installation of the statue," he said , stressing that the NHCP should be the one to explain in the matter.
The marker on the statue says it was erected in memory of the Filipinas who were abused at the time of the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945 during World War II.
Just last month Japanese city Osaka cut its "sister city" ties with San Francisco, which has also erected a sculpture in memory of comfort women in one of its parks.-- report from Michael Delizo