MANILA, May 15, 2011 (AFP) – The U.S. Navy ship from where Osama bin Laden was buried at sea arrived in the Philippines for a port call on Sunday, but the crew avoided any mention of the historic incident.

Crewmen of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier said they were in good spirits but parried questions about the slain al-Qaeda leader in a meeting with journalists on Sunday.

Asked how it felt to be part of history, Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, head of the Carl Vinson’s carrier group, said: “I am not going to comment on that. Everyday you are a sailor in the U.S. Navy, you are a part of history.”

U.S. embassy deputy spokeswoman Wossie Mazengia told reporters that crewmen were under orders not to discuss bin Laden whose body was taken to USS Carl Vinson after he was killed in Pakistan on May 2.

Bin Laden was buried at sea from the carrier, a move that was criticised by some Muslim groups.