The Aquino government’s yearly celebration of a fake Independence Day is a stage act done to deceive people into believing the nation is free from the clutches of slavery and the grip of a foreign colonizing power. The dark reality is that the American government’s power continues to reign supreme in the Philippines, propped up by a subservient local ruling elite. Philippine independence is an absolute lie that has been bandied about as a gift from the American government, and raised wine glasses to by knee-scraping Philippine governments all throughout the decades. In brutal fact, this century-long lie has thrown millions of lives into misery – a lie that has brought unmitigated suffering to majority of our people. The same lie is the tool by which the elite continually feeds and fattens itself.
If we look closely at world history, we see the glaring truth that independence is never easily declared or given by a colonizer to a colonized country and its people. True independence is fought for by citizens who desire it and who fervently want to end a prevailing unjust situation. Only when gained through such means and under such conditions are a nation’s freedom and independence authentic.
The undeniable fact is that Philippine independence from Spain was declared by Filipinos on June 12, 1898, wrenched from Spain’s colonial government by means of their victorious revolution. However, this clear victory of the people – the first such victory in Asia – was stolen and snuffed out by another colonizer, the US government, which maneuvered into the role of “savior” by making an under-the-table deal with Spain and by paying for the assistance of the puppet government of twice-turncoat revolutionary Emilio Aguinaldo, previously paid by Spain to exile himself in Hong Kong. The collusion of these two pretenders, American politicians and Filipino ex-revolutionaries, sealed the fate of the nation for the incoming century, as they threw into the pot as well the decimation of the remaining revolutionaries who, with persistent valour, had sought, against all odds, to advance the struggle for true freedom. With these true patriots, hundreds of thousands of Samar residents were also decimated by American troops.
This dark history continues today. The persistence of US imperialism in the Philppines, which can count on the support of the feudal machinations by the local business and political elite, is the main cause of the nation’s continuing plunge into poverty, oppression and abuse under foreign companies. Most of these, clearly the American companies, are in mining, agribusiness and manufacturing.
US intervention in the Philippines is simultaneously economic and political. Recent proof of this is the very secrecy of the signing of the Enhanced Defense Agreement (EDCA) by which the Aquino government sold over Philippine sovereignty and patrimony to the US government. By it, the whole Philippine archipelago has essentially become a military base of the US, and every port and open port of entry for US troops. By it, all kinds of American military weapons, including nuclear arms, freely enter. Clearly, as shown in the Mamasapano incident, EDCA puts Filipino civilian, particularly those in the countryside, under continuous threat of militarization and the scourge of repeated violations of their human rights.
The current military aggression of the Chines government against the Philippines clearly puts focus on American intervention, as the EDCA is used as basis for American military protection fo the Philippines against China. Beneath this mask of protection, it is clear that America is using the Philippines as a launching pad for military action against China, and moreover, in view of the ongoing American economic crisis since 2010, it sees the Philippines as a much-needed marked for its military weapons productions. By the same token, China also stands to benefit from any conflict situation involving the Philippines since it can use as wedge its loans to the US for any trade negotiations regarding Philippine natural and human resources.
The collusion of US political and economic interests and the selfish interests of the local ruling elite led by Aquino maintain a fascistic military force to protect those interests against the justified desires of the Filipino nation to be freed from injustice, exploitation and oppression. EDCA was forged precisely to ain weaponry and military technology to crush the nationalistic forces which find that their desires for change are best advanced by a national democratic revolution.
While empty celebratory bouquets for a fake Philippine Independence are being strewn everywhere, it is the best time for the Filipino people to look at their sacrifices, their suffering and the various injustices in their lives and realize that this fake independence does not contribute anything to their welfare and well-being. That fake independence only serves the interests of the local Filipino elite and most of all, it serves the interests fo their imperialist master : the American government and its business corporations.
It is the best tiem for us to see that we can only attain true freedom and independence by throwing off and destroying the instrument so oppression that this imperialist power has created in our country. Untied in our fight to end exploitation and oppression, we will overthrow feudalism so that the farmers will have lands to till; we will build national industrialization so that our liberated workers can lead us towards economic progress and economic justice. Finally, when we reach the time that the many who have been suffering injustices can truly take lead and wield political power as active members of a truly democratic nation – only then can we say that freedom is ours, truly ours.