23 C
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Home Statement 125 Years of Marking Sham Independence

125 Years of Marking Sham Independence

125 Years of Marking Sham Independence

Migrante Canada | June 12, 2023

It is June 12 once again! It is a yearly reminder for all Filipinos, including those living and working overseas, to look back at our history and reflect on national sovereignty and our aspirations for peace and prosperity.

There have been many points of deception in our pursuit of our independence as a nation.

The Filipino revolutionaries declared the independence of the Philippines in 1889 in Kawit, Cavite. They had substantially won their war of liberation against Spanish rule, having gained control of the archipelago, and taken siege of Intramuros, the seat of Spanish colonial power. The US deceived the leaders of the Philippine Revolution who had fought to bring down Spanish colonial might down to its knees. The US grabbed the victory that the Filipino people had fought for, and it signed the Treaty of Paris in which Spain ceded the Philippines to the US for $20 million dollars and took over as the Philippines’ new colonial master.

In the Filipino-American War that quickly followed, the occupying American forces brought its brutal colonial force against the revolutionary patriots who resisted against US colonialism until as late as 1916. At least a quarter of a million Filipinos died because of the use of strategic hamlets, massacres, tortures, rapes, and other horrible acts of war by the US colonial forces.

In July 1946, the United States “granted” independence to the Philippines, but not before economic and military agreements were put in place to guarantee that the country continues to be dependent on the United States.

Almost eight decades after, Filipinos bear the burden of fake independence. Since the Philippine Senate voted out the US bases from the country in 1992 because of the decades-long people’s opposition to military control, the US secured agreements to maintain its hold on the Philippines, such as the Philippine-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

Under the Marcos Jr government, our national sovereignty continues to erode with the government’s surrender to Chinese economic interests and military incursions in the West Philippine Sea and the opening of the country to Chinese corporations.

When foreign interests reign over the interests of its own citizens, where is true independence?

When lawmakers are bent on amending the Philippine Constitution (Cha-Cha) to remove all prohibitions on foreign ownership of land, public services, communication, and media facilities, how are we truly independent?

June 12 reminds all of us about the hopes and aspirations of our patriot brothers and sisters who revolted against Spain and resisted US colonialism. It calls attention to all the courageous efforts of our kababayan who continue to struggle for a truly independent Philippines and a just, prosperous, and peaceful society.

Independence Day is a stark reminder that we need to uphold what the Revolution of 1896 stood for — a truly liberated and independent Philippines. ###

Defend Philippine Sovereignty! China at US – Layas!