Vol. VI, No. 11 - June 18, 2024

There is no cause for celebrating the so-called 126th anniversary of Philippine independence. The country has been subservient to the United States since 1898 until today. 

300 years of Spanish colonial exploitation and oppression generated hundreds of local uprisings, which eventually galvanized into a nationwide revolution. The Aguinaldo leadership of the revolutionary government readily surrendered to the Spanish forces and was exiled to Hongkong where he was approached by the US. 

On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo made the Kawit proclamation of independence which carried the unfortunate qualification, “under the protection of the Mighty and Humane North American nation.” Unwittingly, he declared the so-called First Philippines Republic to be a mere protectorate of U.S. imperialism.

American colonial rule made the Philippines a strategic bastion in its plunder of the southern coast of China.  US hegemony over the country was disrupted only by the invasion of Japan of the Philippines in 1942 which lasted until 1945 when the US reoccupied the country.

While the US forces left the country and ordered its remaining forces to surrender to the Japanese, Filipino guerillas continued the fight against the invaders. In most parts of Central Luzon, widespread guerilla resistance was launched by the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (People’s Army against Japan) led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). 

Direct colonial rule became more untenable with the rise of strong national liberation movements in the aftermath of WW2. In response, the US transformed the Philippines into a neo-colony, i.e., from directly ruling the country into an indirect rule thru its neo-colonial state. The succeeding neo-colonial setup of the Philippines enabled the US to continue its plunder of the country’s natural resources and its control of the economy, politics and military. 

After WW2, the US maintained the Clark Air Force Base and the Subic Naval Base as major military bases in Asia to maintain its dominance and as launching bases for its interventionist actions.

Amidst the popular anti-bases movement in the 1990s, the Philippine Senate did not renew the US-Philippine military agreement, affirming the constitutional ban against foreign troops permanent basing in the country.  In collusion with successive puppet regimes in the Philippines, a series of agreements, like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the Military Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) were formulated by US imperialism to circumvent this prohibition. 

Today, the US is exploiting the territorial conflict between the Philippines and China over the West Philippine Sea/South China Sea to drag the Armed Forces of the Philippines into the frontline of the US war preparation against China. As tension escalates, there is real danger of war exploding between the two great powers.

The Filipino people should expose and oppose the sham independence and continue to struggle for national liberation and democracy.  Amid rising inter-imperialist tensions, the NDFP enjoins the Filipino people to fight for genuine Philippine sovereignty and promote non-alignment, peaceful resolution of conflicts, peaceful co-existence and mutual benefit with other countries. #