PH experiencing ‘sham independence’, militant group saysBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is not truly free because of the continuing presence of foreign troops in the country, a militant group said in a statement Tuesday, the country’s 114th Independence Day.
“We cannot consider ourselves truly free so long as foreign troops are stationed on our soil and foreign warships docked on our shores,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general, Renato Reyes Jr., said.
“It is hypocritical for [President Benigno Aquino III] to say that his government is fighting for new freedom when the exact opposite is happening. This government wants to perpetuate our colonial and neo-colonial past by allowing the stationing of foreign troops on Philippine soil and by allowing foreign interests to dictate our economic development.
Reyes said that the Philippines was experiencing “sham independence” because President Aquino willingly allows the country to serve the foreign interests of United States (US).
“The Aquino government is showing the people that what we are experiencing now is sham independence. Aquino’s ‘tuwid na daan’ [straight path] rhetoric can’t hide the fact that we are constantly being taken advantage of by foreign interests, mainly the US,” Reyes said.
“We cannot enjoy political and economic sovereignty when foreign interests and dictates continue to dominate us. Aquino has been all too willing to have our sovereignty undermined,” he added.
Aquino recently visited US President Barack Obama to discuss, among others, the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China over Scarborough Shoal as well as the US’s plan to “rebalance” their naval assets to Asia and the Pacific with the Philippines hosting some of the troops.
Bayan said it was protesting the government’s moves that would allow the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be undermined “whether by the assertive actions of China in Panatag [Scarborough] Shoal, or by the more dangerous actions of US troops in the Philippines.”
“Let us continue to pay tribute to our forefathers who fought colonial rule, even as we as a people strive for genuine independence from all vestiges of neo-colonial rule,” Reyes said.