June 12, 2012
The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today scored the Aquino administration for further undermining Philippine sovereignty on the occasion of Philippine Independence Day. Bayan led various groups in a protest march from Mendiola to the US embassy in Manila.
“It is hypocritical for Aquino 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 on our economic development. Not just celebrations, Independence Day should remind us of our people’s unfulfilled aspirations for genuine freedom,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
“The Aquino government is showing the people that what we are experiencing now is sham independence. Aquino’s ‘tuwid na daan’ rhetoric can’t hide the fact that we are constantly being taken advantage of by foreign interests, mainly the US. 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.
Bayan will lead protest actions tomorrow in Manila to mark Independence Day. The group reiterated that it was against any move to undermine the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, “whether by the assertive actions of China in Panatag Shoal, or by the more dangerous actions by US troops in the Philippines.”
The group also said that under Aquino, there can be no freedom from poverty, no freedom from impunity and injustice, in reference to the Independence Day speech of the president. It said that poverty, hunger and unemployment were on the rise during the past few months.
“The legitimate cause of going after the corrupt such as former president Arroyo has itself been undermined and weakened by Aquino. While Aquino lauds his impeachment of the Chief Justice, accountability remains elusive for many other victims of corruption and gross human rights violations,” Reyes added.
“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,” he added.
In a recent meeting with US president Barrack Obama, Aquino welcomed the US rebalancing of its forces towards Asia, along with increased US military presence in the Philippines. This sets the stage for more US military exercises, rotational deployment of troops and port calls by US warships.
“We cannot consider ourselves truly free so long as foreign troops are stationed on our soil and foreign warships docked on our shores,” Reyes said.