Marking the 116th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence

with protest rallies against the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)


US Embassy, Manila


 June 12, 2014





Photos by Agapito Gaddi, Sarah Raymundo and Southern Tagalog Exposure


News Release
June 11, 2014
Reference: Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, 09178350459
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, 09177174014

On the 116th commemoration of Ph Independence day

“Hanggang ngayon di pa rin tayo tunay na malaya!”-Bayan Muna
Bayan Muna Reps. Neri Colmenares and Carlos Zarate today said that after 116 years of so-called independence, the Philippines and Filipinos have yet to experience genuine freedom.

“This is the sad truth. Our country is still controlled by foreign interest particularly that of the US which has now intensified due to the US pivot to Asia and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). From being a semi-colony we are becoming yet again a full colony of the US,” said the Senior Deputy Minority Leader.

“We are against all types of foreign intervention to our country. It does not matter whether it is the US or China that is trying to interfere, we need to stand up and assert our independence. What we need is a truly independent foreign policy,” Rep. Colmenares stressed.

As for his part Rep. Zarate said that in the local arena, majority of Filipinos are still not free from poverty and corruption because the land is still controlled by a few and corruption can be traced up to the highest government office.

“Peasants still do not have land to till. In fact, 7 out of 10 farmers are landless, in some regions like in Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon it is 8 out of 10. What is worse is that the plight of the peasantry is even used by corrupt government officials to steal from the people’s coffers. From the P728 million fertilizer fund scam to the P10 billion pork barrel scam, unscrupulous officials used the poor to get even richer,” said the progressive solon.

“As it is, there are a lot of problems that we should free ourselves from but these three are the most serious and rampant. They are also the cause of the other problems besetting our country -- from drugs, prostitution, joblessness and hunger- all can be traced to these three. It is imperative therefore that we should continuously expose and oppose these ills of Philippine society and be ever vigilant against them,” ended Rep. Colmenares. ###





By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo

June 12: What’s there to celebrate?

Independence Day has never been more of a sham and a shame than it is today, 116 years since the Declaration of Independence against Spanish colonization “under the protection of the Mighty and Humane North American Nation” and 68 years since the so-called “grant” of Philippine Independence from US colonization.

Today the ruling regime of President BS Aquino has proven to be one of the most servile to US dictates. This can be seen in the grossly lopsided, treasonous, unconstitutional and dangerous Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), part and parcel of an abjectly dependent foreign policy tailored to US geopolitical interests. It is also displayed in the perpetuation of US-imposed neoliberal economic policies - liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization - that continue to wreak havoc on our people's lives and livelihood.

In turn, the regime is certified by the US as “democratic”, “reforming” and a model of “good governance”. Such seal of good housekeeping translates to sizeable US economic and military aid, close cooperation in counter-insurgency aka counter-terrorist operations, and a state visit by no less than US President Barack Obama to cement the two countries’ “special”, if dysfunctional, historical relations.

After all, Mr. Aquino has all the necessary elite credentials being scion to one of the biggest landed clans as well as heir to the Cojuangco-Aquino political dynasty. He is not simply the unprepossessing son of a martyred opposition leader and a democracy icon who, despite a lackluster track record in Congress, was thrust into the presidency by historical fluke. He is in fact a dyed-in-the-wool member of the ruling classes of big landlords, big comprador business interests and traditional politicians that the US has nurtured from colonial times to the present neocolonial set-up.

These miniscule but entrenched ruling classes remain the US’ main source of future pliant leaders of the country. It is understood that the vast powers they wield as high government officials must be used primarily to preserve the reactionary ruling system but that they can use these as well to promote and enhance their own economic and political fortunes so long as they do not undermine the status quo.

Bureaucrat capitalism is a proven lucrative business venture in the Philippines. There are just so many ways one can make money using one’s power to approve government contracts, to regulate or deregulate the business environment in favor of certain vested interests, and to make a profit out of corrupt dealings through ghost projects, substandard infrastructure or overpriced supplies and services.

The pork barrel system is currently the most conspicuous and notorious of the ways by which corrupt politicians make their pile. It has its roots in the American colonial period, when it was introduced through the 1922 Public Works Act and grew over the years until perfected as a milking cow for corruption and patronage politics through all the supposedly democratic post-Marcos regimes.

The BS Aquino regime is no exception. In fact the Aquino presidency holds the record for the largest presidential pork and has even enlarged the available pork allocations of congressmen and senators several times over. It cynically and astutely utilized the more than a trillion pesos in presidential pork to buy canine loyalty from national and local politicians as well as military and police officials; to ensure the passage of pet bills; to engineer the fraudulent victory of political allies; to leverage favorable judicial decisions; and to occasionally impeach the favored whipping boy or girl identified with the former, unlamented Arroyo regime such as SC Chief Justice Renato Corona and Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

All these should be enough to indict Aquino for unmitigated graft and corruption. But he even exacerbates things by defending the pork barrel system, justifying its use for patronage politics; and refusing to do anything about the system until public outrage over the Napoles pork barrel scam threatened to explode in his face. Aquino persists in accusing, investigating and filing criminal cases against only his political enemies while shielding and defending his cronies, his political inner circle, and above all, himself. Then he denies doing so by shamelessly invoking his martyred father's noble words.

Filipinos riled by the continuing lack of accountability for the multibillion-peso Napoles pork barrel scam despite the dramatic, even comedic , twists and turns of the latest political corruption tale have held protest demonstration on Independence Day. Their call: “Lahat ng sangkot, dapat managot! (All involved should be accountable!) No to Aquino cover-up!”

Other protest rallies were held to decry not only the continuing US economic, political and cultural stranglehold on its former colony, but to denounce the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) as a “throwback to US colonial occupation”. The nationalist alliance BAYAN, anti-bases legislators and other patriots have taken Aquino administration officials to the Supreme Court assailing the constitutionality of the EDCA.

Indeed, genuine love of country must translate to opposition to EDCA because it derogates national sovereignty, territorial integrity and even national dignity in an unprecedented manner. The terms of EDCA mean an unlimited and unspecified number of “agreed locations” where an unlimited number of US forces, military and civilian, as well as private defense contractors, may come and go; where an unspecified and uncontrolled number of war equipment including nuclear and other weapons systems may be stockpiled, prepositioned and launched; where the US forces ”exercise all rights and authorities” to ensure operational control and defense while Philippine authorities are given access “consistent with operational safety and security requirements in accordance with agreed procedures”; and where the Philippine judicial system does not have jurisdiction in cases of crimes committed against Filipinos, on Philippine soil, since EDCA states that the resolution of “disputes arising under the Agreement (will be) exclusively through consultation between the Parties”.

To top it all, the EDCA has an unlimited duration - “an initial term of ten years, and therefore, it shall continue in be in force automatically unless terminated by either Party” - unlike the junked Military Bases Agreement that expired in 1991 and was not renewed by the Philippine Senate.

What does the Philippines get in return? Not compensation for the use of our national territory: the “agreed locations” are free of charge. Not an upgrade in the Philippine military’s defense capabilities: all the war materiel, especially the high-tech gadgetry, are for the exclusive use of US forces and may be brought in and taken out at any time. Not even a promise of US military preemptive or retaliatory actions in the wake of China’s encroachment on the Philippine’s maritime rights and territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea: the Mutual Defense Treaty on which EDCA is claimed to be based does not cover such disputes and the US has repeatedly stated it will not take sides in such conflicts.

What we get is the real danger of such “agreed locations” being magnets of attack for the US’ numerous actual and potential enemies. And something else: that EDCA provides the legal and political cover for increasing direct US military intervention in Philippine affairs. The prospect of a Vietnam War scenario with all its destructiveness, inhumanity, loss of lives and further setback in economic development looms in the horizon.

All in all, it means that under the BS Aquino regime and contrary to national interest, the US is being gifted on a silver platter with all the economic and military privileges. At least the previous administrations had asserted some semblance of sovereignty. This is more than enough reason to rage and march in protest, rather than engage in a shallow and meaningless celebration of Independence Day. #

Published in Business World
13 June 2014






Kabataan Party-List
Rm. 616, North Wing, Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City
June 12, 2014

Independence Day celebration a farce – youth solon

Cong. Terry Ridon, Kabataan Partylist Representative (09155310725)
Marjohara Tucay, Kabataan Partylist National Media Officer (09202205556)

Amid Chinese incursions in Philippine waters, the return of American forces on Philippine soil through a sham defense agreement, and the unravelling corruption scandals hounding the Aquino administration, a party-list representative called Thursday’s 116th Independence Day celebration a “farce.”

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said that the country’s present situation – stuck in the middle of clashing forces of two world superpowers and internally suffering from a scandal that has rocked the very core of the government – closely resembles the situation faced by the newly-founded republic in 1898 led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, when the fledgling president – fresh from victory against the Spaniards yet rattled with an internal political strife – had to face the American occupation.

“A great man once said, history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce. With our nation’s present situation, we could clearly see the wisdom of that quote,” Ridon said.

“How can the Aquino administration commemorate Independence Day when merely a month ago, it has expressly allowed the re-occupation of the Philippines by American forces through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)? How can the Aquino administration celebrate Independence Day when it has done little to avert Chinese incursions in our territorial waters? How can official of the Aquino administration beam with pride as they raise the Philippine flag in various national monuments today when many of them are guilty of plundering the people’s money through the pork barrel scam?” Ridon asked in length.

Instead of attending official state activities for Independence Day, the lawmaker marched with various youth and people’s organizations today to protest EDCA and the pork barrel system.

“This presidency has no moral ascendancy to celebrate Independence Day. This administration – through EDCA – made a mockery of that very independence. This administration – through its involvement and toleration of the pork barrel scam and countless other corruption issues – has betrayed the Filipino people. This presidency is both a tragedy and a farce for the nation,” Ridon said.

“The Filipino people has had enough of this sham independence. We are ready to struggle for genuine independence – independence from foreign intervention and the grisly rule of plunderers. And if we need to first topple this regime that has served only to protect this farcical status quo, then we are more than willing to do so,” Ridon concluded.###





Pahayag ng All UP Workers Alliance para sa Pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan

Hunyo 12, 2014

Abril 28, 2014, sa mismong pagdalaw ni Barack Obama na presidente ng Amerika, pinirmahan ang EDCA o Enhanced Defense Coorperation Agreement sa pagitan ng Estados Unidos at Pilipinas. Sa pamamagitan ng kasunduang ito, malayang nakapagsasagawa ng mga military exercises ang mga sundalong Amerikano sa bansa, at ang mas malala pa, ibinabalik ang pagtatayo ng mga US military bases sa Pilipinas. Marapat nating tandaan na hindi nakabubuti ang lahat ng kasunduan. Banta sa soberanya ng Pilipinas ang EDCA.

Ngayon, higit kailanman, marapat na makiisa ang mga unyonista sa pagsulong ng ating pambansang soberanya. Hindi dapat tayo makontento sa simpleng pagdiriwang ng pambansang kalayaan na nagsisilbing palamuti lamang upang hindi natin tuwirang makita ang tunay na kalagayaan ng bansa. Paano tayo magdiriwang ng kalayaan kung hanggang sa kasalukuyan, nananatili sa kahirapan ang malaking porsyento ng ating mamamayan? Paano tayo magdiriwang ng independensiya kung matingkad ang hawak sa ating politiko at ekonomiya ng mga dayuhan, partikular ng bansang Amerika?

Kung babalikan natin ang kasaysayan, nang iwagayway ang bandila ng Pilipinas at patugtugin ang pambansang awit ngPilipinas sa Kawit, Cavite noong 1898, napaniwala ang mamamayan na tuluyan nang nakamit ang matagal na inaasam na paglaya ng bayan. Subalit, simula lamang pala ito ng mas mahaba at mahirap na pakikibaka ng bansa upang kamtin ang kalayaan. Nang matanggal ang kolonyal na pamamahala ng mga Kastila sa Pilipinas, agad umeksena ang mga bagong mananakop na Amerikano. Sa pagsiklab ng moro-morong labanan sa Manila Bay noong Agosto 13, 1898, tuluyang nakapaniig ang mga Amrikano bilang mga bagong mananakop ng bansa. Batid nila na malaki ang potensyal ng Pilipinas bilang bagsakan ng mga labis na produkto at hanguan ng mga hilaw na mga materyales. Istratehiko ang heyograpikal na lokasyon ng bansa para sa pagpapalawak ng teritoryo ng imperyalistang Amerikano.

Upang hindi mawala sa matataas na posisyon at mapangalaan ang mga pribadong pag-aari, nakipagsabwatan naman ang mga lokal na naghaharing-uri. Ginamit silang kasangkapan upang maging sunod-sunuran sa mga dayuhang polisiya ng pamamahala. Isa-isang nagsulputan ang mga magiging papet na lider ng bansa na yumuyukod sa dayuhang kolonisador. Sa pangako ng “benevolent assimilation” mas nanaig ang paghihirap at ang pag-unlad ay nananatiling hawak ng mga lokal na naghaharing-uri at mga Amerikanong patuloy sa paghuthot ng tubo at kita mula sa lakas-paggawa ng mga manggagawang Filipino.

Subalit, hindi nanatiling kimi ang mga lider-rebolusyonaryo, mga mulat na manggagawa at mga alagad ng sining na patuloy na nakikipag-alyansa sa masang Filipino natutong lumaban dahil sa dayuhang interbensyon ng Amerika. Sa pagsiklab ng digmaang Filipino-Amerikano, napatunayan ng mga makabayang Filipino na hanggang nananatili ang dayuhang pamamahala sa bansa, mananatili ang pagluwal ng mga progresibong kilusan at mulat na mamamayan. Iilan lamang sina Macario Sakay, Aurelio Tolentino, Juan Matapang Cruz, Geronima Nacionales, Apolinario Mabini, Teodoro Asedillo, at Teresa Magbanua na iniluwal ng mga kilusang makabayan. Ipinagpatuloy nila ang pagsulong ng pambansang paglaya buhay man ang maging kapalit nito.

Mayroon bang nagbago noon at ngayon simula ng i-deklara ang kalayaan ng Pilipinas? Mayroon, subalit ito’y nananatili sa pagpapalit-palit lamang ng mga mukha ng mga uring nagsasamantala sa bansa. Nagpapatuloy ang paghahari ng iilan sa pamahalaang sangkot ngayon sa iskandalo ng pamdarambong at pagnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan. Maging ang mismong pamahalaan at ang mga alipores nito’y sangkot sa pagkawala ng bilyong pondo ng bansa na galing mismong sa dugo at pawis ng mga karaniwang mamamayan. Wala pa ring mapapanagot sa Pork Barrel Scam. Patuloy sa pagtago ng administrasyong Aquino sa lahat ng sangkot na dapat panagutin at parusahan.

Bilang mga makabayan at progresibong unyonista, mahigpit ang pangangailangang makiisa tayo sa pagiging kritikal at mulat. Marapat tayong makilahok sa mga pambansang usapin tulad ng Pork Barrel Scam sapagkat galing mismo sa ating mga buwis ang bilyon-bilyong halagang ninakaw ng mga opisyales ng pamahalaan. Malaki rin ang bahaging ating ginagampanan upang pangalagaan at isulong ang soberanya ng Pilipinas. Nakaukit na sa kasaysayan ng bansa ang pakikisangkot ng mga makabayang unyonista sa pagpapatalsik ng mga dayuhang mananakop sa bansa. Bahagi ang mga unyonista sa pagsulong at pagtatag ng tunay na demokratiko at malayang bansa.




On Independence Day, the Filipino people must renew their commitment to the National Democratic Revolution with a socialist perspective, the path to real independence
June 12, 2014


For decades, past and the present reactionary Philippine governments foist the celebration of Independence Day upon the Filipino people, compelling us to accept, hook, line and sinker, that the nation is “free” from the control of any dominant country. This, of course, is the biggest LIE that has been oft-repeatedly rammed by the ruling classes of landlords and compradors, and by US imperialism itself, down the throats of the Filipino masses.

We refuse to be part of a “celebration” that obfuscates the Filipino people’s history of revolutionary struggle by continuing to give US Imperialism and its military forces in Asia and the Pacific the distinction of being “the liberator” of Filipinos and granting us fake independence. Instead, we, as a people, should transform this yearly event into a widespread militant protest movement to collectively demand for real independence from the dictates of US imperialism.

Independence can never be granted or declared by one country to another; it can only be fought for by a people. The Filipino people must therefore continue to engage and persist in a revolutionary struggle against imperialism and the local ruling classes, implement genuine land reform and national industrialization and to win for itself a genuinely socialist society. Then and only then can true independence be attained.

The Declaration of Independence on 12 June 1898 was only made possible by the heroic revolution of the people against Spanish rule, but the glory was shamelessly stolen by US imperialism when it granted protectorate-ship to the puppet Aguinaldo republic and subsequently attacking Filipino revolutionaries, especially those who continued to fight for real independence.

Then, again on 4 July 1946, the erstwhile Independence Day until it was nominally changed in 1962, after Filipino revolutionaries bravely stood up against Japanese colonial rule, US imperialism made it appear to have “granted independence” in order to smoothen the transition towards its neo-colonial rule over the Philippine islands, which is maintained up to the present through the local ruling classes and its reactionary government and armed forces. With this, the Filipino nation continues to be deprived of true economic, political, cultural and military independence.

With US imperialism using local feudalism as its economic base, the resulting semi-feudal economy of the country has plunged the people deep into the muck of slavery and exploitation that cater to the profit-starved interest of foreign, mainly US-owned, multinational mining, agri-plantations and other large corporations.




Economic subjugation means political and military subjugation as well. Unveiled during Obama’s state visit to the Philippines, the Aquino regime declared, in dog-like obsequiousness to the wishes of its imperialist master for a Trans-Pacific Partnership, the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement or EDCA, an onerous agreement that flagrantly undermines national sovereignty and patrimony.

Whether or not the reactionary government denies it, the EDCA, literally transforms the entire Philippine archipelago into one huge US military base that will host an unlimited number of troops (in addition to the ones they already have in Mindanao and in other parts of the country) as well as receive military vessels and warplanes that include, no doubt, those with nuclear capabilities.

Under the pretext of protecting the Philippines against China’s incursion in the West Philippines Sea, the EDCA practically allows the prepositioning of US military forces for its possible eventual engagement with China using multiple locations in Philippines as launch pad for its Asia Pivot strategy, especially at this time when the US financial crisis is rapidly intensifying and the debt bubble, nears bursting.

The US and its local cohorts only want to ensure their continued economic dominance by forcibly maintaining the complete docility of a long-suffering people and hinder them from waging a national-democratic revolution. That is why US military forces alongside its local counterpart, the AFP and the PNP, are also poised to attack against the local revolutionary movement using the latest weaponry in combat and surveillance, particularly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones.

The reactionary government-declared independence day is nothing but a total sham. Instead of diminishing the meaning of “independence day” by flooding the streets with miniature flags, the NDFP calls on the entire revolutionary forces and the filipino nation to renew our commitment to advance and win the national-democratic revolution and gloriously gain for ourselves true independence by establishing, in the long-term, socialism.

We can only possess real independence when, through a protracted people’s war, the control and machinations of US Imperialism and its local lackeys are brought to an end, feudalism is eradicated and land is redistributed freely to the landless, an independent national industry is established and real political power is in the hands of the oppressed and exploited classes.



June 12, 2014
Reference: Garry Martinez, Chairperson, 0939-3914418

Migrante slams “Amboy Noynoy” on PH Independence Day

As the government holds it 116th annual celebration of Philippine Independence Day today, global alliance of overseas Filipinos Migrante International bewailed the country’s continued “bogus independence”.

For Migrante International, under the BS Aquino administraton, “Amboy Noynoy’s” remorseless subservience to US-imposed policies and dictates has stripped “Philippine Independence” of its real patriotic meaning.

“Amboy Noynoy’s recent signing into the EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) and his underhanded tactics to implement charter change (cha-cha) are paving the way for US re-occupation and re-colonization of the Philippines. History is testament to how US military occupation and domination of foreign control over our industries and lands have undermined and plundered national patrimony and sovereignty. On Philippine Independence Day, Filipinos around the world condemn the BS Aquino government for its outright and shameless puppetry to the US neoliberal agenda, at the expense of the Filipino people,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.

“The EDCA will make us vulnerable to attacks from enemies of the US, and Amboy Noynoy, the ever-reliable puppet, is allowing it. We should be able to assert our national sovereignty from territorial threats on our own terms, instead of allowing ourselves to become the battleground of US proxy wars. The Aquino government’s railroading of cha-cha, on the other hand, will allow 100% foreign ownership and control of land, businesses, industries and resources and will make Filipinos squatters in our own homeland,” he said.

Martinez said that cha-cha will also pave the way for the signing of the US-PH Transpacific Partnership in trade which will further aggravate forced migraion and the labor export policy.

He said that under the Aquino administration, the number of OFWs leaving the country increased from 2,500 daily in 2010 to 4,884 in 2013. “This is the result of massive unemployment, low wages, landlessness and privatization of social services under the BS Aquino regime,” he said.

“The government’s recourse is to further seek job markets abroad and intensify its labor export policy at the expense of the rights and welfare of Filipino workers. The labor export policy is nothing but a big business venture from which both the US and PH governments profit, with OFWs as milking cows,” Martinez said.

Migrante International called on all freedom-loving and patriotic Filipinos around the world to join protests against increased US intervention and aggression in the Philippines and in the Asia Pacific.

Pork barrel and corruption bleeding Filipinos dry
The migrant leader said that aside from perfectly playing his role as puppet and “Amboy”, BS Aquino is also primarily accountable for bleeding Filipinos dry in exchange for profit for foreign corporations and his KKK (kamag-anak, kaklase, kabarilan).

Martinez slammed BS Aquino for the continuing and worsening system of corruption and patronage politics under his administration.

Migrante International joined other sectors and groups in today's big anti-pork barrel rally led by the #abolishpork movement.

“The pork barrel scam has evolved into a more complex web of lies, deceit and exploitation of the Filipino people, with no less than BS Aquino and his allies at its helm. Mag-iisang taon na mula nang pumutok ang pork barrel scam pero hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin naa-abolish ang pork barrel,” he said.

“We still have the pork, only this time it is concentrated within and controlled by the Executive branch. After the disclosure of the Napolist, it has become more clear to us why Pres. Aquino has been loathe to abolish the pork barrel all along. Mismong ang mga pinakamalalapit niyang alyado sa gobyerno ang tunay na utak ng pork barrel scam, and his government is now employing everything to do a cover-up,” Martinez said.

He slammed the Aquino government’s“selective prosecution” of political foes, while protecting the likes of Sec.Abad and Sec. Alcala, whose names appeared in the Napolist. “Lahat ng sangkot ay dapat managot. Hindi dahil KKK ay ligtas na sa imbestigasyon at prosekusyon. Abad and Alcala and all other administration officials involved should resign, iyan ang tunay na tuwid na daan.”

Martinez said that OFWs are also calling for an independent body to conduct an urgent investigation of those involved inthe pork barrel scam. “To ensure that there will be no cover-up, an independent investigating body should not be dominated by government appointees, especially since big administration allies like Abad and Alcala have also been included in the list. OFWs and their families all over the world will oppose all attempts of a whitewash.” ###

Office Address: #45 Cambridge St, Cubao, Quezon City
Telefax: 9114910




HAPPY DEPENDENCE DAY: On Bogus Independence, US dominance and PH educ

Today, we are commemorating the 116th year of dependence of the Philippine government to the imperialist hegemony of the United States of America (USA) – all in the service and interest of foreign domination in the spheres of politics, economics and culture in the country.

We “acknowledge” the Noynoy Aquino government for being at the forefront of US hegemony – of neoliberal policies dictated by the US such as budget slash in education and the consequent push for public-private partnerships, the imperious, highly neoliberal and neocolonial K to 12 and Roadmap to Public Higher Education Reforms (RPHER), higher budget allocation for debt servicing to save the dwindling economy of imperialist US, higher budget for corruption via the pork barrel system, and the intensified US military intrusion in the country in the name of Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

These are but a few ties that the Philippine government has so graciously allowed the country to be bound to US foreign dicta. And these tell the stark truth that the Philippines will remain a neocolony as long as the government kowtows to US imperialism and as long as the Filipino people remain in passive captivity to such a ruling order.


There’s a thin distinction between internationalization and neoliberalization of education. Internationalization is one of the most abused terms that US neoliberalization has come up with: supposedly to raise the standards of education, to equalize with all countries – but in reality, internationalization means the abandonment of state subsidy to education via privatization schemes and the subsuming of the education policies of “client states” such as the Philippines to the dictates of foreign monopoly.

Internationalization of education simply means funnelling Philippine education to the interests of the international capitalist order – to generate degree programs that will produce cheap and docile labor for global market. Such is the case with two education programs in the Philippines: K to 12 and RPHER. Highlighted in these two education programs is the ultimate Americanization and neoliberalization of Philippine education. Under the K to 12, the government wills to produce semi-skilled labor and not critically-thinking citizens. Instead of promoting liberative education that will help students reach their maximum and full potential, the government via K to 12 wants students to end up as global slaves for global masters. Add to this the insensitivity of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), constant to the anti-nationalist premises of K to 12, the utter disrespect to our Philippine language and culture by eradicating the teaching of Filipino subjects in the tertiary level.

Moreover, Aquino’s RPHER promotes the worsening of the Philippine public tertiary education system. RPHER promotes the reduction of state subsidy to education and the subsequent abandonment of state responsibility to provide public education. RPHER does this by decreasing state subsidy, encouraging the reduction via amalgamation of state universities and colleges (SUCs). And in place of state subsidy, RPHER systematizes public-private partnership – the ultimate neoliberal scheme of binding state education to privatization’s dirty hands. RPHER ultimately wants to make private schools out of SUCs.

And as such, as what is happening these past decades, SUCs are reduced and are treated as Private Higher Education Institutions (PHEIs) where tuition increases have been an annual festivity for school owners and administrators, much to the burden of students. Not only increases in tuition are legalized but as well as exorbitant, redundant and dubious fees, making milking cows out of students and parents. And quite disturbing is Aquino’s and CHED’s solution to skyrocketing tuition rates: alienating scholarships and student loans, all patterned after US education policies. Philippine education policies, just like in the US, consistently make education inaccessible for students. And while promoting inaccessibility, the Aquino government is promoting student loans, making more profit out of the students and their parents.


Aquino and the ruling classes have not really learned their lesson. The history of US military hegemony in the Philippines is as violent as the wars of aggression of US imperialism. The Philippines has been a US military base for quite a long time in history – included are the tons of toxic wastes irresponsibly dumped and left by US forces, the rape of Nicole by US military soldier Daniel Smith, the ravaging of Tubbataha by the US, drones of US hovering in the country, and the Philippine-American War that US wanted to take off out of our history textbooks.

And now, as if relegating to the annals of history all the aggressions and violence of US in the Philippines, Aquino has so prettily signed EDCA. EDCA is not different from the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual Defense Treaty (MTD). It simply means US military forces and political troops gaining greater ground in the country, establishing a US bases out of the whole country to prepare a war of aggression against its enemies, subsuming our sovereignty to the political, economic, cultural and military dicta of US imperialism.


Feudalism remains to be the oldest problem of the Philippines. Unlike misrepresentations and misnomers that the country is semi-capitalist, the Philippines remains to be feudal – with feudal lords, bourgeois compradors and US imperialism dictating the affairs of the agricultural sector of the country.
Ironically, agriculture, the largest sector in the country, is still largely underdeveloped and mal-developed. Government budget for agriculture remains deplorable while US and Aquino promote the privatization of agricultural lands. The Aquino administration is so engrossed with private and foreign ownership of Philippine lands that it has unabashedly sold the country to private firms and foreign monopoly capitalists via various schemes and mechanisms, including the power-push for Charter Change.


Quite distressing is the continuous kowtowing of the Aquino government to foreign financial dictates via automatic debt servicing. Large portion of the annual fiscal budget automatically goes to debt servicing. The Aquino government loans from the International Monetary Fund – World Bank (IMF-WB) for the National Budget of the Philippines and then allocates a large portion for debt servicing. The government pays its loans in order to loan again. That is the vicious cycle of Philippine relations to US imperialist financial monopoly.

Quite disturbingly, the Aquino government loans from IMF-WB and lets the Filipino people pay for such loans. And quite disturbing even more is that the Aquino government engages in this loans system with IMF-WB to fund not education and other social services but to fund corruption via the pork barrel system. This is simply double jeopardy, most especially that the president himself has over 1.6 trillion pesos in pork barrel funds.


It is thus more imperative than ever that June 12 should remind us that we are not independent of foreign and local reactionary control. Now, more than ever, it is highly imperative that we shatter the shackles of dependence. We should strike forward and be enlightened that June 12 is Philippine Dependence – this should serve as a sign of our long time struggle for our sovereignty, genuine and democratic. To move forward and defy dependence, push for an education that is liberating and liberative, scientific, mass-oriented and nationalist, and be unbridled in collectively pushing forward for genuine freedom and democracy.


- National Union of Students in the Philippines





Press Statement
12 June 2014

Struggle vs. US domination and elite corruption!
On the Philippines’ 116th Independence Day

This year, the country marks the first Independence Day, so-called, after the Aquino government ratified the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US and after the pork barrel scam was exposed.

The issues point to the central problems with the country’s so-called independence. They expose the country’s independence as fake and as an illusion aimed at covering up the country’s lack of independence.

EDCA exposes the US’ continued domination and control over the Philippines, as well as the Philippine government’s continued subservience to the US. It serves as a pretext for the deployment of US military forces to the country at a scale never seen after World War II. Together with Charter Change, which is being pushed to legalize 100 per cent foreign ownership of natural resources and businesses, EDCA signals the US’ re-occupation of the Philippines.

The pork barrel scam exposes the Philippine elite’s corruption and plunder of public funds. It shows how the Philippine elite, those in the so-called opposition and the administration, uses government positions as businesses in order to further enrich themselves. It shows how the US and the Philippine elite reward those who hold big government positions with huge corruption money in exchange for implementing pro-US and pro-elite policies.

The country’s economic situation, as shown by burning issues surrounding the country’s 116th Independence Day, sharply exposes the falsity of the country’s so-called independence. The Aquino government wants to extend a 26-year old so-called land reform program that has failed to distribute lands to farmers. It is conniving with capitalists in busting workers’ union and pressing down wages. It has further worsened unemployment in the country.

Pres. Noynoy Aquino is truly an heir of cacique Emilio Aguinaldo, who declared Philippine independence “under the protection of the Powerful and Humanitarian Nation, the United States of America.” He has served the interests of the US and the Philippine elite most faithfully and is as such facing growing isolation. He has consistently stood in opposition to the Filipino workers and people’s struggle for national freedom and democracy.

Today we affirm that the patriotic and anti-imperialist tradition of the Philippine labor movement is alive and well. We pay tribute to the great Filipino working-class heroes -- such as Andres Bonifacio, Crisanto Evangelista, Felixberto Olalia, Amado V. Hernandez and Crispin Beltran -- who have significantly contributed to the struggle for national freedom and democracy. We vow to continue the struggle and take inspiration from their lives and struggles.

Today, we march against continued US domination as recently embodied by EDCA and against continued elite corruption as recently embodied by the pork barrel scam. We are continuing the struggle for national freedom and democracy. We hold Aquino accountable for his extreme puppetry to the US, his defense of his fellow elites and his many other crimes. We vow to persevere in the struggle for a country that is truly independent and democratic.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597


Media Release
11 June 2014

KMU urges public to join Independence Day protests

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) called on all freedom-loving Filipinos today to join protests scheduled on Independence Day, June 12, saying it will march to call for the prosecution of all those involved in the pork barrel scam and for the junking of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

KMU said it will condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino, whom it calls the “Pork Barrel King” for refusing to go after his allies who have been exposed as involved in the pork barrel scam and for approving the EDCA.

“We call on all freedom-loving Filipinos to join the Independence Day protest and call for freedom from corruption and foreign domination. The protest will certainly be critical of Aquino under whose watch corruption and foreign domination worsened,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

In the morning of June 12, KMU will join organizations under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in marching to the US Embassy to condemn continued foreign domination over the country and call for the scrapping of the EDCA.

In the afternoon, KMU will gather at Plaza Sta. Cruz then join other organizations under Bayan in Liwasang Bonifacio, then finally march to Mendiola.

“Let us commemorate Independence Day by condemning Aquino’s defense of his KKK, his Kapamilya, Kabarilan, and Kaalyado who are involved in the pork barrel scam and other corruption issues. Let us continue the fight that we began at the Million People March last Aug. 26,” Labog said said.

While marching, KMU will stage the “wedding” of Aquino and Janet Lim-Napoles, suspect in the pork barrel scam, in which Budget Sec. Butch Abad will play the best man while Justice Sec. Leila de Lima will play the maid of honor.

The “Kasal ng mga Kawatan” will show how Aquino and Napoles have been working with each other and not against each other in pinning down the Liberal Party’s potential opponents in the 2016 elections while keeping mum on the involvement of Aquino’s allies in the pork barrel scam.

The labor leader said that Aquino made a mockery of Philippine independence and has sold the Philippines to the US by signing the EDCA, in which the Philippine government waives its sovereignty over parts of the country and essentially gives US troops control over those territories.

“In 1898, over a hundred years ago, we declared independence after gaining our freedom from Spanish colonial rule. It is fitting that we did not declare independence from the US, under whose thumb we are still under,” Labog stated.

KMU will also highlight the chronic unemployment in the country, as well as massive retrenchments being carried out by capitalists to bust workers’ unions, with the call “Trabaho para sa Pinoy! Sibakin lahat ng kurakot!”

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-163659