JPEPA Economic Invasion: Who among the Senators will be the Collaborators and Patriots?

The treaty symbolizes the second invasion of the country by Japan and that senators may choose to be patriots or collaborators when they vote on the controversial agreement, said Arnold Padilla of the No Deal coalition.

Posted by Bulatlat
Vol. VIII, No.2, February 10-16,2008

No Deal!, a coalition of organizations and individuals opposing the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), said that the treaty symbolizes the “second invasion” of the country by Japan, and that senators may choose to be patriots or collaborators in this invasion when they vote on the controversial agreement.

“This invasion could prove to be even more destructive on the economy and people’s livelihood than the Japanese assault during World War II,” No Deal! spokesperson Arnold Padilla said. “So we ask our senators, will they collaborate with the aggressors and participate in the rape of our economic sovereignty and patrimony? Or will they choose to be patriots and fight till the end to defend the national interest?”

The anti-JPEPA coalition noted that the treaty is part of Japan’s grand design to establish a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in East Asia (CEPEA). Japan’s motives in the JPEPA are still essentially the same with its agenda when it invaded countries, including the Philippines, more than six decades ago. Before, they wanted to set up the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, said the group.

No Deal! warned senators that history has not been kind to traitors and collaborators. It cited Jose P. Laurel, who chose to collaborate with the Japanese during World War II, and is known in history as the puppet president of Japan. On the other hand, Jose Abad Santos is regarded in history as a true patriot for choosing to be executed by the Japanese imperial army instead of pledging allegiance to the invaders. “We celebrate and build monuments for our heroes and only have scorn for traitors,” Padilla said.

Senate insiders told No Deal! that the committee report on the JPEPA, prepared by the committees on foreign relations and trade and commerce, is “almost done” and might be circulated next week. Senator Miriam Santiago, chair of the foreign relations committee, is expected to endorse the report and call for the ratification of the treaty.

“We have been holding bilateral talks with senators through various channels to convince them to say ‘no deal’ to the JPEPA. Our latest count is that five to six senators will likely vote against the treaty,” said Padilla. They include Senators Jamby Madrigal, Nene Pimentel, Manny Villar, Pia Cayetano, Noynoy Aquino, and Chiz Escudero. “We will closely monitor the senators’ position and public statements regarding the deal, as well as report the results of our dialogue with them to the public so that the people will know who will betray the country and who will defend it,” he added. IBON Foundation/Posted by

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