The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today remarked that the Oct. 20 Leyte Landing commemoration does not do justice to the Filipino guerrillas of World War II and instead gives undue importance to the return of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and US imperialism. “The big politicians like Gloria Arroyo and others in the region give only token recognition to the Filipino guerrillas, while lavishing attention on the US,” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson.
“The patriotic Filipino guerrillas proved that the people can successfully wage armed resistance against a foreign invader.
Unfortunately, the armed struggle against the Japanese Occupation did not develop into a war for national liberation against the US reoccupation and neocolonialism. Today, the real heroes who were the Filipino guerrillas are not genuinely honored but play second fiddle to the US. The Arroyo regime preserves the colonial mentality that liberation is a reward by a foreign country, and toasts the US though it was in fact returning to its economic, political and military interests in the Philippines.”
The NDF-EV spokesperson added that the US continues to further its interests by taking advantage of the country’s backwardness and the servility of the Arroyo regime. “The US intends to set up permanent military bases in the country and intensify its military intervention against the Philippine revolution. This was made clear to the people of Eastern Visayas by the secretive holding of Balikatan joint exercises in Samar last August by the 8th Infantry Division and the US Special Forces. There are already indications that the US military may be joining combat operations with Arroyo government forces through the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines in Mindanao. Thus, while the US military may have gotten media attention for joing the relief operations for victims of recent typhoons in Luzon, its real and long-term intervention in the country is far more selfish, anti-people and violates the national sovereignty.”
Fr. Salas said that the Leyte Landing commemoration will become irrelevant in the future because there are new guerrillas who are continuing the Filipino armed resistance. “Liberation is not something given by a foreign country, because it is the people who must set their own selves free. For more than a hundred years guerrillas have been thriving in Eastern Visayas, from those who fought in the Balangiga Uprising to the anti-Japanese resistance to the New People’s Army of today. The day will come when there will be no longer praises for a foreign country here, but for our own courage and determination to have a country that is free from foreign intervention and truly sovereign and self-reliant. Let us resist the US military interventionists who are the foreign invaders of today, let us support the New People’s Army in fighting for our country and for democracy.”
Fr. Santiago Salas, Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of Philippines