News in Pictures: Progressive Groups Mark 112th Independence Day with ‘Counter-Parade’ Depicting Arroyo’s ‘Legacy of Failure’

Text and photos by ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL

MANILA — “Fight for genuine independence!”

This is the call of the various progressive groups as they marched to US Embassy in commemoration of the 112th declaration of Philippine Independence Saturday, denouncing US imperialism and the US-led war against terrorism.

“We may have been celebrating Independence Day for 112 years, but we remain chained to neo-liberal policies that compromise our economy,” said Trina Federis, National President of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).  

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo undermined Philippine sovereignty by implementing the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement, allowing US troops to establish permanent bases in the southern part of the Philippines.

Rita Baua of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) also demand justice for Gregan Cardeño. On January, Cardeño signed a contract with SkyLink Security Agency that posted him as an interpreter for the American troops in Cotabato City. A few days later, Cardeño was found dead inside a US barracks in Marawi City, allegedly committed suicide.

Baua said that justice must be served not only to Cardeño but also to Capt. Javier Ignacio who was killed after he helped Cardeño’s family with the case. “We should not let the US conquer us here in our own land,” Baua said.

The groups also denounced the Arroyo administration for spending Php10M for its Independence Day celebration held in Luneta. With the theme “Kalayaan: Tagumpay ng Bayan”, it showcased the achievements of the nine years of the Arroyo government and featured a float parade.

Led by Bayan, a counter-parade of floats from UN Avenue to Mendiola was held, carrying issues that they said were Arroyo’s “legacy of failure”. (

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