By BENJIE OLIVEROS
There seems to be no limits to the depths those who are selling the Filipino people’s sovereignty, identity, and soul would go.
Economically, the Aquino government tried to push for amendments to the 1987 Constitution to remove all restrictions to foreign capital and investments. As it is, the government has already gone around these restrictions with the liberalization of the mining industry since the Mining Act of 1995. In 2014, the Aquino government liberalized the banking sector, allowing the entry and full operations of foreign banks, which would not only kill local banks, especially the small ones, but also give foreign capital effective control over the whole economy.
This is already a result of the US-PH Partnership for Growth project, signed in 2011, under which a five-year Joint Country Action Plan was agreed upon with the following objectives:
1. Create a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime in the Philippines, one that is less encumbered by corruption; (Read: Make sure that national laws are enforced overriding local government laws banning entry of foreign investments such as mining; and that the entry and operations of foreign corporations are not encumbered by corruption in the issuance of permits, licenses, and concessions.)
2. Foster a more open and competitive business environment with lower barriers to entry; (Read: Remove all restrictions on foreign investments and capital.)
3. Strengthen the rule of law that is grounded in an efficient court system capable of delivering timely justice; (Read: Disputes hampering the operations of foreign businesses should be settled immediately.)
4. Support fiscal stability through better revenue administration and expenditure management. (Read: More taxes, less social services for the people; less taxes, more incentives for businesses, especially the big, foreign ones.)
As a result, local small and medium enterprises are being eaten up by big foreign corporations and the country’s workforce is left with only two options: labor under cheap wages here in the country or be sold out also as cheap labor abroad and risk the fate of abused and trafficked overseas Filipinos such as the case of Mary Jane Veloso.
Politically, the Aquino government has made the whole country a virtual US military base through the signing of the US-PH Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which allows the US Armed Forces to construct military facilities for its troops and stockpile war materiel all over the country.
The US-directed military operation to kill Marwan, which resulted in the death of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces, is a consequence of this. And yet, the Aquino government is even welcoming the deployment of more US troops under the pretext of protecting the country from China’s aggressive acts in claiming Philippine territories in the Spratly Islands and Panatag Shoal.
Culturally, the Aquino government has patterned the basic education curriculum after the American system with the K to 12 program, moved the academic calendar of tertiary education to coincide with that of the US and European systems, and now, ordered the removal of Filipino, Philippine Literature, Constitution and government from the general education curriculum in college.
The K to 12 program would eventually deprive the poor majority of tertiary education by removing state subsidy to state colleges and universities, under the justification that the program’s graduates would be already employable without going through four more years of college education.
The impact of the removal of Filipino, Philippine Literature, Constitution and government from the general education curriculum in college would not be immediately felt but it is more insidious as it would kill the language, identity and soul of the Filipino people, transforming us into nothing more than “little brown Americans.”
If not for the prompt action of Tanggol Wika and progressive groups, this could have taken effect soon.
The colonial mindset, or rather sell out, of the Aquino government, which has surpassed that of previous administrations, knows no boundaries. The only thing that could stop it from going all out is the prompt and sustained action of the Filipino people.