By KATHRINA MANUEL AND LHEALYN VICTORIA
Bulatlat.com interns asked people at the Independence Day commemoration in Manila, if they can feel that the nation is indeed independent.
All of those asked answered in the negative, citing poverty, suppression of rights and a government that is weak against foreign powers.
Medy Gonzales, 68, Anakpawis
No, because the government still doesn’t have the capacity to push for our own economy and politics. It’s still relying on the US, in return, the government is serving other countries, rather than its citizens.
Pido Gonzales, 71, Pamalakaya
In history, our heroes died because they fought for our independence, they resisted foreign powers. But what our government is doing is they’re letting our country be dominated by other countries because of their investments. And they’re slowly selling our country, our resources to them. As long as these foreign investors run our country, we’re not really independent.
Mark Macapinlac, 19, Anakbayan UP Diliman
Definitely not, because the US is still controlling us. If there is anyone who can feel the country’s independence, it’s those people at the top of the social classes.”
Ehcel Hurna, 22, Stand UP
No, because the marginalized sectors are still underserved, even if they’re the ones who need government aid. Our government is serving only those capitalists and foreign investors because they’re protecting their interests.
Gilbert Escueta, 40, ANGLO-KMU
No, because different countries are encroaching in our country. We are getting threatened by China, but our government is not doing anything but rely on the US. Our government is getting controlled by the US.
Diego Tichoso, 41, corn vendor
No, because I can’t sell properly, because sometimes, we are barred by the police. I’m doing everything so that I could earn money in a legal way, but they’re still suppressing us.”
Jeft Dela Cruz, 23, Bayan Muna
No, we are just given a false sense of independence, but the truth is, our government continues to be a puppet of America.
Boboy Justiane, 50, Samahan ng Manggagawa ng Golden Fortune Construction
No. One of our rights is the freedom of expression, but if the workers express themselves through the picket lines, we are dispersed by the police. Union leaders are getting kidnapped. The government pretends that they can’t hear us so that they could continue to protect those capitalists.
Fidel Velasco, IFI
“Ordinary people can’t feel the so-called independence of our country because the government continues to serve other countries, rather that its people.”
Fred Garcia, 58, Samahan ng mga Manininda sa UP
For me, the real sense of independence is you could do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t result to anything bad, or could cause damage. But what’s happening is, if you notice or did something that was right, but does not favor those in the government, it’s either they will threaten you or kill you. Where’s the independence in that? There’s none.
Lydia De Castro, 67, Bayan Muna
The poverty rate in our country is getting higher, instead of getting low, because the government is not giving a long-term solution for it. So, for me we are not truly independent.
Lourdes Jeremias, 43, Kadamay
Almost all of the laws that are being passed by our government are anti-poor. The PPP, K12, all of it go against the welfare of the Filipino, but are favorable to other countries and investors. I could definitely say that there’s no independence in our country.