“The relationship between the US and the Philippines is far from being friendly.”
By GINO ESTELLA
MANILA – Progressive youth groups on July 4 held a lightning protest at the US Embassy here to denounce 70 years of imperialism in the Philippines.
Armed with placards, members of Kabataan Partylist and the League of Filipino Students (LFS) stormed the gates of the US embassy on the day of the supposed Filipino-American Friendship Day, urging the new administration to junk the country’s mutual defense treaties with the superpower.
“The relationship between the US and the Philippines is far from being friendly,” said LFS National Spokesperson JP Rosos in a press statement. “It is an exploitative and oppressive connection similar to a colonizer-colony relationship.”
The fourth of July– America’s independence day and an American holiday –was also supposed to be a Philippine holiday when in 1946, the US granted independence to the Philippine islands. In 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal declared the country’s Independence Day to June 12.
The protesters burned a makeshift American flag in a symbolic call for the Philippine government to assert its national sovereignty by junking its agreements with the US, likening the two countries’ relationship to a “de facto reoccupation.”
The group also called out on the superpower not to exploit the West Philippine Sea dispute between the Philippines and China as a pivot for power.
The LFS will be holding a similar protest on July 7 at the Chinese Consulate, anticipating the release of the decision by United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration on the case filed by the Philippines against China.
“China should back off as the disputed territories are rightfully ours,” said Rosos. “The decision for the arbitration case filed by the Philippines will be released in a few days, and we need China to respect and uphold the decision of the tribunal,” he said.