Feb 4th marks the 124th anniversary of the beginning of the Philippine-American War when the United States launched a war of aggression against the Filipino following the overthrow of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. The Philippine-American war marks the start of a struggle that continues today — the Filipino people’s struggle against US economic and military control over the country.
Today, both the US and the Philippine governments continue to tout the US-Philippine Alliance as a “friendship.” In reality, the US-PH alliance primarily serves elitist economic and military interests, neglecting the rights and welfare of the working class people of its countries. ICHRP-US recognizes that US aggression has dictated US relations with the Philippines; however, at the same time, we also recognize working class and oppressed people in the US can link in solidarity to oppose US economic and military programs that perpetuate the human rights crisis in the Philippines while the US government fails to address domestic social and economic problems.
The Biden Administration in the US failed in responding to the crises of the Duterte regime in the Philippines and the thousands of human rights violations that came with it. Now, the Biden administration has given Marcos Jr. unequivocal support to ensure the US can hold onto its military stronghold in the Asia Pacific and profit from its business investments in the Philippines.
At home we have seen prices skyrocket for basic necessities. In the Philippines inflation has continued to worsen and even basic goods- such as onions, sugar, garlic- have reached prices close to or even above prices in American grocery stores. Wages have not risen to match inflation in the US or in the Philippines. Those who fight for better wages and working conditions are villainised and harassed in both countries. In the US huge corporations have launched campaigns of union-busting to hold onto their huge profits at the expense of their workers. In the Philippines this anti-union struggle has led to the jailing and murders of union activists and leaders. We must understand that the peoples of both countries have more in common with each other than with the brutal Marcos regime or its happy business partner, the Biden administration.
US Defense Secretary Austin visited the Philippines this week to secure the creation of 5 more bases under the Enhanced Defense Coordination Agreement (EDCA). EDCA was signed into law in 2014- under the Aquino III and Obama administrations, while Joe Biden was vice-president. It is fitting that he would continue this unequal treaty- and further implement US troop deployment and control of Philippines land, air, and seas. It was 124 years ago that US troops began their assault on the Filipino people, leaving 3 million dead.
At that time however, progressive elements of the American people opposed US aggression in the Philippines. We Americans who wish to espouse freedom and democracy must question the need of our government to continue the American military presence in the Philippines. We call again- to build people-to-people solidarity and see that we can and must unite against these ills of society!
As Americans, we have the ability to amplify the voices of the landless farmers, the exploited workers, the indigenous people, and the many other oppressed classes and sectors in Philippine society. We must stand in solidarity with them, and oppose Biden and the US’s role in supporting the son of a dictator, the despotic thief in Malacañang. We can not stand by as the US continues to export its aggression overseas! We can not bear to see a single penny or dime spent on continuing the bloody legacy of the Philippine-American war! Fight to end US support for the Marcos regime!
#USPHSolidarity #USOutofPH #PassthePHRA