There is a long tradition of anti-colonial struggle in the Philippines, a history of resistance spanning over more than five hundred years. June 12 commemorates the declaration of the Philippine independence from Spain in 1898 and the people’s sovereignty against the Spanish colonial power. However, this independence is a false independence, evident in the fact that it was supported out-right by the United States.
The Philippines today is a neo-colony of the United States. It is intentionally kept in a semi-feudal condition where peasants are so exploited they cannot survive off the wages they are given. It is intentionally kept under-industrialized so the people rely on foreign capital and manufacturing, so that the economy is dependent on exporting raw materials. The Philippines is rich, but the people are poor – western imperialism and capitalism is the reason.
Of course, this occupation and oppression could not occur without collaborators. In the past, Ferdinand Marcos borrowed over US$26.2 billion from international creditors, causing the Philippines to be one of the most indebted countries in Asia. The Marcos family lived luxuriously while he brutally suppressed political dissent and impoverished his country. In the aftermath of the People Power Revolution, Marcos and his family were whisked away to Hawaii by the US military, avoiding being held accountable for his actions by the masses.
Most recently, the west had found a new puppet — Rodrigo Duterte’s reign of terror had always had backing from foreign powers. For example, the AFP receives millions of dollars from the United States to carry out oppressive anti-terror operations. Meanwhile, land defenders and peasants who stand up to the exploitation that multinational mining corporations are routinely subject to state surveillance and killed – the Philippines is one of the deadliest places to be an environmental activist.
Today, there is a revolutionary movement of a new type – a national democratic revolution. Mass organizations such as Anakbayan, Gabriela and Migrante empower Filipino people both in the homeland and the diaspora to fight against the imperialists and their collaborators. CPSO-Toronto supports the Filipino people in their fight for a truly independent nation, free of imperialists and those who would exploit their kababayan. Long live the people’s struggle!