Promote anti-US imperialist nationalism and struggles under the Duterte regime
We mark today the 118th anniversary of the June 12 declaration of false independence by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo who presented himself a traitor and US stooge when he proclaimed the nascent Philippine Republic to be under the protection of the US government.
Aquinaldo’s declaration marked the end of 300 years of Spanish colonialism but merely presaged what would be another era of colonial subjugation, this time under the US imperialists.
The superior military might of the US will ultimately conquer the relatively poorly-armed revolutionary forces of the Katipunan in the Filipino-American war of 1900-1913. The US will establish more than four decades of US colonial rule until 1946 and subsequently perpetuate a plunderous neocolonial rule of the Philippines through a chain of US puppets from Manuel Roxas to Benigno Aquino III.
In marking this year’s June 12, the Filipino people are keenly aware of the favorable conditions and broad possibilities for promoting anti-US imperialist Philippine nationalism and advancing the struggle for national freedom with the non-US puppet incoming Duterte regime.
An avowed “Leftist”, Duterte is set to be the first president of the Philippine client-state who is not beholden to US imperialism.
His rise to the presidency is starkly significant after six years of all-out puppetry by the outgoing Aquino regime which allowed the US imperialists to fortify its military foothold in the country by expanding military presence on the pretext of defending against China encroachments and by re-establishing US military bases through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
As a Mindanaoan, Duterte has called for rewriting the history of Mindanao from the point-of-view of the people’s resistance against their subjugators and colonizers. The Filipino people can support Duterte in such an endeavor in order to highlight the courage and heroism of the Moro people and Lumads of Mindanao in their resistance against Spanish and US colonizers.
As president, Duterte can also initiate a rewriting of all history books in order to expose and erase all the lies promoted by the US imperialists through their miseducation of the Filipinos from the early days of US colonialism to the present. History books written under the auspices and funding of US agencies have invariably downplayed the brutality of the US war to subjugate and ravage the country where 1.4 million Filipinos were killed in massacres, tortures and widespread impoverishment and disease.
The Filipino people must revisit their history and promote nationalism on the basis of their united resistance against colonialism and neocolonialism. They must vigorously oppose efforts by certain academics and bourgeois historians who seek to redefine Filipino nationalism as a product of colonialism and not as a tool in their struggle against colonialism.
These historians serve the interests of the US imperialists by justifying colonialism as a mere component of “globalization” conveniently omitting the grave injustice, oppression, exploitation and plunder, violence and abuses suffered by the Filipino people. They also seek to obscure the historical continuum between the present backward, agrarian and non-industrial system and the past history of colonial rule which shaped the social and economic system in accordance with monopoly capitalist interests.
The burgeoning alliance with the Duterte regime can also see cooperation in the field of promoting nationalism with a clear anti-imperialist content, not the shallow “national pride” being promoted by the corporate media. Duterte can work with the national democratic forces to develop anti-imperialist nationalism which in turn will help strengthen and consolidate his regime in its declared plan to pursue an independent foreign policy and as a country free from foreign bases, foreign military troops and their nuclear weapons.
The Filipino people must urge the Duterte regime to pursue the policy disallowing the presence and stationing of foreign military troops by calling for the abrogation of unequal military treaties such as the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the EDCA.
The objective conditions of worsening crisis brought about by imperialist neo-liberal policies are pushing the Filipino people to develop a deep sense of anti-imperialism. For more than three decades now, the US imperialists have blunted the people’s anti-imperialism through control and manipulation of commercial media to project the US as a champion of “anti-terror” and “freedom” and justify US terrorism, acts of aggression, intervention, occupation and colonization.
The patriotic and revolutionary forces can further encourage the incoming Duterte regime to support efforts for a renaissance of nationalism through a rewriting of history from the point-of-view of the Filipino people’s resistance against colonialism and imperialism. Such an effort must be directed primarily at the Filipino youth who must be reconnected with the past in order to become effective motive forces in the pursuit to change the course of the people’s history.