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IWA Joins Protest Action on the 117th Anniversary of Filipino-American War

Manila – The Philippine-American War started in February 4, 1899 after a US soldier fired on a Filipino soldier at the Pinaglabanan Bridge in San Juan. This happened while the US Congress was divided between those who are inclined to an invasion and those who wanted a so-called ‘benevolent assimilation’. The incident tilted the balance and for that became suspect.

“The US has a history of treachery as evinced by the incident that sparked the Fil-Am War. While disguising as a ‘friend’ that ‘saved’ the Philippines from the Spanish colonizers, it became the enemy,” said Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA.

In a rally at the US embassy to commemorate the event that killed at least 20,000 Filipino combatants and about 200,000 civilians in just 3 years, GABRIELA slammed the US for again offering to ‘save’ the country from China through military agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that are actually veiled invasion through ‘benevolent assimilation’.

She also said that while the US has a history of treachery, the Philippines has a history of standing up for sovereignty and against foreign domination. “The likes of Gen. Antonio Luna and his men stood up in defense of the Motherland. Then and now we have nationalists and progressives who are standing up for an independent foreign policy and against unfair agreements that impinge on our sovereignty.”

Salvador said that the Supreme Court’s recent decision to declare the EDCA as constitutional was a fatal mistake, with our sovereignty as the main casualty. “The SC still has a chance to redeem itself by correcting this mistake and acting positively on the motion for reconsideration that anti-EDCA petitioners filed yesterday.”

GABRIELA vows no let-up in protests against EDCA and ensuing Balikatan exercises which may again happen this March, as it does every year. “We are strengthening our chapters especially in identified locations for pseudo-US bases to prepare for more protest actions. We have to learn from history and follow the lead of the great heroes of the Philippine-American War in defense of our Motherland,” Salvador ended. ###

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