Commemorate the valor of
the Filipino people! Defend our sovereignty!
A Joint Press Statement by
Tanggol Kasaysayan & ACT for Sovereignty
09 April 2019
Tanggol Kasaysayan and ACT
for Sovereignty join the Filipino people in commemorating the valor
of Filipino martyrs this April 9 who fought to defend the
sovereignty of our country. This is in honor and recognition of our
people’s deep-rooted history of fighting for freedom and for the
promotion of people’s welfare. On this day, we remember the
suffering and sacrifice of patriotic Filipinos who struggled to
frustrate foreign attempts to steal and colonize our territories.
As we commemorate the
Philippine Day of Valor, we recognize that we are still confronted
with threats and challenges to our sovereignty. We remain to be
bound to unequal military pacts with the United States of America
through the Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, and
Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which are skewed in favor of
foreign interests and leave our country susceptible to attacks from
countries antagonistic towards the US government. Meanwhile, China
is relentless in its aggressive take over of islands within our
shores in the West Philippine Sea as it continues to assert the
unrecognized 9-dash line and as China makes itself known as a new
global superpower. Through the establishment of artificial islands,
China utilizes our sands and the soils from our mountains to create
a network of defense for the expansion of its naval bases.
China further chains the
Philippines through the funding of various projects in the
Philippines. Using the classic template for a skewed contract in
favor of China which it has used in other economically struggling
countries, the Philippines has pawned off its natural resources and
rights to govern critical infrastructures in the country in exchange
for huge business loans. Ridiculously high interest rates, shorter
lengths of repayment plans, exclusively granting project contracts
to Chinese corporations who employ only Chinese workers – these are
just some of the unfair provisions in the loan contracts that the
Duterte regime blindly agreed to in the interest of ‘Build, Build,
Build’. Several projects are t be funded by these onerous loans,
which include the Chico River Dam project, the construction of
Kaliwa Dam, and the reclamation of parts of Manila Bay. Should we
fail to repay these debts, China reserves the right to claim our
natural resources and to control important public infrastructures to
the detriment of the lives and livelihoods of the nation.
The anomalous relations
between the Duterte regime and the Chinese government should be
exposed. We must learn the lessons of our history – the People must
fight for the country’s independence and sovereignty at the first
instance of threat against it.
These lessons can be
observed as we commemorate the Philippine Day of Valor.
Unfortunately, even these learnings are in danger of being relegated
to oblivion as the state neglects its duty to strengthen our
historical consciousness. The state has abandoned its role in
propagating and cultivating patriotism. Through the continuing K to
12 program, Philippine History has been removed from High School
curriculum and, in tertiary education, it has been transformed from
learning about events from the past towards varying interpretations
of history, which runs the risk of diluting our understanding of our
identity as a nation.
It is high time for us to
once again assert the valor of the Filipino people. We shall put
into practice the lessons of history about our tradition of
resistance against foreign domination. It is time to forward the
interests of the people as basis for all international relations.
Our national sovereignty and the security of future generations
shall take primacy over accumulation of profit and other financial
gains for the few from entering anomalous contracts. These, however,
will only be made possible by a people with vast and deep historical
consciousness who can elevate our commemoration of days like these
to reliving the lessons of the past in the face of threats against
the welfare and future of our nation. These can be guaranteed
through the unity of the Filipino people in advancing a society
where the interests of the majority trumps those of the few and
those of foreign invaders.
Learn from the lessons of
Commemorate the valor of the Filipino people against
Fight for Philippine
freedom and sovereignty!