“Kamatayan para sa imperyalismo!” screamed protesters as they march along Kalaw Ave. in time for the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the Philippine-American War.

[Death to imperialism]

Various anti-imperialist groups and supporters assailed such friendship as a sham only to conceal to the gross human rights violations and killings committed by the United States ever since the Philippine-American war in 1899. A war that killed more than 1.5 million Filipino the groups referred to as an imperialist genocide.

“Tulad noong nagdeklara ang mamamayang Pilipino at ang kanyang rebolusyonaryong pwersa ng digmaan sa US, nagpapatuloy ang giyera sa pagitan ng rebolusyonaryong pwersa sa pamumuno ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas sa ating bansa na walang ibang layunin kundi palayain sa ekonomiko, politikal, militar, at kultural na control ng US,” said Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Jerome Adonis.

[Just as the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces declared war on the US, the conflict between the revolutionary forces led by the Communist Party of the Philippines in our country persists with the sole aim of liberating us from economic, political, military, and cultural control by the US]

Given this, the protesters marked February 4 as the day to protest the US-led wars and genocide, emphasizing the calls to end US military presence and intervention in the Philippines and an end to Israel’s genocide of Palestinians.

Solidarity for Palestinian resistance

The groups also echoed solidarity for Palestinian people in defending their land against Zionist and genocidal attacks of the state of Israel backed by the US and other foreign countries.

More than 27,000 civilians including thousands of children were mercilessly killed with about 10,000 still missing in the rubble due to the incessant bombings of Israel towards Palestine, specifically in Gaza and the Westbank area. About 1.8 million Palestinians have been displaced and cut off from food and basic necessities amid the genocidal war.

Last January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered six provisional measures for Israel following a genocide case filed by South Africa.

Such provisionary measures the ICJ states that Israel must avoid acts that violate the Genocide Convention, refrain from and punish acts of incitement and direct perpetration of genocide, and take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. It also directed the state of Israel to preserve evidence of genocide and submit a report to the court within one month regarding the steps it has taken in compliance with the directive.

Charter change, a Marcos puppetry to the US

“Sa panahon ni Bongbong Marcos, gustong lubusin ng US ang kontrol sa ekonomya ng bansa. Kaya itinutulak ang charter change para sa usapin ng pagaayos ng economic provisions,” said Adonis.

[Under the Marcos Jr. admin, the US sought to intensify its control over the country’s economy. Hence, there was a push for charter change to address the issue of amending economic provisions]

This year, many communities within and outside Metro Manila were handed out a petition to support charter change through a so-called People’s Initiative but was disguised as a financial relief.

“Ang pagbabago sa konstitusyon pangekonomiko at hanggang political ay hindi para sa interes ng mga magsasaka, ng mga kabataan, ng mga katutubo, iyan ay para sa interes ng US at iba pang makapangyarihang bansa,” Adonis continued, adding that it will only result to continuing poverty, hunger, and injustice.

[The changes in the constitution, whether economic or political, are not in the interest of the farmers, the youth, the indigenous peoples; they are for the benefit of the US and other powerful countries]

Adonis further lambasted unequal law orders and policies, especially with the classic import-dependent export-oriented posture of the Philippines in economy, politics, military and culture; saying that this only benefits big and foreign capitalists like the US.

Continuing US-RP military drills to escalate tensions between China

Following the proposed charter change, groups scored how the US aims to advance repressive and unjust policies within the Philippine economy and remove restrictions on the establishment of additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) military bases on Philippine territory.

EDCA was signed under the late President Benigno Aquino in 2014.

This coming April, the Marcos Jr. administration as well as the US eyed Batanes specifically in Mavulis, the northernmost territory in the Philippines and is located just 150 km (93 miles) from southeast Taiwan’s Orchid Island, to stage the Balikatan military exercises touted to be “bigger than ever” involving more key locations as compared to last year.

Last year, the 38th Balikatan Exercise involved 17,600 military personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, with 5,400 from the Philippines and 12,200 from the US. A month after, military exercises were also conducted between the Philippines and Australia, known as Exercise Kasangga. It involved around 200 Filipino soldiers and 50 Australian soldiers in a month-long training.

League of Filipino Students National Capital Region stressed that the US-Marcos is further escalating the tensions with another imperialist China while the country continues to assert its sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.

Meanwhile, According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the Philippines is the largest recipient of US grant assistance for defense capabilities in the Pacific region. The US is also the top key supplier of defense equipment to the Philippines but faces competition from other countries like China, Israel, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, and Germany.

The country further receives roughly $40 million annually in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for the acquisition of defense articles and services, as per the International Trade Administration.

The protest ended with the burning flag of the US and Israel as a sign of the group’s indignation at continuing US government intervention in the Philippines.


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