On the Anniversary of the Ending of the Republic of the Philippines-U.S. Military Bases Agreemenf

A reflection on the junking of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement by Anakbayan-NY/NJ member Gary Labao:

September 16, 1991

by Gary Labao on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 1:27am

It’s been almost two decades ago today when the RP-US Military Bases Agreement was junked and became a significant portion of Philippine history.

September 16, 1991 was just as historical as the Katipunan revolution that put an end to centuries of Spanish colonial domination, or the turbulent First Quarter Storm that eventually led to the dismantling of the US-Marcos dictatorship.

September 16, 1991 was one of those days in Philippine history that was victoriously marked due to the simple idea of “love for country and love for freedom”. The Philippine Senate at the time, one that represents the interest of the big bourgeois-compradors and big landlords, stood with a principle and on the same side as the Filipino patriots, progressives, militants, workers, peasants and even with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in demanding an end to the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. It was a true emotional moment for the Philippine nation to stand firmly united, brave, daring and defiant, a true characteristic of a genuine red-blooded Filipino in the tradition of Lapu-Lapu, Rizal, Mabini and Bonifacio.

It was a victory of the Filipino people. The move proved to the world that as a nation, we the Filipinos can and have the ability to defend national sovereignty and uphold patriotism against foreign intervention. It proved that we as a nation can unite together along patriotic ideals disregarding political or ideological differences. It proved that we can oppose and say “NO!” to the most powerful country in the world the United States of America.

Of course, like the Katipunan revolution and the EDSA uprising of 1986, such victories were short-lived. The declaration of Philippine independence was never recognized and the US immediately occupied our country as a US colony. When the US-Marcos dictatorship fell it didn’t take long until tyranny and corruption were also restored. The September 16, 1991 victory was also short-lived. As soon as the last US soldier left the Philippine shores and the gates of the largest US air and naval military bases in the Pacific was locked, more troops soon arrived and occupy various parts of our country via the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Now in the 21st century, the Filipino people have waited too long for genuine nationalism and democracy. We have yet to be a nation genuinely free from any foreign domination, control or influence, or at the very least without the presence of any foreign military on our soil as mandated by the Philippine constitution.

Philippine society obviously has many other problems and issues such as land reform, unemployment, crimes, drugs, corruption, traffic, jueteng, etc. But as a society, we need unity and without unity it is difficult to accomplish any goal, and now that the nation is under a new regime, we need to continue to work together and unite for a common goal. A goal that can ensure that our nation is not only free from corruption, wang-wang, drugs and crimes, jueteng, incompetent and abusive Police force, etc. but most importantly free from US military intervention. We must unite to junk the VFA and oppose any effort of any foreign military powers to use and abuse our land, our people and our resources for their own interest, we must protect our own national interest. We must fight for genuine nationalism and democracy.

On September 16, 1991, under the first Aquino regime, we united as a nation together with the Philippine Senate to stand against the extension of the RP-US Military bases. Now that we are under the regime of another Aquino, the Filipino people must be able to push it even further towards a truly US military free Philippines!

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