Cutting Off the Ties of a Friendship that Never Was

Patnubay de Guia
NDFP-Southern Tagalog Region
6 July 2012

Celebrating July 4 as Filipino-American Friendship Day is one part imagination, one part offensive. Reckoning the relationship we have with the United States as friendship is pure imagination; believing that there are reasons to celebrate is offensive to the Filipino people and much more dishonorable to our ancestors who fought and died for national freedom and independence during the 1898 Philippine revolution.

If we’ve followed history at all, we’ve heard the tale:  From 1946 to 1962, the 4th of July was originally celebrated as the Philippine Independence Day granted by the U.S. until President Diosdado Macapagal issued a presidential proclamation moving the date to June 12 to commemorate Philippine independence. June 12, 1898 is the date that the Philippine revolutionary government, headed by General Emilio Aguinaldo, declared independence from Spain. He then proclaimed July 4 as Philippine-American Friendship Day, which coincides with the United States’ Independence Day.

But neither July 4 nor June 12 can be considered as Philippine Independence Day. The nation’s hard-fought freedom and independence as fruits of the 1898 Philippine revolution slipped off the hands of the Filipino people when, after conquering Spain, the US took over. On the other hand, the 1946 declaration of independence was a farce. The revolutionary government headed by Aguinaldo was trained not to be independent but as a puppet of the US imperialist that made the Philippines in tie and bound to the US, strong and secure. Both conveniently call it “friendship” when all it was and still is bondage.

The Aquino government recently payed homage to the United States and expressed willingness to serve its needs and interest in the name of an “enduring friendship.” Without an inch of reluctance, it strengthened the nation’s ties with the US that are the foundations of its further influence and intervention to our economic, political and cultural affairs disabling the nation to exercise genuine freedom and sovereignty. As amorphous as the Aquino administration has become, it seeks and exists to answer the needs of its imperialist master at the expense of the Filipino people who are living in destitution and poverty.

Decades of “friendship” with the United States brought nothing to the Philippines. With mutual trust and respect being practically nil between the Philippines and the US, nothing fundamental has changed in the lives of the people. The US does not see the Philippines as a nation but as pawn; the Filipino people not as friends but as mere slaves. Doesn’t friendship mean and demand the opposite?

The Aquino administration tries so hard in strengthening its friendship with the United States without even establishing friendship with its own people. It should remember that during the 1898 revolution, the United States unleashed all-out terror against the Filipino people’s struggle for national liberation – reminding us that it never came to save us. It never will. Believing otherwise is imagination in full display. The United States is, in fact, the Filipino people’s enemy.

Standing up for the Filipino people’s needs and interests would be the repudiation of all things that binds us to the United States establishing the Philippines as a sovereign nation worthy of respect and enjoying freedom from any foreign intervention. That is, above all else, cutting off all the ties of a friendship that never was.