Celebrated what Independence?

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Ballescas - The Freeman

June 12, 1898, the Philippine Flag was raised in Kawit, Cavite.

This was a symbolic gesture that the Filipinos were finally freed from the control of the Spanish colonizers.

Not long after, however, our country was controlled by American colonizers.

Anyway, fast forward 126 years after. Like the Kawit, Cavite event, the Philippine Flag was raised yesterday, the 12th of June, in Luneta and in various other parts of the Philippines.

Questions remain, however, about the date of independence.

Some ask: “why we are we not celebrating Independence instead on the day Andres Bonifacio and his Katipuneros declared independence from the Spaniards earlier in 1895 or 1896?”

Because Aguinaldo, the Cavite Philippine Flag raiser, ordered the death of Bonifacio?

Two dates have been offered for this Bonifacio-related Independence Day.

April 12, 1895 - when Bonifacio and the Katipuneros gathered in Pamitinan Cave in San Mateo and wrote“Viva la Independencia de Filipinas (Long Live Philippine Independence)on the cave walls to express, what some modern historians believe, to be the first cry for liberty in the Philippines.”

August 23, 1896- when Bonifacio and his troops made the famous Cry of Pugadlawin, when they tore their cedulas as symbol of their independence from colonial Spain.

There are also those who question why July 4was declared as Philippine Independence Day.

July 4 Independence Day proponents argue that on this day, the Philippine Flag was again raised, this time to symbolically mark the end of American rule in this country.

Whether the date is June 12 or July 4, what was celebrated?

Independence of our country from colonizers, the former date from the Spanish, the latter date from the American colonizers?

Since 1946, however, deplorably, this country has been run like hell by Filipinos. Not that government in the Philippines has been run like heaven by Americans or the Spaniards either.

Filipinos have never really been free from self-serving leaders, whether Filipinos or colonizers.

Neither have they been freed from unequal systems and structures. And electoral fraud and abuse.

Woefully, Philippine politics and economy are not truly free from wealthy/powerful and privileged Filipino elites and their foreign partners.

Nor are most Filipinos free from poverty and hunger.

Our fisherfolks, our farmers, our forest and urban dwellers have yet to be freed from their need to survive daily.

Yesterday, June 12, was the 3rdday of protest of our struggling transport workers against jeepney modernization.

Our farmers are also struggling to stay alive amidst uncertain harvests, lack of subsidy/support and knee-jerk government policies like lifting of tariffs for imported agricultural goods.

Our fisherfolks are threatened, not allowed by Chinese military to fish in our territorial waters. Starting June 15, our fisherfolks have been threatened with imprisonment, without litigation by Chinese authorities who continue to claim territory that rightfully/legally belong to the Philippines and Filipinos.

Like most parts of the world, our country and our people are not free of imminent threat of foreign invasion.

There are real fears that the Chinese, if unstopped, can be the Philippines’ next foreign invaders.

Aside from the West Philippine Sea, what other territory/resources and which areas within the Philippines have been “invaded” and controlled by Chinese?

Surely, Alice Guo’s Tarlac is not the only place where POGOs and other allegedly Chinese-military related groups may have located?

It will not be surprising at all if they are already in Pampanga/and Davao given GMA and Du30’s very open policy for the Chinese then and now.

It is also a known fact that the Chinese global strategy of extending loans/cultural support have allowed them access to ports/mining areas, academe and other resource strategic locations throughout the world, including the Philippines.

Is it not worth urgentlychecking the whole country soonest for possible Chinese presence that may pose threat to Philippine independence/security?

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