STOP EXPLOITING US
By Erick San Juan
It makes many learned Filipinos wonder no end if the government of United States of America is really the Filipinos’ big brother, or, are they our masters – the bullies - who arrogated unto themselves the image and the role of being the world’s policemen.
The Philippines’ affair with the US dates back to 1898 or, shortly after the Spanish crown made a commodity out of every Filipino and the mother land, along with other colonies of the Spain crown, including Puerto Rico and Guam. This situation is the aftermath of the Treaty of Paris, which was signed by the two military powers of those times. The treaty stipulates that the US will pay the Crown of Spain the sum of US$ 20 millions in exchange for the colonies which the Iberians will cede to the US .
When they signed the pact, the Katipuneros led by then President Emilio F. Aguinaldo, thinking that the Americans were their allies – because they were given money to buy arms and bullets in Hongkong.
As the US armada showed up at Manila Bay , the Filipinos were already in the verge of achieving for themselves self-rule. Then, the guardia civil who were holed in behind the walled city were running out of gunpowder and ammunitions. The Spanish guards were already starving, because in fact, Aguinaldo’s columns had effectively sealed off most, if not all of the cuarteles and the conventos in Manila – at least. They were practically knocking at the gates of the walled city of Intramuros and were ready to deliver the final blow that could have subjugated the conquestadores who, using the cross and the sword three centuries earlier, hoodwinked our forebears into allowing the friars to build churches and thus influence our culture from Batanes to Zamboanga.
As fate would have it, President Aguinaldo and his flag officers never knew that right after money changed hands between the Americans and the Iberians, the Filipinos’ outlook would drastically change, because the high military officials of Spain and the US had hatched a scheme to effect the latter’s assumption of the colonizer’s role. They made it appear that the US forces were after the ass of the guardias civil who they rained with a few artillery shots. But as soon as the more experienced US Cavalry troops set foot on the shores of Manila , they started pointing their guns towards the Filipino freedom fighters. This forced President Aguinaldo and his men scampering to safety by dashing towards the north until they got to Palanan, Isabela where he was captured by the pursuing American troops, but not until after he lost several of his flag officers, including Heneral Gregorio del Pilar in their attempt to uphold the republic which the Filipinos established earlier in Malolos and at the Biak na Bato caves in the Sierra Madre mountains.
Now, with trouble plaguing Georgia , the Bush administration is seen to roll out a US$ 1-B economic aid package to help rebuild the pro-west former soviet state. Fact is: the US have already given a lot of assistance not only to Georgia , but to their other favorites as well, including Israel , Pakistan and a host of other states, but the Philippines from whom their troops learn a lot.
No doubt, Filipinos are short-changed. Through the Balikatan military exercises, the US troops get to learn how to adopt and fight a war in tropical settings. With our primitive culture, the US troops are able to acquire effective jungle survival skills. In return, the Filipinos are supposed to be entitled to aids in modernizing our weaponry.
The sad part is: after they acquire all the skills they set out to learn from us, they never even bother to leave some of their modern weapons for the elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to learn and use in addressing threats to its national security. By their actuations, the US seems like trying to keep the AFP as primitive as it is.
At the turn of the century, US forces tried to contain, but failed to subdue the fierce fighting Moro in Southern Philippines . Because of the series of encounters they had with the determined mujahideens, the US invented the .45 caliber pistol, which is popular for its knockdown power. This handgun became the Americans’ antidote to the rushing up tactics being employed against their troops by the determined fighters in Sulu.
Does that in anyway tell us that up to now, the US is still fearful of the ingenuity, the innovation and determination of Filipino fighters, such that they can not allow the AFP to grow? What kind of an ally is the US ? Is the US out to just exploit the Filipinos to the end? Most Filipinos like the American people but it seems that the US government's foreign policy is being manipulated by vested interests ,thus destroying its good relationship even from allies like they're so called "brown" brothers who now see some of them as perceived enemies.
Americans wake up, Pinoys are pliant like a bamboo but we are not dumb.