Ban Trump! Realize Historical Justice!
More than a century ago, the people of Balangiga in Samar exacted to the American military invading forces one of the most devastating defeats that the American conquest experienced. The Balangiga encounter was the single biggest defeat that the occupational troops experienced under its new subject peoples. As a reaction to this shattering loss, the Americans launched a bloody counter offensive that was already being implemented in other parts of the archipelago to force the Filipino people into submission. They burned the villages, pillaged the homes, raped the women and took significant material booty to highlight their invading forces’ capability to turn Samar into a ‘howling wilderness.’ “Kill and burn!” was the marching orders given by Gen Jacob Smith to the invading troops to punish the Filipino revolutionaries and its mass base.
The resultant demographic crisis brought about by the invasion - thru military actions, the spread of disease, the hunger and malnutrition caused by the institutionalization of the policy of building concentration camps to Filipino resistance fighters and their communities - should be remembered as part of the historical injustice committed by the American imperialist troops against the Filipino people. The war booty that they stashed into the United States, the most popular of which was the Balangiga Bells to signal their military victory against the people was part of this injustice.
The visit of American President Donald Trump to the Philippines is again an affirmation of the centuries old relations of tutelage and subservience of the Philippines to the United States.
Once again, American imperialism descends to the land of its submissive and compliant subject to affirm domination and hegemony in the region. Once again, American military might is being projected beyond its shores and into the territories of nations under its fold. And once again, American economic interests are being secured by way of multilateral and multinational agreements that will protect and advance American capital in the area.
The Filipino people should oppose this affirmation of American hegemony in the Philippines. We must be reminded of the horrors brought about by the centuries of American aggression in the country that resulted in the loss of lives of hundreds of thousands of our people and the continuing economic crisis that can be rooted in the American invasion of the Philippines.
The people have long campaigned to correct the historical injustice committed by the United States against the Philippines. The campaign for the return of the Balangiga Bells; the campaign for the official recognition of the atrocities committed by the invading American troops in the Philippines; the campaign for the official inclusion of the historical themes on American invasion and the wars of aggression that the United States implemented in the country; and the campaign to have an official apology from the American government are all part and parcel of the campaign to correct the historical injustice that these wars of aggression has created.
The people must always assert these as part of the movement to counter the continuation of American hegemony in the region. The people must continue to campaign for the return of the war booty that the invading troops collected and stashed into their country. The people must resist the continuation of the wars of aggression of the United States in the region as part of the campaign for historical justice. Ban Trump! Realize Historical Justice! Return the Balangiga Bells!
ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS - PHILIPPINES
2/F Teachers’ Center Building, Mines st. corner Dipolog st., Brgy. VASRA, Quezon City
Tel.Fax: (+63 2) 283 9669, (+63 2) 426 2238