Ban Trump! Re­al­ize Historical Jus­tice!

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION -

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!


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