CURRENT POLITICAL CONCERNS
Elpidio V. Peria
23 October 2016
from : https://theworkersdreadnought.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/book-review-jose-maria-sisons-philippine-society-and-revolution/, accessed 23October 2016
To those who have lived in Davao City long before Digong became Philippine President, he has long railed against US domination in Philippine society in his speeches and statements there and for those who may not be too familiar with this, one way to get a sense of what he is talking about is to start reading PHILIPPINE SOCIETY and REVOLUTION, a must-read tract affectionately dubbed as PSR by its die-hard admirers and penned by Amado Guerrero (some wags say this is the nom d’ guerre of Jose Ma. Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines). I remember having read a dog-eared copy (a komiks version) of this when we were students living at Narra Residence Hall at UP Diliman while awaiting when classes will resume, this was during the long lull of a school break when we awaited the results of the 1986 snap elections, which later gave way to the EDSA Revolution)
Anyway, that tract explains what is US imperialism, with a nod to Lenin (the leader of the October Revolution which toppled the dynastic rulers of Russia in 1917) who put forth its five features as : 1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; 2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation on the basis of this “finance capital,” of a financial oligarchy; 3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; 4) the formation of international monopoly capitalist combines which share the world among themselves; and 5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.
The PSR however lists down several US agreements which are hallmarks of US imperialism in Philippine daily lives, it might be useful to examine them more closely now to understand where Digong is coming from :
a. The Laurel-Langley Agreement (Revised Bell Trade Act), 1954. This reflects the economic vassalage of the Philippines to U.S. imperialism. It does not only reiterate the Parity Amendment but it also unconstitutionally extends its meaning to include“parity rights” in all kinds of businesses, including the acquisition and utilization of private agricultural lands. The revised tariff schedule and the quota system still basically encourage the export of raw materials to the United States and the import of finished products from the United States. While in this agreement the United States formally relinquishes control over the Philippine monetary system, the entire Philippine economic reality is such that it is extremely dependent on foreign loans, that the U.S. firms in the Philippines can convert their huge peso earnings into U.S. dollars and that all export-import transactions are in terms of U.S. dollars. Because of the actual colonial control of the economy by U.S. imperialism, the peso sinks the moment that the Central Bank does not have enough U.S. dollars. A mere euphemism in legal verbiage does not change a material fact to its opposite.
b. The U.S.-R.P Military Bases Agreement, 1947. . Under this agreement, U.S. imperialism retains its control over the entire Philippine territory. The Filipino people are literally in a large prison surrounded by strategically located U.S. land, air and naval bases. The U.S. Air Force hovers above them. The U.S. Navy patrols Philippine waters as it pleases. As of 1969, apart from those in transit to or from the Vietnam War, at least 50,000 U.S. troops were reported to be stationed on U.S. military bases. As of now, U.S. imperialism has more than 20 military bases occupying close to 200,000 hectares. On these bases, U.S. military personnel enjoy extraterritorial rights. Off these bases, they are also beyond the jurisdiction of the puppet government by simply claiming to be “on a specific military duty.” The U.S. military can commit crimes against the people and ignore any subpoena from the puppet government. Under the U.S.-R.P. Military Bases Agreement, the U.S. military bases could even be expanded as U.S. imperialism may deem necessary. At any rate, the present U.S. military bases are large enough and contain enough troops to prove that U.S. imperialism holds the Philippines by armed force. These U.S. military bases are launching grounds for aggression against the Asian peoples. These bases contain nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons of genocide. (NOTE : THIS TREATY WAS TERMINATED BY THE PHILIPPINE SENATE IN 1991)
c. The U.S.-R.P. Military Assistance Pact, 1947. This unequal treaty further ensures U.S. imperialist control over the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Through the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG), U.S. imperialism extends strategic and staff direction, logistics, training and intelligence coordination to the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines. U.S. military advisers exercise direct control over the A.F.P. Most of the military equipment and facilities of the A.F.P. are granted on a loan basis by the JUSMAG. Within the reactionary armed forces, puppetry to U.S. imperialism is thoroughly built in. Under a counterinsurgency program, the reactionary armed forces are continually goaded to attack and abuse the revolutionary masses on behalf of U.S. imperialism and the local exploiting classes. The JUSMAG is actually the mastermind behind the creation of such murder units as the “Monkees,” BSDU, Home Defense Forces , “special forces,” and the like. U.S. military personnel in the JUSMAG are conspicuously present in campaigns of “encirclement and suppression” against the people, the Party and the people’s army.
d. Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, , 1951. Under this agreement, the U.S. government makes the pretext of extending economic and technical programs of assistance to the Philippine puppet government. U.S. advisers are planted in every strategic branch of the puppet government to direct and influence policies, conduct imperialist propaganda, gather economic and political intelligence and see to it that “aid” results in quick profits for private U.S. firms on foreign loans, grants and peso counterpart funds through huge purchases of U.S. commodities and through excessive payments for U.S. contractors and experts. Agents of the A.I.D. (and its predecessor agencies) have been characteristically agents of U.S. monopolies and even of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Under the A.I.D. Office of Public Safety and its direct local agent, the Police Commission, local police forces are equipped and trained to attack and disperse patriotic mass actions against U.S. imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. The A.I.D. is actually the mastermind behind the creation of “anti-riot squads,” “rondas,” and “provincial strike forces” and the like.
e. The U.S.-R.P. Mutual Defense Pact, 1951. . This unequal treaty allows the United States to use its aggressor troops to interfere in the internal affairs of the Philippines under the pretext of securing “peace” and “mutual security.” It is a redundant piece of imperialist document because there are already ample provisions in the basic military treaties on U.S. military bases and military assistance allowing U.S. imperialism to conduct aggression against the Filipino people at its whim. It is nonsensical for some reactionaries to beg U.S. imperialism to include an “automatic retaliation” clause in this treaty. Whenever its own selfish interests face extinction, U.S. imperialism never hesitates to launch aggression against the people as in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Palestine, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Cuba and so many others.
f. The Manila Pact, 1954. . This treaty created in Manila the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) for the “regional defense” of Southeast Asia. It includes two puppet governments of U.S. imperialism in Southeast Asia: namely, the Philippines and Thailand. It is dominated by imperialist powers headed by the United States. Under this treaty, U.S. imperialism can bring along the Philippines to its wars of aggression in Southeast Asia. Conversely, U.S. imperialism can bring along other puppet governments to conduct subversion and aggression against the Filipino people. It has been proven in the Korean War and in the Vietnam War that with or w
ithout direct reference to a specific regional defense treaty, U.S. imperialism can easily command the Philippine reactionary to dispatch Filipino mercenary troops abroad.
g. The Agricultural Commodities Agreements. . These are governed by U.S. Public Law 480, otherwise known as Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act. Through these agreements, the United States disposes of its surplus agricultural products by dumping them on the Philippines. These are utilized to keep under control certain “intermediate” industries like flour and textile mills which depend on imported raw materials. These are also used to manipulate local agricultural production to serve the policies of U.S. imperialism. The proceeds from the sale of these agricultural products have been used to support propaganda campaigns and educational exchange programs administered by the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Previously, the sale of U.S. war surplus materials had in the main supported these programmes to poison the thinking of key elements among the Filipino intelligentsia .
h. Agreements Pertaining to Culture and Education. . U.S. governmental agencies like the A.I.D., the U.S. Educational Board, the Peace Corps and foundations like Asia Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation have a decisive say in the cultural and educational system. Exchange programmes for various sectors and travel, study and research grants are used to glorify the “American way of life” and propagate anti-national and anti-democratic ideas. The special educational fund drawn from the remaining war damage payments has been set aside to reinforce U.S. imperialist control over the Philippine educational system. In extending certain loans to the University of the Philippines, the World Bank has been used by U.S. imperialism to help keep pro-imperialist educational policies. Such a sinister agency as the C.l.A. directly or through “cover” institutions recruits Filipino agents in the educational system and mass media. Cultural and educational institutions are being increasingly used for intelligence and counterinsurgency research. Since U.S. monopoly firms are the biggest advertisers, they are in a position to dictate on the local mass media and to influence the political thinking of a great number of people. Reading materials, the radio and such audio-visual entertainment
as Hollywood and TV films are systematically used to corrode the patriotic and progressive spirit of the people. Certain reformist and religious organizations are also subsidized by various imperialist institutions to spread ideological confusion. New and old sinister arrangements are too many and diverse for us to exhaustively relate here.