Activists remember Philippine-American War, vow to fight colonial influence among young
MANILA — In commemoration of the 117th anniversary of the Philippine-American War, members of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) conducted, on Thursday, a history class of sorts on Manila’s streets by protesting the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in front of the United States Embassy to remind people of “the atrocities committed by US troops against the Filipino people.”
“Even after one century, and the granting of nominal independence in July 1946, the Philippines remains captive of the US. This is why we have the EDCA and return of US military bases in the country,” said LFS national chair Charisse Bañez, who led the militant youth group’s call for the junking of the agreement, which was recently ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.
The Philippine-American War, which took place in 1899-1902, was sparked by US soldiers who opened fire on Filipino troops in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Bañez said that by pushing EDCA, the Aquino administration has “insulted our national heroes by selling out our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Above all of these, Bañez pointed out the most important lesson from the Philippine-American War: “Even though the Americans conquered us, our fight for independence continues. We demonstrated this in 1991 when we were able to successfully call for the removal of US military bases in the country.”
“[LFS] remains serious in our campaign to rekindle among our youth a sense of history and love of country. Colonial influence is aggressive among the young, but we are not losing hope, and we know that the revolutionary spirit of the likes of Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, Gregorio del Pilar, remain within our fellow Filipinos,” she added. SFM