In our desire to understand the perennial predicament in our country we need to revisit our past history. We need to reexamine how our past presidents ruled and how their rule has perpetuated the deplorable situation our country has fallen into. Time and again we need to pound our heads and remind ourselves that –
Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.
When the Philippines was established in 1946 upon the granting of a bogus Independence by the United States of America, Manuel Acuna Roxas was installed as the first president of the new-born Philippine Republic. Thereupon, President Roxas imposed upon himself the task of requesting the United States of America to extend reparations money for the war damage suffered by the Philippines because our country, especially the major cities, was subjected to intense bombings by the Americans purportedly to flush out the Japanese forces that had dug in at a time when the Pacific War was about to end.
The Americans agreed to give war damage money only if the Republic of the Philippines amended the 1935 Constitution to give equal rights to Americans in the exploitation of our natural resources, such as timber, mining, logging, etcetera, as well as in the operation of public utilities. This was the so called Parity Amendment. .
It was a blackmail. And Manuel A. Roxas was only too willing as an accomplice to this imperialistic design of the Americans by virtue of his vulnerability as a confirmed collaborator. He joined the Japanese puppet government in the Philippines during the Second World War. In short, this was a way of exonerating him of his treasonous crime against the Filipino nation. Verily, the deal was concluded with Roxas installed as chief executive in exchange for the Parity Rights.
As president of the Republic, Manuel A. Roxas engineered the acceptance of the Parity Amendment to be an appendage of the Philippine Constitution and he agreed to all the demands of the Americans in finalizing the Military Bases& Military Assistance Agreements with the United States. And for this, he was liberated and cleansed of the taint of collaboration. President Roxas is well remembered as an unabashed pro-American (amboy) and this can be attributed to purely personal reasons rather than motivated by a commitment to the people’s supreme welfare. It is said that to his dying day he was grateful to his American imperialist benefactors.
The Parity Amendment has since become a template of reference in a code of conduct which has guided and directed all subsequent Presidents in perpetuating a system of misrule that is premised on a system of subservience to the interests of the U.S.A. In plain language this is nothing more nor less than shameless puppetry—pagpapatuta..
But puppetry has always for its rewards the fruits of corruption. And corruption proceeds from being beholden to the puppeteer who disposes the goods in exchange for far-reaching economic benefits. The continuing commitment to abide by the Parity Rights serves as a constant pledge by every Philippine political leadership to faithfully serve American imperialist interests. Of course, this inevitably engenders bureaucratic corruption.
Bureaucratic corruption is the abuse of power and unbridled license to use official position for personal enrichment.. And nothing puts this more succinctly than the rhetorical mouthful of Senator Avelino in declaiming “What are we in power for?” Thus has puppetry to US Imperialist interests consigned our country to backwardness and subjected our people to utter impoverishment.
It is good to listen to the great nationalist Claro M. Recto who was a critical witness to the events that transpired during that historical masquerade. He said:
“This parity clause, it need not be said, is grossly unfair. This is indeed the first instance in history where an independent nation has granted to citizens of another rights equal to those enjoyed by its own citizens.
“No other independent country in the world except ours has granted parity rights to the citizens of another.
“Parity opens the door to foreign direct investment. In fact, foreign investment constitutes the very motivation for parity rights.”
The foresight demonstrated by the nationalist senator finds its manifest reality in our present situation. The Filipino nation has always been at a disadvantaged position vis-à-vis the boundless benefits that accrue to the American monopoly capitalists who enjoy the mandate of the Parity Rights. And yet, our current leadership, not satisfied with being always at the losing end of the bargain, intends to worsen the situation by its surreptitious design of allowing one-hundred percent foreign-owned corporations to buy and own properties of our national patrimony. Such abominable conspiratorial plot is unforgiveable. But President Benigno S. Aquino III and his cohorts in Congress know no bounds in subjecting our nation to further extreme disadvantage which can only lead to a scenario of national disaster.
Our country, with the pro-imperialist policies followed by the current regime of President Aquino will gradually, if not drastically, fall into foreign hands. And heaven knows what fate of ever-worsening poverty awaits the great masses of our people. More than that, our political independence which has actually been reduced to utter insignificance will become a big laughing stock in the community of nations.
It is however well to note that Manuel A. Roxas and all other supposed native Filipino leaders invariably used nationalist rhetoric in public but deep in their hearts and minds have only their selves and their class interests. All generations of Filipino rulers have faithfully followed the model of hypocrisy and treachery perpetuated by the system of puppetry to American imperialism starting from Roxas down to Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, and down to Cory Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Gloria and now Noynoy Aquino.
In Philippine socio-political affairs, US Imperialism begot two twins, namely: Puppetry and Corruption, and Poverty and Underdevelopment.