On the eve of the 125th anniversary of the Philippine-American War, we find ourselves reflecting on a historical event that forever altered the Philippines’ socio-political landscape. The war, noted for its significant civilian casualties and the lasting impact of U.S. military actions, serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of global expansion and imperialism.
Historical Roots and Modern Parallels
Following the Spanish colonization and the tumultuous period of the Philippine Revolution, the subsequent Philippine-American War marked a pivotal point in the nation’s history. The transition to independence, although fraught with conflict, set the stage for the Philippines’ geopolitical significance in the modern era.
The role of Hawai’i and the Philippines as strategic locations in U.S. military planning cannot be understated. This is particularly evident in the upcoming Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) war games. Criticized for their potential environmental and social harm, such activities highlight the continuing influence of U.S. imperialism.
Tensions with China and the South China Sea
Amid escalating tensions with China, the geopolitical importance of the Philippines has come to the fore. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which grants the U.S. military access to facilities in the Philippines, and the recent large-scale Balikatan military exercises simulating war with China, underscore this significance.
Human Rights Concerns
Historically, resistance in the Philippines has often been met with suppression. This oppression, coupled with U.S. support for controversial leaders, raises serious human rights concerns. As such, the call for the passage of the Philippines Human Rights Act, seeking to halt U.S. funding for human rights violations by the Philippine military and police, is more pressing than ever.
Global efforts are needed to stop the U.S. war machine, promote peace, and focus on improving living standards and combating pandemics and climate change. As we honor individuals like David Fagan, a black American soldier who defected to the Filipino guerilla army during the Philippine-American War, we are reminded of the importance of resisting imperialist aggression and fighting for liberation.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn