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PostThe Philippines. Post-war politics (Bienvenido Mavatio, Philippines) (John Eipper, USA, 06/14/06 2:13 pm)
Bienvenido Macario writes: Here's a little story about how the Philippine Independence Day of July 4th was changed to June 12, according to Wikipedia. Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic declared June 12, 1899 Independence Day. After World War II, Manuel A. Roxas secured Philippine independence from America and declared July 4, 1946 Independence Day. By then the two countries celebrated July 4 as Independence Day.
Then came the change from 4th of July to June 12. "In 1962, when the United States made its final rejection of Philippine monetary claims for the destruction wrought by American forces in World War II, Macapagal changed the official celebration of Independence Day from July 4 (the date in 1946 that United States granted independence) to June 12 (the date in 1898 that Emilio Aguinaldo declared independence from Spain). Macapagal claimed that the timing of the decision to change the date of Independence Day was not out of resentment for the United States, but rather a judicious choice of timing for the taking of an action which had previously been decided upon."
One would think that the Philippines was reversing its declaration of independence FROM the US as if it was reverting back to a Commonwealth status, which is what Puerto Rico still has today. (And we don't have illegal immigrants from Puerto Rico because it is legal. for Puerto Ricans to move to the US)
But , sadly such was not the case. During his term, Macapagal also made the decision to recognize Jose P. Laurel, who was made President of the Philippines by the Japanese occupation forces, as having been an official President. Prior to this, Laurel's regime had not been recognized by post-World War II Filipino governments as having held any legal status whatsoever. President Laurel was not elected but was handpicked for the job by the Japanese Occupation Forces. Laurel then proceeded to administer Japanese policy with dismaying efficiency." (Return To The Philippines by Rafael Steinberg, p. 22)
Like Father Like Daughter? After announcing she would not run for president in December 2003, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo reneged on her promise and ran for President. In the May 2004 presidential elections, after almost two months of canvassing some 30 million votes, She was declared winner. In June 2004, former President Ronald Reagan died. The invitation-only funeral was set for June 11, 2004. Among the invited was Philippines' former First Lady Imelda Marcos, a close family friend of the Reagans. Macapagal-Arroyo, having come to power via church backed people power, was desperate to be recognized as the "duly elected" president of the Philippines. A hold order was placed on Imelda Marcos, whose request to travel was rejected by the Court of Appeals. There were speculations that Macapagal-Arroyo would want to somehow get into Imelda's entourage. Another version was that she expected Pres. George W. Bush to somehow effect the invitation and that she would use the photo-op as proof of America's recognition and the legitimacy of her electoral victory. As fate would have it, neither she nor Imelda Marcos was able to attend President. Reagan's funeral. It was speculated that she held this failure to get invited to Pres. Reagan's funeral against President. G.W. Bush.
Apolinario De La Cruz, an OFW working in the US base in Iraq, somehow managed to get himself kidnapped. Since weaving political plots and conspiracies is the national pastime in the Philippines, it was further speculated that she went ahead to retaliate for President Bush's failure to invite her by negotiating with the Iraq kidnappers and pulling out the token Philippine contingent from Iraq. The day before the pull out, it was said that she assured then Secretary of State Colin Powell that she woulg not pull out the 48 Philippine policemen token force. When the US learned that she had caved in to the demands of the terrorists in Iraq, paid the ransom and withdrew the tiny token force, naturally the State Department was very upset. A high state department official recalled that she was not asked to send troops to Iraq. She volunteered the Philippine contingent.
The 2004 Elections: Before the 2004 US Presidential Elections, Brig-General Garcia's children were caught bringing into the US over $100,000.00 in cash. There were speculations that this money will be used to support a political campaign in the US. At any rate, she came out to declare her preference only on the election day itself by simply saying: " I am for George Bush." She never even bothered to endorse President Bush to Filipinos and her Kabalens. (Marcos was said to have been able to convince Ilokanos to vote for Reagan when he ran for Governor of California. in 1967).
Worse, when finally John Kerry conceded, GMA failed to immediately call up the White House to congratulate the re-elected President and offer to work together in the most pressing common issues It was seen as her shift from a conciliatory to a wait and see attitude, hoping that John Kerry would somehow unseat President Bush perhaps through a protest. By the time she called the White House to congratulate President Bush, his schedule was too busy and he was inaccessible to her.
But the Philippines is actually composed of several nations. What about those who never really shared the political views of past and present governments? What about those who neither want to be independent nor be close to their Asian neighbors but would rather revert back to being a US administered republic? What about those willing to live under a US protectorate?
The multiethnicity of the Phillipines is a basic problem "Although Quezon's defense bill was the first measure he sent to his legislature and although it was passed on December 21, 1935, the first twenty thousand draftees did not arrive in training camps until early 1937, whereupon it developed that they spoke EIGHT (8) DISTINCT languages and eighty-seven different dialects". From: "American Caesar" - Douglas MacArthur (1880 - 1964) by William Manchester, p.185, paperback edition.
Plan to attend the WAIS conference on "Critical World Issues " at Stanford July 31-August 1, 2006. It will be a rare opportunity to meet other WAISers. it is open to the public. Tell interested friends. Registration fee until July 15 is $30, after that $35. Mail to WAIS, attn. Ronald Hilton, 766 Santa Ynez, Stanford, CA 94305-8441