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I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific ... Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? ... I said to myself, Here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American Constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [which ended the Spanish–American War], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land. Mark Twain, New York Herald 16th October 1900
Christians in the Philippines re-enact the crucifixion of Jesus. They actually volunteer to be crucified ... they do use real nails. Jesus Was a Buddhist Monk, BBC 2012
Home to one of the world’s most ruthless prison gangs: The Commandos. Inside The Gangsters’ Code: The Commandos, Discovery Channel 2013
On the outskirts of Manila, Bilibid Prison spreads out across 1,400 acres; built in 1944 it’s the biggest prison in the world. There are twelve gangs here. ibid.
The authorities allow the gangs to run their own dormitories. ibid.
We love your adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic process. George H W Bush, toast to Ferdinand Marcos
Finally, may I turn to that other slavery – our $26 billion foreign debt. I have said that we shall honour it. Yet half our export earnings – $2 billion out of $4 billion which is all we can earn in the restrictive markets of the world – must go to pay just the interest on a debt whose benefit the Filipino people never received. President Corazon Aquino, address to US Congress 1988
A land of broken promises. President Corazon Aquino
This is also true: the jungles of Puerto Rico were very similar to Vietnam and the US military wanted to see if its de-foresting agents would work, but here’s where it gets really interesting. And there’s some truth is this one too: when American troops were fighting in the Philippines they heard the legend of something called the Aswang Vampire. The US military exploited the vampire myth by draining the blood from killed soldiers, and leaving their corpses on display to strike fear into the enemy. Orlando goes one step further: he believes that the CIA actually tried to create a blood-sucking monster. Orland believes experiments actually took place and that the Chupacabra is the result. The World’s Strangest UFO Stories, Discovery 2006
[Douglas] MacArthur’s second hour of triumph: his return to the Philippines capital. Americans who were taken prisoner during the Japanese invasion were released after three years of captivity. The World at War 23/26: Pacific, ITV 1974
On 7th August 1942 US forces attacked the Pacific island of Guadalcanal. Since the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the armies of the Japanese empire and America had not met. The fighting on Guadalcanal, a tiny and remote colony, part of the Solomon Islands archipelago, was to be lengthy and bloody. World War II: The Complete History: The End of the Beginning, Discovery 2000
In the last century the Philippines had been a colony, then part of the Commonwealth, and then an ally of the US. Until 1992 the Subic Bay US naval base was the largest outside mainland USA. Abandoned by America
Were left behind. The American Law ... Known as the Amerasian [Homecoming] Act ... Filipino Amerasians are excluded. ibid.
This was a fishing village. A fishing village that became a brothel. ibid. Filipino commentary
The team treks to the Philippines where a ghoulish creature has been reportedly attacking locals in a remote village. Destination Truth s2e11, Skyfy 2008
8The obscenities of this country are not girls like you. It is the poverty which is obscene, and the criminal irresponsibility of the leaders who make this poverty a deadening reality. The obscenities in this country are the places of the rich, the new hotels made at the expense of the people, the hospitals where the poor die when they get sick because they don’t have the money either for medicines or services. It is only in this light that the real definition of obscenity should be made. F Sionil José, Ermita: A Filipino Novel
These conditions can be traced in no small measure to the US invasion at the turn of the century with its vast slaughter and destruction, the long colonial occupation, and the subsequent policies including the postwar counterinsurgency campaign and support for the Marcos dictatorship as long as it was viable. Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
Survival International reports that tribal peoples in the Philippines are being attacked by the private army of a logging company, which, in a six-month campaign of terror, has killed and tortured villagers, burned down houses, destroyed rice stores, and driven thousands from their homes. ibid.
For most Filipinos, American-style democracy meant little more than elections every few years. Beyond this, the colonial authorities made sure that only the candidates who represented colonial interests first and last won. This practice did not die with colonialism. The ensuing political order, which persisted long after independence, was one where a handful of families effectively and ruthlessly ruled a society riven by inequality. It was democratic in form, borrowing many American practices as it could, but automatic in practice. Conrado de Quiros, Manila Daily Globe, cited Chomsky
It is only those with money and muscle who can be elected. Gary Hawes, cited Chomsky
The voices of the rural dwellers have seldom been heard. ibid.
The Philippines: among the many nations whose history is being colonized and subjugated by the world’s empires today suffers the consequences of that legacy: underdevelopment, high unemployment, and deepening poverty. This has led to a phenomenon that dominates the lives of millions of Filipinos: the fact that 10% of the population, mostly women, must leave the country to seek work. Abby Martin, Buying a Slave, Abby Martin online May 2017
This global black market ensnares 21 million people around the world, making $150 billion illegal profits for traffickers. ibid.
There are currently two million migrant domestic workers that live in the US, around three hundred thousand of whom are Filipinos. ibid.
Human Trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar industry. It entraps millions of people across the world. The majority of victims are abused and living in inhumane conditions. Many caught in this dark web originate from the Philippines were human beings have become the number one export. Abby Martin: The Empire Files: The Roots of the Philippines Trafficking Epidemic, Abby Martin online 2017
The Philippine Islands have been choked by colonial powers for the past five centuries. ibid.
‘The Philippines are ours forever … and just beyond the Philippines are China’s illimitable markets … The power that rules the Pacific is the power that rules the world.’ ibid. Albert J Beveridge, US senator, January 1900
‘I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn. The more you kill and burn the better you will please me.’ ibid. General Jake Smith
The US rounded up tens of thousands of [Filipino] peasants into concentration camps. ibid.
[Ferdinand] Marcos’ crack-down on all political opponents: the regime jailed more than 70,000 people, an estimated 35,000 were tortured, and at least 3,000 were killed. For the US, killing communists deserved total support. ibid.
The fascist repression of the Left remained. ibid.
A day after declaring martial law on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte issued an ominous message for enforcing it.
‘Martial law is martial law ha,’ he said. ‘It will not be any different from what the president, Marcos did. I’d be harsh.’
The president’s action came after two Islamist armed groups attacked the Mindanao city of Marawi, killing three security officers and burning buildings. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that under martial law, the military will have ‘control of movement, searches and arrest of detained people, suspension of writ of habeas corpus’.
Given the lawlessness of Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’, in which the police and their agents have been implicated in the cold-blooded killing of more than 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users, military restraint in Mindanao may be wishful thinking. Human Rights Watch online report May 2017