Friday, June 14, 2013

Activist group calls Independence Day celebration a 'sham'

From the Website of PHIL. STAR

Activist group calls Independence Day celebration a 'sham'

By Dennis Carcamo ( | Updated June 12, 2013 - 11:51am

MANILA, Philippines - Militant group Bayan on Wednesday said the country has not achieved genuine independence, calling today's 115th Independence Day celebration as "sham."

Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. also belittled the so-called economic growth of the country.

Reyes made the statement after government data showed that unemployment is at a three-year high despite claims the 7.8 percent gross domestic product growth for the first quarter of 2013.

"Despite the repeated claims of economic growth, our people remain mired in crisis. The chronic joblessness is just one of the problems created by our lack of economic sovereignty," Reyes added.

"Economic activity is geared towards meeting international demands rather than meeting domestic requirements for genuine development. Job creation is dictated by external factors. Our country cannot be truly free when its people are under the bondage of poverty and underdevelopment arising from foreign dictates," he said.

He said that for the Philippines to truly develop, it must strive to achieve the necessary factors for growth such as national industrialization and land reform.

"Three years of the foreign-dictated conditional cash transfer, export-oriented growth, labor export policy and the neo-liberal Public Private Partnership have resulted in more poverty and more unemployment,” Reyes said. 

He also assailed the Philippine government for its “perpetual dependence” on US military aid that come in the form of second-hand weapons and equipment.

"Even in military matters, we continue to be dictated on by the US. This, along with the absence of economic development, has prevented the country from effectively building the capacity for external defense,” Reyes said.

"The supposed new ship of the Philippine Navy, a refurbished Hamilton class cutter, hails from the Vietnam War era. It is a naval hand-me down meant to show the supposed benefits of a lopsided Mutual Defense Treaty with the US," he added.




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