A day before Labor Day, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno joined a protest caravan from the Department of Foreign Affairs to the US Embassy to condemn the meeting today of two secretaries of the Philippine government and two secretaries of the US government, calling Pres. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III a "modern-day Aguinaldo."
The meeting in Washington DC, dubbed "2 + 2," is expected to seal an agreement that will expand US bases and military presence across the country, using China's aggressive actions and statements in relation to Philippine territory as pretext.
After going into exile in Hong Kong in December 1897, Emilio Aguinaldo, president of the First Philippine Republic, negotiated with the US for the latter's entry into the Philippines, using Spanish colonization of the country as pretext.
When Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence on June 12, 1898, he qualified it with "under the protection of the Mighty and Humane North American Nation."
"This 2 + 2 meeting is a form of treachery to the Filipino workers and people, akin to what Aguinaldo did while he was in exile in Hong Kong," said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
"Both cases involve a haciendero leader of the Philippines secretly allowing the US to increase its military presence in the country using another country as an excuse –while portraying the Philippines as an independent nation," he added.
The labor center, however, said that there are differences between Aguinaldo in the 1897-1898 period and Aquino at present, highlighting the folly in the government's effort at expanding US bases in the country.
"There are significant differences as well: While Spain was the actual colonizer of the country during that time, China at present is merely being aggressive in its actions and statements in relation to Philippine territory," Soluta said.
"While Aguinaldo actually risked life and limb in the struggle against Spain, Aquino is able to do a lot of Noynoying even on pressing people's issues," he said.
"Aguinaldo lived at a time when the country still didn't have the historical experience with US imperialism – its plunder of our human and natural resources and its intervention into our internal affairs. Aquino is colluding with the US knowing full well what the US has done to our people and country," he added.