On Independence Day, cause-oriented groups ask: Are Filipinos really free?
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Are Filipinos “really” free?
This is the question raised by cause-oriented groups as they trooped to Colon Street on Wednesday, June 12, to commemorate the 121st Philippine Independence Day.
Member organizations of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Central Visayas dubbed their gathering as “Hindipendence” rally as they staged a protest on the current state of freedom of the country, which they claimed is threatened by the current administration.
Jaime Paglinawan of BAYAN Central Visayas said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has done nothing to alleviate the country from the grasps of foreign dependency and from the global powers of the United States of America and China.
He said the country’s P14.4 billion debt to China is costing the Philippines its freedom.
This is because China is allowed to take control and develop Philippine resources.
He said the economic policies of the Philippines has given more privilege to foreigners than its own people as evident in the case of the Rice Tarrification Law, which was signed by President Duterte early this is year.
The law lifted the import limit on rice, which makes it possible for more imported rice to enter the Philippines and compete with the local supply.
Paglinawan said this is another proof that the administration does not support the agricultural sector and the common farmers in the country.
“Imbes nga tabangan ang mag-uuma, palambuon ang agrikultura, unlimited rice importation naman hinuon,” said Paglinawan.
(Instead of helping the farmers, improving agriculture, they implemented unlimited rice importation instead.)
He added that the Filipinos should not be satisfied with the prevailing practice of contractualization in the labor force despite the Executive Order signed by the President against it.
Paglinawan said contractualization continues to plague the Filipino laborers which, according to him, “eludes the political elites sitting in power.”
“Tanang sector karon, wala matagbaw ug padayon nga makigbisog alang sa tinood nga kagawasan,” said Paglinawan.
(All the sectors here are not satisfied and will continue to fight for true independence.)
The group’s “Hindipendence” rally hopes to remind the public that there is more to freedom than what is enjoyed today and that real freedom is still a fight in progress.
Paglinawan said they hope that Filipinos will realize that genuine freedom means to continue fighting for a better system of governance and quality of life in the country. / celr
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