As the Aquino administration comes to a close by June 30, militant workers led by the regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU held protests today calling for genuine independence from “imperialist warmongering” from the United States.
From the Southern Tagalog region, the workers trooped to the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, holding a vigil through the night. Various events were held, such as exhibits and cultural performances in dissent against the various attacks of the US on the Filipino people’s democratic rights and nationalist aspirations.
For the workers, the continuing encroachment of US imperialism has resulted in a “wide-scale worsening of their conditions” in their aspirations for better labor standards, said Allan Bagas, secretary-general of PAMANTIK-KMU.
“The laborers’ gripes against the rise of cheap labor arrangements, precarious work and disrespect to their basic democratic rights are essentially caused by the tightening grip for US supremacy in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Bagas.
“Contractualization and low wages are ultimately from the endless pestering of the US for cheap production costs, which are only part and parcel of the unceasing interventions of the US in our economy, politics and culture,” he added.
Bagas also mentioned other incidents of the US’ meddling in the country’s internal affairs, like its “manipulation” in the conflict between China and the Philippines, various “unequal” trade pacts between the two countries, and its “major role” in the recently-concluded national elections – where he said that the US “ultimately tried to tip the polls for their favor”.
The workers also condemned the passive subservience of the Aquino regime to the US, as they called Aquino “one of the most subservient US running dog in the country’s history” – consistently serving US interests in his six years in office.
With these calls, PAMANTIK-KMU, along with other mass organizations in the Southern Tagalog region, will be holding a program at the US Embassy in the morning. This will be followed by a protest at Aquino’s residence at Times Street by noon. # # #