Prints and Traces

When did our leaders’ puppetry to American Imperialism really start? Well, there’s no definite or specific date.   But we can say with absolute certainty that Philippine puppetry to foreign power is a product of colonialism. It could have begun with the so-called American tutelage established during the Commonwealth Period under Manuel L Quezon. Or perhaps, it is an outgrowth of the educational system imposed by the US on our country as a deliberate preparatory phase for the eventual flourish of puppetry of our political leaders to American imperialism. Add to this the pensionado privileges granted to brilliant Filipinos who underwent   acculturation during their stay in the US mainland, then coming back to our soil as “little brown Americans”.

But the institution of our leader’s puppetry to American imperialist interests was officially implanted into the Philippine system of political management when Manuel A. Roxas was installed as President of the Philippine Republic concurrent with the granting of a bogus Independence to our country in 1946. This official instrument was the so-called Parity Amendment which was appended to the 1935 Philippine Constitution. As such, it had become an integral part of the Basic Law of the Land.

What was the substance of this Parity Amendment? This provided equal rights to American and Filipino citizens in the exploration, exploitation and utilization of our natural resources. Even if Filipinos were likewise granted similar rights under this set-up in the American continent it was still a very lopsided arrangement, considering that Filipinos could not have as much capital resources as US citizens in putting up investments in America.

The logical question is: Why would our Filipino leader Manuel A Roxas agree to such an arrangement?

Answer: The move imposed by the American government was in essence a “blackmail”. It is said that Roxas, as a politician whose heart was focused on the presidency, had a history of graft and other questionable actuations during the Japanese Occupation, and these were dangled like Damocles sword above his head, prompting him to accede with canine obeisance to the US imperialist design. Otherwise, some other would-be leader would have been available in his stead.

And that was the beginning of official puppetry of the Philippine leadership to American imperialism. Thenceforth, any Filipino politician who came up the stately stairways of Malakanyang would invariably kowtow to American demands economically and politically.

Of course, puppetry has its rewards. American imperialist resource can allot a kind of bonus to the Filipino puppet for his servile accommodation of the over-all needs of the US imperialists in their economic and political schemes in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region. As a matter of fact, their over-all plans for the region would entail the installation of military bases in our country. And these were forthwith realized in Subic and Clark.

The next question is: What is the most significant consequence of the Filipino leaders’ puppetry to American imperialism? 

Answer: Personal aggrandizement is the paramount pursuit of the Filipino political leadership. Government office becomes a convenient resource for wealth, with the people’s money in the national treasury serving as an oasis where unscrupulous politicos in the government officialdom would utilize for personal enrichment. Graft and corruption would inevitably become a magic “Open sesame” to get rich quickly.

And the country’s economic development is neglected. No vision for a prosperous society is conceived; no honest-to-goodness blueprint for economic democracy and social justice is charted on the official drafting table of the head of state; no long-term goals for progress and development are pursued, much less worked out, for the future.

The result is perpetual poverty among the great majority of the population. The toiling masses, the working class, the peasants and the indigenous peoples in the countryside bear the greatest brunt of impoverishment. They have remained eternally marginalized and underprivileged in all aspects of social life. No strategic economic programs for their emancipation from age-old misery of abject poverty. The national leadership headed by the Chief Executive is hard-headedly discriminatory to its own people, but very accommodating to foreign interests.

To their utter chagrin, the nationalist sectors have untiringly and constantly demanded for thorough land reform and nationalist industrialization since the genesis of this system of puppetry. But it seems the official culture of our government is glued to a kind of neo-colonialism whereby the domestic leaders of our society have pledged their allegiance to foreigners and solicitude to their own personal interests than to the well-being and uplift of their own people.

And so the phenomenon of poverty and underdevelopment will always be just a convenient ingredient for their campaign slogans during the electoral season. No. Not just during the electoral season. Poverty is a constant in the equation for perpetuation in office. And it is likewise a convenient element in formulas for graft and corrupt practices. For as long as massive poverty prevails bogus programs that vouch for the solution of poverty abound – nay, projects that entail huge outlays of funds are like lucrative investments that insure easy cash-flow into the bureaucrats’ pockets and vaults.

Puppetry and Poverty are 2Ps that insure the futility and failure of President Noynoy’s program of 4Ps. How can he proclaim moral rectitude and vouch for matuwid na daan and emancipate the people from poverty with his nauseous puppetry to American imperialism? Puppetry begets graft and corruption. Poverty begets criminality. Graft and corruption forge partnership with criminality for the flourish of bureaucrat capitalism.

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