Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito has labeled Filipinos who are pushing for a diplomatic solution to the South China Sea disputes as Makapili, the term coined for Filipinos who collaborated with the Japanese, when it occupied the country in World War II.
Did Senator JV forget that it was the Japanese and Americans that massacred over a million Filipinos in World War II and bombed Manila to the ground? Japan also orchestrated the disappearance of two comfort women statues in Manila, the only country in the world that succumbed to Tokyo’s pressure! Our senators are now resorting to the revision of history. Recall our Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri going to Spain and proudly telling the Spanish Senate of the 500 years of friendship!
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Ejercito’s use of the term Makapili is concerning and ill-timed as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrived last Friday for an official visit and bilateral meeting with President Marcos. Congress even laid down the red carpet for Kishida for a special joint address of Congress on Saturday. The highlight of the visit is the signing of an Official Security Agreement between the Philippines and Japan, which is a first.
None of the senators called out Japan for releasing over a million tons of nuclear (RADIOACTIVE) wastewater into the ocean, and wanton disregard for the livelihood of thousands of fishermen dependent on a healthy Pacific Ocean. None of the Congressmen stood up for the cry of the countless comfort women for justice and reparations.
Corruption of History
Our political leaders seem to have forgotten how the Japanese invaded the Philippines and raped and massacred countless Filipinos during World War II, with estimates going as high as 1 million deaths. The damage to property resulted in claims totaling $8B but the US whittled the reparations down to $800M delivered in installments. The destroyed infrastructure was not all rebuilt. This included the tranvia system in Manila and its spur lines to Antipolo, Montalban and Batangas. The same is true with the Panay and Cebu railways. Manila was the second most devastated city after Warsaw, Poland in World War II. Its residents suffered atrocities from the Japanese naval forces under the orders of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita to maintain peace and order but instead went on the rampage of killing helpless Filipinos while they mounted a last stand against the American forces.
There is also the removal of two “comfort women” statues, along Roxas Boulevard and in a church property in Laguna, which paid tribute to sex slaves, who were conscripted by the Japanese Imperial Army during the war to provide sexual services to its soldiers. The statue in Roxas Blvd was initially moved to give way to the construction of a “drainage system” as part of the rehabilitation of the Manila Baywalk, according to the Department of Public Works and Highway under Secretary Mark Villar, who is now a Senator.
Presently, the Philippines is being drawn close into the Quad alliance of the US, India, Japan and Australia. It’s interesting to note though, that India has been distancing itself from this alliance and moving closer to the BRICS group, which counts as its principals, China and Russia.
Under the previous administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines seems to have found its Asian identity. Under President Bongbong Marcos today, it has gone back to being American. Public opinion is definitely more in favor of the Americans and Japan but there is no reason for Filipinos to be more hostile to the Chinese, who had never invaded or colonised the Philippines in the centuries of co-existence.
Never Forget! The US Betrayed the Philippines to Support Japan after World War II.
Over a million Filipinos perished during the Japanese occupation and the ensuing fighting for the liberation of the Philippines. The Americans abandoned the Philippines by granting it independence to focus on the rebuilding of Japan as its primary outpost in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan became a regional powerhouse, even threatened to overtake the US economy, while the Philippines stayed a laggard.
The Americans withdrew recognition to Philippine Scouts who fought with the US Army against the Japanese, when the country was still an American colony. It demanded parity rights in exchange for aid for reconstruction after the war. The US also limited the amount of reparations the Japanese paid the Philippines under the Treaty of San Francisco in 1957 which formally ended the Pacific War. Washington also failed to pay the promised benefits to the Filipino war veterans who for the US.
Under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the US doesn’t pay the Philippines any compensation for the use of the bases, save for official military assistance, which is mostly surplus military materiel. We must not forget also how the US threw the Philippines under the bus during the Scarborough Shoal stand-off in 2012, betrayed our claims on Sabah, and failed to pay our veterans who died for America.
American President Joe Biden said that the US commitment to the defense of the Philippines in the event of an attack by China is “ironclad”. What he failed to mention was such an act requires congressional approval, which is not automatic. And, meanwhile, Filipinos who push for a diplomatic solution are labeled as collaborators or Makapili.
The question really is, who are the genuine patriots?
Those who are for a peaceful solution or those who side with the administration and the US military-industrial complex which are focus on militarizing the Philippines?
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