Old warriors lead people’s charge

3
TAKING A STAND Former senator Rene Saguisag (center) addresses reporters at the launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya on Monday at the National Press Club as other alliance leaders listen. Also in photo are (from left) Rep. Neri Colmenares, former senators Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor San Andres Ziga and Dean Ernesto Maceda, who represented his father and namesake, who is also a former senator and ambassador to Washington. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

TAKING A STAND Former senator Rene Saguisag (center) addresses reporters at the launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya on Monday at the National Press Club as other alliance leaders listen. Also in photo are (from left) Rep. Neri Colmenares, former senators Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor San Andres Ziga and Dean Ernesto Maceda, who represented his father and namesake, who is also a former senator and ambassador to Washington. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

OLD soldiers never die, they just fade away but they will return to heed the clarion call for them to fight again.
Retired senators Rene Saguisag, Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Victor Ziga on Monday epitomized the statement partly taken from the speech delivered by General Douglas Macarthur four months before Washington signed a mutual defense treaty with Manila in 1951 as they joined the leaders of a people’s alliance that vowed to defend Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Though they belonged to rival camps when the Senate voted on the RP-US Bases Agreement, the three senators found themselves united in a cause to push Manila to forge an independent foreign policy.

Saguisag, a Manila Times columnist, and Ziga were among the so-called “Magnificent 12” or the senators who voted against the extension of the RP-US Bases Agreement in 1991 while Ramos-Shahani was on the side that supported the first Aquino government’s position to extend the infamous agreement.

Ramos-Shahani, a former UN deputy secretary-general, said diplomacy alone will not help the Philippines stop China’s expansionist moves.


“We need a mass movement … citizen diplomacy is needed to thwart the power play in the West Philippine Sea [South China Sea],” she said at Monday’s launch of the Pilipinong Nagkakaisa para sa Soberanya (Pinas), a people’s initiative spearheaded by Saguisag, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares , writer/actress Bibeth Orteza and activist-singer/songwriter Heber Bartolome.

Ramos-Shahani said the people, especially the women, should set out to the disputed areas and bravely face China’s warships
“Let us wake up Filipinos… let us rely on ourselves,” she added.

Saguisag said the government should pursue an independent foreign policy as mandated by the 1987 Constitution.

Pinas is organizing a massive demonstration against China at the Chinese Embassy in Makati City and the US Embassy in Manila on June 12, Independence Day.

The group also plans protest actions nationwide.

“In the last few years, we have seen how China has committed blatant acts of aggression by imposing its baseless and arrogant claim of owning 90 percent of the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea,” Pinas said in a statement.

The alliance called on the public to join the demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy “to show the Chinese government that we are united against their occupation and reclamation activities in Panatag Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands [Spratlys].”

The group also called on the public to rally at the US Embassy “to show our objection to US plans to use the Philippine-China dispute as a pretext to bring back their military bases and facilities in the country.”

“Even as we vehemently oppose China’s actions in the West Philippine Sea, we are wary that this will be used by the Americans to reverse the legacy and gains of the historic 1991 vote against the US bases. If we don’t want Chinese bases in the Spratlys, we certainly don’t want the return of US bases in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” the group said in a statement.

“The two big powers should not underestimate the power of our people,” it added.

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

3 Comments

  1. i am not a communist. but they do have my respect. they have the “gumption” to fight the evil.
    of course everyone has agenda. some more noble than others. especially the informed ones. informed of the history, sociology and the intent (psychology).
    we do not need americans and their imperialism. same with china.
    the comments above reflects cowardice and ignorance. what really these imperialistic countries are after?
    certainly, most Pilipinos are not ready to live and die for their country which has been in the claws and mercy of both manipulative and arrogant capitalist countries. forever slaves. puppets. we have been hostage by the system enjoyed by those who share the same greedy intent of america. now is our chance to stand up and show the world that we really deserved to be called a sovereign nation.
    the government of course protects no one but the oligarchs and their capitals.
    i do not care who pushes for what now. for just as long as they are on the side of our people’s best interest, i will join them.
    you, what are you willing to sacrifice for the nation of oppressed and repressed people?
    maybe nothing. maybe you benefit from the diabolical system plaguing our nation at the expense of the working class and the peasantry.
    take note: comments above are disturbing (if not pathetic). you know very little. you see one dimension and you think you know something.
    i am not a communist and should the revolution happen, i will be on the side of the people, not the authority and power.

  2. Braincleaner on

    Sige! Gatungan nyo pa ang “US Asian Pivot” laban sa China! Tapos asahan ninyo na tulad ninyo, maglulunsad din nang “anti-Filipino mass movement” ang 1.3 bilyong mamamayan ng China! A mutual hate hysteria campaign that justifies US presence and violence in settling regional disputes, involving the US! What hypocrites!

    This same group never said or done anything about our sovereign rights over Sabah! The CPP-NPA-NDF is allied with the MILF of Malaysia. Former Senator Saguisag, Ziga, and Shahani, have supported the treasonous administration of Corazon Aquino and succeeding yellow administrations, who have supported the US Bases and US military presence in Philippines soil, and surrender of national patrimony to foreigners, including strategic state assets owned by Filipinos! Now they want us to rally with their group to protect national sovereignty! The forces that caused our weakness is now grandstanding to look cute for political expediency while being allied now with the US-Aquino III “US Asian Pivot”!

  3. William Tubig Dungo on

    Since this Pilipino don’t trust the USA freedom loving country. well, you guys protect your self because all of you communist regime loving people go ahead demonstrate. And for the USA will do no more for you in the western pacific. like what the USA did in IRAQ, USA left because they said they don’t like them, now the ISIS took over IRAQ, SYRIA, YEMEN and LYBIA. US soldier thousand and thousand of young american died because of depending democracy in IRAQ and Vietnam. now you are demonstrating that you don’t need help from the USA. well USA will be happy. for young American will not spill no more blood just like what they did in second world war, Vietnam and IRAQ. Americans will be happy because they will not spend extra more budget money to patrol the west china sea. Just like they will say hasta la vista baby have fun with the chinese communist. Expect the Philippines will be the next Tibet no religion and Pilipino culture will be wipe out. communist do not believe in God. estimated 44,000 young american soldier died in Vietnam alone. you don’t care about USA why they will care about you people.