US-RP’s Unequal Ties

How successfully the United States shaped our collective mindset during the American colonial period is best illustrated in three recent developments: the case of Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith, the Senate probe on the rigging of World Bank-funded projects and the US compensation package for Filipino World War II veterans.

The Supreme Court’s order to return Smith, an American marine convicted of rape, to Philippine custody was not complicated; what made it so is the “Little Brown American” or “Big Brother” mentality. The hesitance to assert Philippine custody over Smith is obvious. We’re like a kid pleading to a bully to return a toy seized from him.

That all, or okay most, government projects in this country are tainted with corruption is common knowledge. Or call that open secret: we all know about it but cannot prosecute the culprits or do not want (do not bother) to. That’s why concerned sectors welcomed that World Bank report about attempts to rig the bidding of some of its projects in the country—until it became apparent its officials won’t divulge its contents.

I agree Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago went overboard when she lambasted World Bank execs that refused to share with the Senate the complete details of the report. But I don’t buy those warnings from our own officials about not pressuring World Bank execs to cooperate with the probe. Their objectionable line: that bank officials might get angry at us and cut off the loan pipeline to the country. That’s hogwash.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama may have been wise enough to insert in his economic stimulus package the long overdue compensation for Filipino World War II veterans. But consider this Department of Foreign Affairs data: of the 250,000 Filipino veterans originally listed as qualified to receive benefits from the US government, only an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 are still alive.

That’s why what we are hearing after the US Congress approved the economic stimulus package was not euphoria but a sigh of relief, or even grudging acceptance, from the supposed beneficiaries. Those veterans fought under the US flag in a US war, and even during that time were already paid minuscule wages compared with those of American GIs. Salt on the wound was the refusal of the US government to recognize for decades the sacrifices of these Filipino soldiers, thousands of whom died bringing with them to their grave the American insult.

Often, there’s not much equality in US-RP relations.

(I wrote this for my February 19, 2009 “Candid Thoughts” column in Sun.Star Cebu)

5 Responses to US-RP’s Unequal Ties

  1. Renato Pacifico says:

    On Filipino “US Veterans”. I don’t know the history of this, allow me to share my views. These Filipinos “US Veterans” had to fight anyways with or without America. Then came American armies to “liberate” Philippines. Either Filipino “army” fight along with America under their command or fight on different commands on different strategies on fragmented goals.

    The best strategic pick is integrate Filipino “army” into American Army to make one cohesive push against Japanese.

    Without America, we’d be under Japanese headless, raped and enslaved. With America “liberation”!

    Filipinos cannot annhilate the occupying Japanese, THAT’S FOR SURE!

    Which is going to be? Under violent rule of Japanese or under the tutelage of Americans?

    Filipino veterans are asking too much! They had been given the opportunity of immigration and eventual American citizenship then petition their hordes of Hispanic-Korean-Chinese bashing country-club englischtze speaking families with full MedicAid and SSI benefits sans full pension of US Veterans.

  2. Renato Pacifico says:

    The Filipino US Veteran “compensation” is $15,000.00 not enough to get by in our country. If they pick-up the money and come back to Philippines they’re dead in a couple of months because of our pathetic hospitals and ambulance response. Most of all the $15,000.00 will not be enough for medicines.

    2ndly, Filipino US Veterans children will be fighting over who get the largest loot of $15,000.00. This is my observation, most of Filipino US Veterans children are pathetically uneducated. Well, let’s say, they are educated but not enough to be employed because of inherent institutionalized age, religion, height, beauty, skin discrimination.

    You can find job discrimination in Sun*Star Classified Ads: At least 25-years-old, with pleasing personality, 5’5″, preferably Roman Catholic … OH THE CHURCH DIDN’T RISE UP AGAINST THESE INSTITUTIONALIZED DISCRIMINATION. Skin Problem is the obvious discrimination in the Philippines, fair and white skin (measure of beauty!) lands you a good job in the bank while the brown-skin-punked-nose aborigine looking gets to work as houseslaves.

  3. Renato Pacifico says:

    I also don’t understand why Cpl Lance has to be handed over to Americanos. Looks like Americanos put pressure on Philippines to release Cpl Lance because of our rickety kind of invistigation like ZTE bungling by foreign-schooled Senators and most of all the murder of Benigno Aquino right before 10,000 oggling crowds of BLIND onlookers!

    So if I were America, i would not trust our laws, prosecution and invistigation, would you?

  4. Renato Pacifico says:

    America can liberate Pilifinas without Pilifinas Veterans! THAT’S A FACT!!!!

    Pilifinas was not able to vanquish Spaniards (400 years) and Americans (50 years) and Japanese.

    How dare they call themselves Pilifino-US Veterans!!!! IT’S ONLY A MERE WORD.

    Like Pilifino US Citizen don’t make them more American than natural born Americans.

  5. The topic is quite hot in the net right now. What do you pay attention to while choosing what to write about?

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