Friday, August 22, 2008

THE RECTO READER: THE FALLACY OF "PHILIPPINES FIRST," Part 2D of 6

”We gave the Philippines political freedom to enter the world family of nations, but did we give them internal political liberty? More important still, did we grant them economic freedom?”  – Harold L. Ickes, longest tenured U.S. Secretary of the Interior (1933-1946)

"Let us not ask for miracles...let us not ask that he who comes as an outsider to make his fortune and go away afterwards should interest himself in the welfare of the country. What matters to him the gratitude or the curses of a people whom he does not know, in a country where he has no associations, where he has no affections? Fame to be sweet must resound in the ears of those we love, in the atmosphere of our home or of the land that will guard our ashes; we wish that fame should hover over our tomb to warm its breath the chill of death, so that we may not be completely reduced to nothingness, that something of us may survive. Naught of this can we offer those who come to watch over our destinies."..- filosofo Tasio to Ibarra  (NOLI ME TANGERE.), quoted in Hernando J. Abaya's THE UNTOLD PHILIPPINE STORY, 1967


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" Fear history, for it respects no secrets" - Gregoria de Jesus (widow of Andres Bonifacio)


THE RECTO READER is presented in several postings. Click each to open/read:

NOTE: Recto's cited cases, examples or issues were of his time, of course; but realities in our homeland in the present and the foreseeable future are/expectedly much, much worse. Though I am tempted to update them with current issues, it's best to leave them as they are since Recto's paradigms about our much deepened national predicament still ring relevant, valid and true. In short, Recto saw the forest and never got lost in the trees.- Bert
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THE FALLACY OF "PHILIPPINES FIRST"


If "Philippines First" is accepted as a substitute for the "Filipino First" policy, the effect will be to grant concessions and privileges to alien residents to the detriment of Filipinos, on the specious proposition that as long as our national income and gross national product (GNP) keep on increasing from the territorial point of view,

Filipinos need not worry --they are rich in paper. To express it differently, provided the Philippines, as a geographical unit, is wealthy and prosperous. Filipinos should not mind if they themselves remain poor and destitute, with most of the national wealth in the hands and coffers of resident aliens.

It is unfortunate, but we have to be constantly reminded that under the present economic setup, which the "Filipino First" policy seeks to alter, it is the aliens and not Filipinos who have been the main beneficiaries of the country's economic efforts(41).

It has been argued that the nationalist's slogan in America is not "American First" but "America First" as in England it is "England First" and not "English First." There is no point of comparison here.

Conditions in those countries are entirely different from those obtaining in the Philippines. For one thing, wealth there is not concentrated in the hands of aliens and there is little likelihood that it ever will be.

"America First" and "England First," as well as "Japan First" and "Germany First," are safe slogans for the peoples of these countries because all such countries are highly developed, and there is no danger that alien interests could infiltrate to prosper at the expense of their respective nationals.

Moreover, the political independence of those countries from foreign pressure has never been a matter of doubtful value. As a consequence, they enjoy economic independence. But this is not true of underdeveloped countries like the Philippines which finds itself at the mercy of rich, aggressive foreign investors and the consequences of a so-called "special relationship" with a powerful foreign power. (42)


"FILIPINO FIRST POLICY"

It has been revealed that the adverse effect of the "Filipino First" policy has been confined to some classes of aliens for the benefit not only of Filipinos, as intended, but mainly of certain aliens enjoying parity rights with Filipinos.... It would be most unfortunate if it should be so, because the "Filipino First" policy is not aimed discriminating among aliens, but solely at safeguarding Filipino interests. I take this opportunity to state that, of all foreign interests established here, and as far as economic invasion is concerned -- and speaking in general terms --the Europeans, Spanish, Dutch, German, Belgian, and other Europeans, are the last to give the Filipinos cause for concern.

But if, because of the parity clause in our amended constitution, discrimination must continue in favor of certain class of aliens with unfairness to other aliens and to the detriment of the interests of Filipino nationals, our "Filipino First" policy must be carried as far as the Filipinos themselves are concerned.

In other words, "Filipino First" must be the slogan of every true Filipino in every aspect of the national life, until parity is abolished, at which time the slogan shall be adopted in all governmental measure in the primary interest of our nationals and without discrimination among different resident aliens.(43)

The "Filipino First" policy stands against any form of dominance whether by communists, by fellow Asians or by western powers. What we want is true, real independence --the substance of freedom, not merely its shadow or its name. When the big powers nationalize their banks or jealously implement their immigration laws barring aliens from entering their territories, we all agree that those acts constitute a legitimate exercise old sovereign rights.

But when small nations try to assert even the most elementary rights of sovereignty, they arouse the ire of the great. Is it that small nations are only as sovereign as the big powers will allow them to be? (44)

We cannot attain prosperity and happiness as a people unless our political independence is complete, because without complete freedom of action we could never adopt our own policies conducive to those ends. Policies formulated or influenced by others will always be for the benefit and interest of those others.

This is the reason why our exports continue to be for the greater part of raw materials, the prices of which are dictated by foreign cartels, while our imports, which far exceed our exports, continue to be in the main manufactured goods; why, in short, we have maintained too long an agrarian economy with its inevitable train of unemployment, mass poverty and social injustice.(45)


References:


  1. (41)(42)(43) Filipinos in the Light of the Canadians' Experience, March 20, 1959.
  2. (44) The True Ultra-Nationalists, June 4, 1959.
  3. (45) Philippine-American relations, February 16, 1957.



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 "Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -more than ruin- more even than death...Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man." - Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)






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"No people can be both ignorant and free." - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

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