ACTIVISTS took to the streets here over the weekend to dramatize their opposition to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).
The protesters coming from the cities of Butuan, Zamboanga, Malaybalay, and Gingoog were joined by their counterparts here, members of the League of Filipino Students (LFS), Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kalumbay), Gabriela, and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
The two-day protest action that ended on Saturday was in time for the 116th commemoration of the Battle of Makahambus.
“The Aquino administration blatantly disregarded the blood shed by our Filipino heroes,” said Kristine Cabardo, chair of the League of Filipino Students-Northern Mindanao.
The Lumbia airport has been included as one of the five “agreed locations” for the agreement. Based on the Edca the “agreed locations” would serve as places where the US can set up its military facilities.
“Sulod sa Edca, tataw lamang nga ginapakita ni Aquino ang kaitoy niini sa US. Kung asa gipakawalay-bili niini ang kadaugan sa katawhan sa mga niaging panagsangka batok US ug ang pagbasura sa Military Bases Agreement kaniadtong 1991,” Cabardo said.
The Battle of Makahambus was one of the few victories won by the Filipinos over the Americans during the Philippine-American War. It was fought on June 4, 1900 in Cagayan de Misamis (now Cagayan de Oro) under the command of Col. Apolinar Velez of the Maguindanao Battalion. The American losses totaled as many as 20 dead and wounded.
“Himuon natong inspirasyon ug ikinabuhi kini nga pakigbisog nila Col. Apolinar Velez diha sa atong pakigbisog alang sa pagbabag sa pagsulod sa tropang Amerikano sa Lumbia airport,” said Cabardo.
Before they marched across the city, the protesters held a short program at the Press Freedom Monument at the capitol grounds.
“Let’s celebrate the victory of our heroes, together with our echoing demand to junk Edca and other onerous agreements with the US. Let’s reject US military base in Lumbia Airport,” Cabardo told the protesters.
The activists also chanted anti-US government slogans, calling it as “No. 1 terrorist.” (with reports from cong b. corrales)