Tuesday, February 05, 2008

This question was emailed to me:
Professor, whaddya think about RP-statehood-USA as panacea ofpractically-ALL Philippine ills?

After preliminary introductions, I offered these questions as a quick reply.

B -
I'm getting ready to go to the Phil for my high school reunion and will be away for two weeks. But since you are asking for a quick reply, let me offer this:

Here are some questions:
1. What makes your group think that the US will be willing to take the Philippines as a state?
2. If part of the ills besetting the Philippines is a result of the colonial and imperial legacy of the the West (US and Spain), how does going back to the "Master/colonizer" resolve the illness?
3. Do you really think that the Filipino people are incapable of self-rule that they need an external strong man? Are we so bereft of values, resources, and imagination that we can't come up with our own resolve to stand on our own two feet? (Please read David Martinez'
A Country of One's Own for a perspective. Also my book, Coming Full Circle: The Process of Decolonization Among Post 1965 Filipino Americans).
4. Are you sure there are no "third world" conditions within the U.S.?
5. Are you sure that the US justice system is just and equal? (Please think Enron scandals, the Tom Delay scandals, etc -- corruption at the highest levels of US government).
6. Are you sure that the US is the best nation to emulate? (Please read Howard Zinn's
People's History of the US? or read Walden Bello's critique of the North, or read The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, or Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins).

I appreciate the sincerity of your vision to find a panacea for what ails the Philippines. But I hope in seeking my opinion, you are also open to alternative points of view. So I offer the above as preliminary questions of inquiry.

Also please interview these folks in the Philippines: Fr. Albert Alejo of Ateneo de Davao who runs anti-graft and corruption workshops nationwide; Professor Jun de Leon, Humanities, UP; Walden Bello, UP, Nicanor Perlas, etc.

I also have an online article that you can read here:

Okay...now back to packing my balikbayan box,

Let's see if this conversation evolves...

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