Youth groups remember historic Mindanao battles in call to junk Edca

FILE PHOTO. Protesters appeal to the Supreme Court to scrap Edca in a picket in 2015. (Photo by Divine Miranda/Kodao Productions)
FILE PHOTO. Protesters appeal to the Supreme Court to scrap Edca in a picket in 2015. (Photo by Divine Miranda/Kodao Productions)

One of the agreed US military base locations is near the site of the historic battle where Filipino revolutionaries defeated American troops in the Philippine-American War.

By DEE AYROSO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Our revolutionary heroes must be turning in their graves.

Youth groups in Northern Mindanao are mortified at how the Philippine government is virtually deleting pages in the country’s history, in the implementation of onerous defense agreements with the United States.

On the 116th commemoration of the Battle of Cagayan de Misamis on April 7, the League of Filipino Students and Kabataan Party-list of Northern Mindanao condemned how the sacrifice of Filipino heroes who stood up against colonizers is diminished by the Aquino administration’s “subservience” to the US.

The groups cited how Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, one of the “agreed locations” for US military basing under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), is near the site of the historic Battle of Makahambus Hill, where Filipino revolutionaries defeated American troops during the Philippine-American War.

“On the anniversary of the Battle of Cagayan de Misamis, let us condemn Edca and continued US aggression on our national sovereignty and patrimony. Let us be reminded of the fighting spirit of the Filipino people who fought the foreign colonial powers,” said Kristine Cabardo, chairperson of LFS-NMR in a joint statement with the Kabataan Partylist.

Photo from the Philippine-American War / filipinoamericanwar.com
Photo from the Philippine-American War / filipinoamericanwar.com

Cagayan de Misamis, the present day Cagayan de Oro City, was the site of the clash between Americans and Filipino Katipuneros led by General Nicolas Capistrano on April 7, 1900. This was followed by the Battle of Battle of Agusan Hill, led by Col. Vicente Roa on May 14, 1900, and Battle of Makahambus Hill led by Capt. Apolinar Velez on June 4, 1900.

The Battle of Makahambus was the only one documented victorious battle of the Katipuneros in Mindanao against the American colonizers, who had many soldiers wounded and dead, compared to only one dead and three wounded on the side of the Filipinos. The Katipuneros also took an American soldier as prisoner-of-war. The revolutionaries were able to retreat before the Americans came back with reinforcements.

“But these pages in history are being forgotten by our national and local governments in the implementation of Edca and the plan to install a military base in Lumbia Airport,” Cabardo said.

Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro city is one of the five “agreed locations” under Edca declared by government this year.

The youth groups decried how President Aquino and the Liberal Party even flaunt Edca in their electoral campaign, with their standard bearer Mar Roxas even boasting of how he will continue what Aquino had started.

The youth groups said the present generation should instead take inspiration from the sacrifice of the country’s revolutionaries in asserting Philippine sovereignty.

“Let us not allow the blood of our heroes go to waste. Let us not allow the battles fought by Heneral Capistrano, Col. Velez and Capt. Roa go to waste..Let us be the ones to continue their struggle,” Cabardo said.()

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