As we approach the anniversary of our independence on June 12th, the Malaya Movement in Canada is one with Filipinos here and around the world as we celebrate, value, and continue to protect our freedom and democracy. In this moment, we would like to invite Filipinos to reflect on the question: Are we truly free? Tayo ba ay tunay na malaya?
Does true freedom and democracy reign when our legislature is pushing for an Anti-Terrorism bill that endangers our right to free speech and critically engage with governance?
Can our freedom to live peacefully coexist with extrajudicial killings by the current administration’s war on drugs, which continues to victimize the most vulnerable people in our society?
Is there freedom when dissent from the press is punished by shutting them down through trumped up charges?
How can we freely live our lives amidst the COVID-19 pandemic when instead of medical solutions such as mass testing are employed, militaristic approaches are used that incite fear and panic rather than heal our nation?
Are we truly independent when the very core of our government is still rife with patronage politics and political dynasties, thus undermining the democratic electoral process?
As an organization fighting for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines, the Malaya Movement in Canada is calling on all freedom-loving Filipinos to continue holding the government accountable for its disregard of our rights to life, free speech, and our ability to fully participate in governance. We are also encouraging everyone to be vigilant as the government continues to curtail our freedoms and expose them to inspire our fellow Filipinos to be proactive in protecting the freedoms our ancestors have fought hard to obtain.
Lastly, we are encouraging everyone to be part of a united movement for the fight for our independence is not a thing of the past – it is an ongoing struggle and part of our civic duty as Filipinos is to continue working towards true freedom and democracy.
Long live true democracy and freedom! Mabuhay ang malaya at demokratikong Pilipinas!