For the Return of Administration by the United States of America in the Philippine Islands with Commonwealth/Other Territorial Status, Free Association or Statehood sign now

To the people of the Philippines,

Are you growing tired and frustrated with the current state that the country is in? Are you fed up with the unfulfilled promises made by the men and women in power? Are you angry at the faltering situation the economy is in? Are you concerned about the future well being of the country as a whole?

The reality is, this country is collapsing and is on the path to becoming another of the Third World's infamous failed states. We are living in a land ruled by men and women who are undoubtedly corrupt, where our hard earned cash ends up in the deep pockets of the bureaucrats driven by greed and where worst of all, half of our compadres live in poverty. Politics in our country is certainly always about talking but no action is ever done. The show is always managed by men and women who cannot deliver. Now is the time.. And I reiterate, now is actually the time for change and put an end to this pathetic half a century old political entity that is the Republic. It is time to stop the talking and do the acting. It is time to put away the men and women of corruption, of personal ambition and greed and the men and women who deliver broken promises. For action, is the only way to make real change and progress for the future of these Philippine Islands.

It is time for a new beginning for the Philippines. This time, we have to reconsider our already close ties with the United States of America. Put aside all the past grievances and whatever hostilities you might have towards America, for America is our future. The beginnings of our past relationship with America might not have been pretty, but that must be reconciled with a new beginning. The America of today is not the same as the America of the past. Do not deny that your very existence in your day to day life in this country does not depend on America. We have a very close and special relationship with America, a unique case in the world. Our everyday life revolves around what America has to offer. From our much loved basketball to our friends and relatives who have made the long voyage to seek better lives in America, we as a people, whether you are in denial or not, no matter what way you look at it, are closely tied to America.

Why should we seek to renew this political relationship with America? It is for the very reason why we need to drastically change the current situation in the country before everything goes down the sink hole. Ever since our independence from the United States in 1946, the path carried on from there has been a path of disaster and massive failure. We used to have one of South East Asia's best economies before the emergence of the Tiger economies of Singapore and Malaysia to name a few. That economic progress and prosperity was downgraded and leveled in stages of successive poor governance and as a result, the Philippines is now one of the region's worst in terms of financial performance. Ever since independence, our country has been run by people not fit for the job. Ever since independence, we have seen rebellions, wars and economic crisis that are continuing to ruin the country. Ever since independence, our country has been plagued by misfortune, corruption, lies and greed. As a consequence of our gaining independence, the Philippines is spiralling into turmoil and decay that can only get worser and worser.

There have been so many attempts to try and change the Philippines for the better. But it has not happened so far. All the propositions have not worked and have failed. Many people have suggested of just waiting for a good genuine government to come to formation, or hope to see the day that the government will reform the economy, or perhaps work closely with the other ASEAN member nations or even perhaps develop closer and closer ties with China because of its economic surge and geographical proximity. But we all know that this is all part of the talking that our politicians regularly do and we also know that this will never come to fruition. Remember, it is all talk, but never any action. Hence our status quo as a continuing failure in the region. As long as these men and women are in power, the Philippines will remain stagnant and backward. You might argue that co-operation with the other ASEAN countries or even China is a more sensible proposition, but what needs to change is the Republic and its poor performance throughout our 50 or so years of independence. Therefore, the first and second options in our current politics will always be a failure which is why we need to start thinking of a third option.. The third option proponents such as myself propose to the people of the Philippines that it is in our best interests to resume our political connections with the United States of America. Again, the die-hard and not so die-hard nationalists among you would argue that that is the worst proposition for change ever and that our future lies with Asia. But do you see what I am getting at? There is always a lot of talking but never any action from our government or the ordinary Filipino people. We had half a century to try this experiment and due to indolence and mismanagement on the part of our past governments, we are still a poor backward country. And yet still, even today under the GMA administration, nothing good is happening. The economy is still a massive failure. The best way still lies with the United States of America.

So why the United States of America then? Well, we are the only sovereign nation in the world to have gained full independence from America and as a result, we have a special relationship with America. Our ties with America encompass not only economically, but also culturally. We are one of the most Americanized societies on earth. Our cultural ties with America is one of the strongest argument for my case. The legacy the Americans left behind is what makes us a unique case in Asia. We are already in a sense, unofficial Americans if you bother to think hard enough about it. Our position in Asia is the same as the position of Britain in Europe. We are geographically in Asia but are the most removed from Asia. We are different from the Continent. The soul of the nation is its social and cultural facet, and ours is not tied to Asia. Instead, we have more in common with Latin America and the United States than China or Japan. We are also the only Christian country in Asia, bar the new nation of tiny East Timor. Hence, we will benefit more with America than having this current, supposed co-operation with ASEAN that is not achieving a lot. Now we must rethink, if the decision to become independent was wise. Exclude all the gung-ho nationalist jargon and be realistic. Was it wise at all?

To the doubters and skeptics of the third option proponents, there are examples of why we would have been better off staying on as an American territory with Commonwealth status. As I have said earlier, we had one of the best economies, second only to Japan and the administration was in the process of providing better governance of the islands if only it had been run properly by the people in power after independence. Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico all had been territories and since then, only the latter is a territory, the first two became states. Only we, became independent. Take Puerto Rico's case for example. Today it is one of Latin America's best economies because of its American territorial status. Despite Puerto Ricans not having the full rights that other U.S. citizens enjoy such as voting for the President, Puerto Ricans are content with their status quo and support for independence is way down because of the economic success. Going back to our Philippines, if we had stayed that way, then surely with our natural resources, proficiency in English and big population, we would have become another Puerto Rico. It is then that when we gain this objective as an American territory do we then debate our future. Whether we want to remain a territory, become a state or states, or become independent again. Although as I have argued, the last option did not work out so well in the past. So now, I say to you the people, it is time to seek for re-establishing the historic ties we had with America for the best future and as a stepping stone towards statehood and admission into the American Union.

To the nationalists, I say to you this proposal is not as a result of colonial mentality that we suffer or as a result of being brainwashed. It is a sane proposal in a situation where nobody else has done something new to the system. You might ask if we go for the third option, would we lose our national identity and heritage as proud Filipinos? No is the answer because in America, people are proud of being American and can be proud of their ethnic heritage at the same time. I refer to Puerto Rico again. Puerto Ricans have kept their identity while at the same time, be one with America. The same goes for Hawaii. So I urge you to think through this and think what is best for the future of the Philippines because we cannot go on for longer with the iron grip of stagnation and corruption.

To the people with money, the middle class, the rich and wealthy among you who probably are reading this because you own computers. You might feel no need to change because of your comfortable surroundings. But remember this, it is people like you, especially the young that can bring massive change if only you get off the sofa and do something because as long as you do not see that our country is falling apart, the gap between rich and poor will even grow bigger and the political stagnation and corruption will only get more and more dire.

To the USA Statehooders, do take note that I am not advocating immediate statehood. I am proposing a phase that will serve as a launchpad for the national debate on the status of the future Philippines in association with America. Therefore I am proposing a Commonwealth or other territorial status or a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Realistically, the U.S. Congress will highly unlikely take on a state with more than twice the population of California and therefore, statehood will be a further step away in the future. This will take a lot of persuading and very many heated debates in Congress and back home before a final status is agreed upon.

So if you want the dollarization of the Filipino economy, better lives for your children, help the poor masses with welfare, better mobility and no restrictions while travelling in the 50 states, attract huge investment from the continental U.S. and the creation of many jobs, recieve a massive boom in tourism especially with many young Americans and elderly retirees who would think of the Philippines as their 'Big Hawaii' getaway for springbreak or retirement for example, the bringing down of corrupt officials by the American justice system, political stability and finally not having to pay most federal taxes as residents of the islands, then please sign this petition. Now is your chance to experience something what we could have had been experiencing all along - economic prosperity, political stability and national unity. This petition are for Filipinos, of all ethnic groups whether you are Malay, Mestizo or Chinese residing in the country or abroad and people of Filipino heritage. Please, make your voice heard. And thank you for your time to read this.

As a last note, for the American people. The third option proposal will be a challenge and test for what the Founding Fathers said, that 'All men are created equal'. This will show to the world that the United States of America is truly a tolerant nation who accepts anyone regardless of race.

It would be great if someone could translate this petition into Tagalog, Cebuano and other local languages as a means of distribution to the less fortunate who do not have access to the Internet or a computer.

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Manuel SerranoBy:
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Congress of the Philippines, President of the Philippines, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corportation, GMA Network, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Daily Tribune, Manila Times, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Radio Philippines Network, United States Congress, Pre


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