MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – For the first time since the Philippines gained full sovereignty from the United States in 1946, Filipinos will be given the chance to determine their country’s future.
A joint session of the Philippine Congress has approved a resolution calling for a national referendum on whether or not the former American colony should become the 51st state of the U.S. of A.
The referendum will coincide with the country’s 2016 presidential elections.
While the results of the referendum will not be legally binding, it will send a clear message to the United States about how the Filipinos think of their own government, and of Uncle Sam.
The power to accept any territory or country into the Union rests with the United States Congress.
If approved by the Filipino people through the referendum and favorably acted upon by the U.S. Congress, the Philippines will become the 51st or 52nd state.
Previously, Puerto Rico, in a similar nonbinding referendum, voted 61% to 33% for statehood, while the remaining 6% favored outright independence. Puerto Rico is one of the U.S. territories, along with Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.
If the Philippines becomes a state of the U.S., whomever is elected president in 2016 will automatically become governor of the new state.
Already the campaign for statehood has been launched through an online petition with 7,000 signatures so far.