PLM-Kababaihan training PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 16:52

PLM-Kababaihan training at OMI, Quezon City, August 29-30.

Preparing for more powerful women's participation in leadership and

community campaigns.

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March-rally to Comelec and Bureau of Customs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 27 August 2015 15:55

 

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PLM held Tour to Expose Corruption at Comelec and Customs

SUCCESSIVE protest actions were held today at the offices of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) under what protestors dubbed as the start of a series of “Tour to Expose Corruption” in line with the 2016 elections. The said agencies were accused of being “institutionally corrupt and are perfect instruments for cheating and raising funds for the coming elections.”

 

The protest action was initiated by Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), a political party of the marginalized sectors. Among its affiliates are the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), the Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod and the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon.

 

“As the campaign fever rises by the day, we fear that the probability of holding clean and honest elections also fades by the day,” said Sonny Melencio, chairperson of PLM.

 

Highly Probable Collusion

 

Melencio explained that, “The P300-million midnight deal between Smartmatic and the Comelec for the diagnostics and repair of 82,000 PCOS machines that was declared void by the Supreme Court was already a red flag, and yet no reforms were implemented and no transparent and upgraded mechanisms were put in place to ensure the Comelec deals were in the best interest of the people.”

 

“Negotiators of Smartmatic must be the luckiest people on earth for monopolizing billions-of-pesos worth of contracts from the Comelec in the past three months,” Melencio said.

 

Smartmatic was recently awarded a P7.86-billion lease contract by the Comelec for 70,977 optical mark reader machines (OMRs), on top of the 23,000 OMRs already awarded to it early this year at the cost of P1.72 billion.

 

Melencio noted that after the voiding of the P300-million refurbishment deal, the Comelec’s budget for the refurbishment of the PCOS machines, including consumables and the official ballots, was adjusted twice from P2.88 billion to P3.13 billion. Smartmatic refused to re-bid. Surprisingly, Comelec nullified the remaining bid by the Dermalog, Avante & Stone of David group, leaving no takers for the refurbishment contract. There was an alarming change of mind by the Commissioners who dropped the idea of refurbishing the 82,000 warehoused PCOS machines in favor of leasing a new set of 93,977 OMRs. All these seemed ridiculously tailor-fitted for the interests of Smartmatic.

 

Melencio demanded that the Comelec explain thoroughly to the public the sudden change of plans and explain why it was more beneficial and cost effective to the tax-paying public to lease new machines instead of using the old ones. He also lobbied for a holistic review of all Comelec decisions since 2010, as well as the inclusion of representatives of civil society and peoples’ organizations in the entire electoral process being undertaken by Comelec to ensure transparency and people’s trust in the voting system.

 

“The Comelec has failed in extinguishing doubts on the reliability of the PCOS machines since the 2010 elections, and the lack of transparency in its operations has fueled the suspicion of many, experts and skeptics alike, that something was wrong with the machines,” he lamented.

 

Motive behind the Balikbayan box fiasco

 

The PLM likewise held a demonstration at the BoC office in Port Area calling for Customs Chief Bert Lina’s resignation. They accused Lina of using his position to influence tariff and custom measures to gain undue advantage over his competition in the forwarding and freight business. On top of that, Lina treated OFWs as mere collateral damage in the competition between these companies in the logistics industry.

 

“Lina is misleading the public by declaring that he is just out to implement and upgrade the Customs rules, when his only intention is to give his previously owned companies advantage over competition,” Melencio declared.

 

“The processing of cargoes is already stiff, but his order for mandatory inspections will further impede the forwarders’ operations. This in turn will force its clients to find more reliable, prudent and punctual forwarding services. And Lina’s companies would be it. This is plain and simple harassment of Lina’s business rivals,” he averred.

 

Lina, together with his wife Sylvia, is chairman and major stockholder of 19 companies under the Lina Group of Companies which spans from logistics to solar energy and waste management. Among them are Airfreight 2100 Inc., Air2100 Inc., Cargohaus Inc., U-Freight Philippines Inc., and U-Ocean Inc., all doing business with the BoC.

Upon accepting the appointment as Customs chief last April, Lina declared that he would divest himself of all business interests as they are in obvious conflict with his public office. But up to now, no public announcement by concerned agencies has been made on the status of his divestments.

The group believes that Lina’s companies were sold to lesser know associates or even to dummies so that he may buy them back after Aquino’s term ends in 2016, similar to what he did in 2005 when he resigned as Customs chief from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Cabinet and joined the Hyatt 10.

Despite Lina’s lion share of the market, the PLM deems that he is “going in for the kill – a move to monopolize the entire forwarding industry before President Noynoy Aquino steps down from office”.

Lina is believed to be one of the major contributors in the campaign of Aquino when he ran in 2010. PLM fears that Lina will most likely contribute to the campaign kitty of the Aquino-endorsed candidacy of Mar Roxas in the 2016 elections for as long as the Palace supports the scheme of the Customs chief.

The group likewise concluded that the BoC has always been suspected as fund-raiser for administration parties. The previous Customs commissioner himself, John Philip Sevilla, had resigned from his post after accusing the supporters, allies and loyalists of President Aquino of pressuring him to make Customs a milking cow for 2016. Sevilla later on retracted his statement. “It is however an open secret that Customs posts are generally awarded to campaign financiers and supporters,” Melencio claimed.

“Not unless the bata-bata system is completely quashed that we will have a Customs free of graft and bureaucratic wranglings,” Melencio added.

Meanwhile Leody de Guzman of the militant BMP scoffed at the the recent announcement of the Palace to no longer subject Balikbayan boxes to random inspection when their scheme was to support Lina’s plan to subject all shipments to mandatory inspection.

“Is this how the Aquino government treats its “Bagong Bayani”? Malacanang’s support for Lina is a testament of how this government treats the OFWs, as collateral damage in Lina’s pursuit to monopolize the freight forwarding industry,” he said.

The BMP laments that Aquino not only failed to attribute and express gratitude to more than ten million Filipinos abroad for their remittances in his last SONA but also treats them as mere “collateral damage”.###

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 August 2015 18:19
 
SONA JULY 27,2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 27 July 2015 21:20
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Ang Huling Sona ni Pangulong Aquino

Ni Ka Sonny Melencio

 

Ito na ang huling Sona ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III.  Pero hindi pa ito ang katapusan ng kanyang paghahari dahil kahit ang mga susunod sa kanya ngayong eleksyon ay nagsasabi na ipagpapatuloy nila ang ‘daang matuwid’ na programa ni PNoy.

 

Ano ba ang ‘daang matuwid’?

 

Ito ay islogan lamang ng anti-corruption, pero hindi pa rin totoong anti-corruption. Sapagkat ang naipakulong lamang ng rehimeng Aquino ay iilang mga nasa oposisyon at nakalalaya pa ang kanyang mga kabigan at kapartido na kawatan din.

 

Higit dito, kasama sa plataporma ng tuwid na daan ang tunay na nilalaman ng programa ni PNoy – ang neoliberal na patakaran ng privatization, liberalization, deregulation, regressive taxation, at contractualization.

 

Privatization ito ng lahat ng serbisyo na dapat ipinagkakaloob ng gobyerno. Matagal na itong nangyayari mula pa panahon ni Cory Aquino. Na-privatize na noon pa ang tubig, elektrisidad, at transportasyon. Ngayon naman, ipinagpapatuloy ni PNoy ang privatization pati sa mga ospital, eskwelahan, airports, tren, enerhiya o halos lahat-lahat na.

 

Ang serbisyo ng gobyerno sa tao ay ipinaubaya na ngayon sa pribadong sektor. Pero hindi lamang ganito. Sinuhayan ito ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng patakaran ng regressive taxation o ng VAT (value added tax), na ang kinokolektahan ng buwis ay hindi ang malalaking kompanya kundi ang maliliit na tao. Ang 12% VAT sa pagkain, sa elektrisidad, at sa halos lahat ng produkto -- na dating pansamantala lamang – ay ginawang permanente.

 

Kaya lahat tayo – nagbabayad man ng income tax o hindi – ay binubuwisan nang malaki, nang paulit-ulit, ng segu-segundo sa pamamagitan ng VAT!

 

At hindi lang nagkasya dito. Sinuhayan din ng gobyerno ang malalaking kompanya sa pamamagitan ng patakarang kontraktwalisasyon sa mga manggagawa. Noong 1996, idinaos sa Pilipinas ang Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum na nagpropaganda sa atin ng sinasabing globalisasyon. Sabi noon ng gobyerno ni Fidel Ramos, ito ay magdadala sa atin ng ginhawa.

 

Anong nangyari? Naipatupad ang malawakang kontraktwalisasyon kasabay ng privatisasyon, liberalisasyon, deregulasyon, at VAT.  Nagsara ang maraming pabrika. Nawalan ng trabaho ang halos milyon-milyong manggagawa. Naging urban poor, naging rural poor, naging paeksta-ekstra, at ang natirang nagtatrabaho sa mga kompanya ay naging contractual.

 

Ano na naman kayang pahirap ang hinaharap natin ngayon sa ikalawang pagbisita ng APEC Forum sa Pilipinas ngayong Nobyembre?

 

Ang pangunahing nagpatupad ng kontraktwalisasyon sa bansa ay ang mga malalaking kompanya – ang SM, ang San Miguel, ang mga
kompanya ni Henry Sy, ni Lucio Tan, ni Gokongwei, ng mga Ayalas, Aboitiz, Razon, at mga gaya nila.

 

Kaya sila-sila rin ang nakinabang sa neoliberal na patakaran ng gobyerno.

 

Ayon sa huling sarbey, nagtriple ang yaman ng 10 multibilyonaryong mga Pilipino – kung Pilipino man silang matatawag – gaya nina Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Gokongwei, Ayala, at iba pa mula 2010 hanggang 2015. At ang 12 sa kanila ay napunta pa sa listahan ng pinakamayayamang tao sa daigdig.

 

Sa kabila nito ay ang 3 milyong unemployed, 10 milyon pag sinama mo ang underemployed. Pag pinagsama-sama mo na po ang lahat ng mahihirap na unemployed, underemployed, unpaid family workers, informal sectors, mahihirap na self-employed, ayon po sa isang sarbey, aabot tayo sa 89% ng populasyon.

 

Kailangan nating malaman na ang programang ito na nagpasara ng maraming maliliit na pabrika at nagpahirap sa milyun-milyong Pilipino ay ang  programa pa ring ipatutupad daw ng mga susunod kay PNoy na ngayon ay nag-aambisyong maging presidente.

 

Kaya hindi natin pinag-uusapan ang babasbasan lamang ni PNoy na tatakbong presidente – siya man ay si Roxas o si Grace Poe. Pinag-uusapan din natin ang lahat ng nag-aambisyon gaya nina Binay, Duterte, Marcos, at iba’t iba pa na ang programa, ayon din sa kanila, ay pagpapatuloy lamang ng programa ni PNoy (ang programa ng daang matuwid kuno).

 

Huwag na tayong magpaloko. Ang gobyerno ng mga elitista ay gobyernong salot sa mahihirap at sa bayan.

 

Ngayong eleksyon ang panawagan namin ay ipagpatuloy natin ang pagkilos laban sa political dynasty, laban sa pork barrel, laban sa kontraktwalisasyon, laban sa demolisyon, laban sa VAT, laban sa mataas na presyo ng bilihin, labas sa privatisasyon, laban sa liberalisasyon, laban sa deregulasyon, at laban sa gobyerno ng mga elitista.

 

Nagbubuo ang PLM ng alternative candidate slate na tatakbo sa eleksyon para isulong ang ating mga karaingan at gawing bahagi ng pakikibakang masa ang eleksyon sa 2016. Ipapahayag namin ito sa hinaharap at magtulung-tulong tayo para tiyakin na magkaroon tayo ng mga tunay na kinatawan ng masa sa Kongreso, sa ehekutibo, sa mga lokal na gobyerno, at sa mga barangay.

 

Magtulung-tulong tayo na ibagsak ang elitistang gobyerno at itayo ang tunay na gobyerno ng masa. Sa anumang pamamaraan – sa eleksyon at sa kalsada. At kung hindi pa rin makakamit dito – sa pamamagitan ng pag-aalsa, sa pamamagitan ng bagong rebolusyon na lilikha ng bagong pamahalaan ng masa. Isang pamahalaan na magpapatupad ng sosyalistang programa – ang pamamahagi ng yaman sa bawat tao sa lipunan nang walang pagtatangi, sa batayan man ng uri, ng angkan, at ng kasarian! #

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2015 11:15
 
PLM on the new Greek austerity program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 21 July 2015 22:15

We Stand in Solidarity with the Greek Peoples Struggles Against the Implementation of the Austerity Package

 

 

Under threat of economic collapse and a humanitarian catastrophe, after five months of ‘negotiations’ which have been described as “mental water-boarding”, the Greek government has accepted the punitive funding deal that represents the interests of the big banks and European finance capital and which imposes further austerity and debt on the people of Greece.

 

Under the deal the VAT system will be made more regressive, pensioners will suffer further cuts, the power sector utility ADMIE will be privatized along with other public assets to service an unserviceable and illegitimate debt and collective bargaining will be eroded. Impacts will include the foreclosures, evictions and liquidation of thousands of homes and businesses who are not in a position to keep up with their mortgages and loans. The “troika” of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund will control the way Greece’s budget is computed. The deal also forces the Greek government to retrospectively annul the anti-austerity Bills that were passed in the last few months that Syriza has been in government. These austerity measures had to be adopted before discussion can even begin on a third €85 billion bailout for Greece. The deal contradicts the entire election program on which Syriza was elected.

 

The popular will of the Greek people, who voted “no” in the July 12 referendum, is being violated by the robber barons of European capital. This is an assault on democracy; a coup that robs Greece of its national sovereignty.

 

We note that the Syriza Central Committee voted against the deal and that 32 of Syriza’s 149 MPs voted against the legislative package, and six more abstained. We also note that 15 of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) members also voted against the austerity package. We commend the left opposition for taking this stand.

 

However, we also note the main argument put forward by the Syriza leader and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who, while declaring that he “signed a text that I do not believe in”, stated that the threat from the creditors was real and “there is no other choice”. While there have been protest actions in solidarity with Greece, the Syriza government stands alone, as the only anti-austerity government in Europe. We understand, therefore, that the relationship of forces in Europe is stacked against the Syriza-led government.

 

We also note the protests and strikes in Greece against the current austerity package, and we stand in solidarity with these struggles and the progressive mass movements in Greece, as they continue to fight against the implementation of this deal.

 

This is not just the struggle of the people of Greece alone. It’s also the struggle of people of all over the world, in both developing and developed countries, who have been struggling for the past decades against the imposition of a whole range of neo-liberal measures - liberalization, deregulation, and privatization, including neoliberal austerity programs imposed by capitalist governments led by the US and its allies, through the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial institutions.  There has been a long history of struggles against debt repayments and for the cancellation of odious and illegitimate debts. The world has experienced how debt burdens and neo-liberal impositions have created havoc on economies, depleted natural resources, exacerbated inequalities, and impoverished peoples while siphoning off billions of dollars to global capitalist banks, giant corporations and imperialist governments.

 

We also claim the “Social Debt” owed to our people after decades of automatic debt service for "Illegitimate Debts," loans contracted through fraudulent and corrupt means. We continue to call for official and citizens' debt audits to investigate all public sector debts and contingent liabilities and review all laws pertaining and/or concerning public debt. We demand the immediate holding in escrow of payments for questionable loans and contracts, pending investigation, and re-negotiation and/or condonation, with appropriate sanctions against erring parties, whether governments or private entities.

 

We renew our demand on the Aquino government to repeal the Automatic Appropriations on Debt Servicing decree that automatically allocates up to one-third of the Philippines national budget for debt repayment.

 

We stand with Greece and call for the cancellation of ALL odious and illegitimate debts.

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

Philippines

 
PLM Marikina City Convention PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 19 July 2015 18:55

JULY 19,2015

PLM Marikina City convention at the City Hall Quadrangle. The convention elected new officers and discussed the campaign issues of PLM, including plans for the coming 2016 elections. More than 200 delegates attended, including a barangay captain and a number of kagawads from several barangays. The mayor and the vice mayor of Marikina City graced the event.


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Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 21:30
 
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A new party is born. A party for our times.

A party of Change! A party of Socialism!


“Pare-pareho lamang silang trapo!
Mangungurakot na naman yan!
Bobolahin na naman nila tayo!”


Sounds really familiar. We have heard this expression from people of all walks of life time and again. An automatic response, when one is asked about a certain politician or politicians in general.

For decades, generations of politicians from the same clan and some new ones have been deceiving the masses. Every election for them has been an opportunity to make more promises. And after every election, all these remain just that – promises.

Read more...

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