Partido Lakas ng Masa
Regional socialism conference PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:42

 

 

Successful socialism conference held in the Philippines

From Partido Lakas ng Masa, International Desk

(Conference talks uploaded in Socialist Dialogue section)

 

A successful ‘socialism conference’ was held in Manila from

November 27 to 28. The conference was organized by the socialist

Partido Lakas ng Masa or Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM)

and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia. The

conference was attended by 100 delegates, leaders of the PLM

from Metro Manila, and other leading socialists of the Philippine

left, as well as 13 international guests.

 

The international organisations represented came from the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM);

People’s Democratic Party (PRD-Indonesia); Working People’s Association (PRP-Indonesia);

Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD-Indonesia);

Socialist Alliance (Australia); The Left Party (Sweden); the General Confederation of Nepalese

Trade Unions (Gefont); the Vietnamese Union of Friendship Organisations; the Turn Left (Thailand);

and the Centre for Environment and Community Asset Development (Vietnam). Keynote speakers

at the conference included the newly appointed Cuban Ambassador to the Philippines Juan Corrales.

Greetings were also given by the representative of the Venezuelan embassy, Charge d’affaires

Manuel Iturbe.

 

The aim of the conference was explained by the opening speaker Reihana Mohideen, Chairperson of

Transform Asia. “We need to go beyond anti-capitalism. We have no shortage of those criticizing the

horrors of capitalism today, including the capitalists themselves, such as George Soros and even

former leaders of international finance institutions, such as Joseph Stiglitz… to NGOs, who are also

critics of the system. [But] anti-capitalism is not enough today. We need to put forward alternatives

to the capitalist system and we need to name these alternatives,as socialism. This is what this

conference aims to do,” she explained.

 

Conference highlights included panels and discussions on socialist strategy, the capitalist economic

crisis and socialist alternatives to the environmental crisis. Sonny Melencio Chairperson of PLM

argued that “there’s no strategy for all seasons” and that strategy is “not something constant, fixed,

once and for all.” “Strategy becomes a key question during historic turning points, when there is

intensification in the class struggle and during political crises…. [Otherwise] we face periods of

protracted organising and the preparation of the forces of the working class.”

 

Melencio gave some examples of such historic turning points: “While Lenin did not use the term

strategy, the question of strategy was posed in the 1905 and the 1917 Russian revolutions, when

the capture of political power by the working class was resolved through insurrection … The second

world war gave rise to national liberation movements and the strategy of Mao’s peoples war or

protracted peoples war [emerged] in China… Gramsci put forward the idea of ‘war of positions and

war of maneuvers’ which was in the context of the structure of the state in western countries.”

Melencio outlined the strategy pursued by PLM as a “combination of uprising or people's power

action and electoral intervention”, also drawing from the lessons of the revolutions in Venezuela and

Bolivia that involved insurrectionary uprisings and electoral victories.

 

Bui Ba Binh, from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, described the situation in Vietnam

today under the ‘socialist oriented market economy’. He explained that the key features of this

orientation was “to consider the market as a means to achieve social development objectives…

to rationally use the market space… and to harmoniously link the market space with public,

non-market, space in other fields.” According to Binh, the ‘socialist-oriented market economy’ has

brought about real positive changes in Vietnam.

 

The final plenary session included a discussion on socialist internationalism and the call made by the

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela for the formation of a

Fifth International. Speaking on the proposal Arul Arutchelvan, from the Socialist Party of Malaysia,

explained the importance of the proposal. “Hugo Chavez and Venezuela have the moral authority to

call for the Fifth International because of their commitment to building socialism in the 21st century.

It’s also a non-sectarian position taken by Chavez. This is not a rigid [structure] it calls upon all left

parties and anti-imperialist groupings to come together.”

 

The conference concluded with a performance by the PLM cultural group Teatro Pabrika and

the singing of the Internationale.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:47
 
PLM at European Feminist Forum, Stockholm, Sweden PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 12 May 2011 14:49

PLM was invited to participate at the Feminist Forum held in Stockholm, Sweden on May 7. The talk, presented by PLM EC member Reihana Mohideen, was on "Renewing Socialist Feminism", which discussed the need for the women's movement to put forward anti-capitalist alternatives in the face of the multiple crises facing global capitalism. The conference, which is held every year, was attended by around 1000 feminists. PLM also participated in a national tour of six cities. The presentation made at the Feminist Forum can be found here: Feminist Forum, May 2011, Stockholm, Sweden

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:23
 
Haiti: Regional Solidarity Statement PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 24 January 2010 09:13

Haiti: Solidarity and Aid! Freedom and National Sovereignty! No to US Occupation!

On January 13, 2010, a 7.3 Richter scale earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.  The earthquake caused great destruction and 200,000 people are thought to be dead. Further, 3 million Haitians have been rendered homeless by the quake, which also damaged many public service buildings, such as hospitals and schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 13:11
Read more...
 
PLM Statement on Vice-President Binay Investigation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 21:02

PLM Statement on the Binay investigation

 

The Senate investigation against Vice-President Jejomar Binay is an indication that the 2016 electoral campaign has already begun. The two main electoral camps – the Liberal Party Coalition and the United Nationalist Alliance – are at loggerheads with each other, with the Liberal Party coalition trying to demolish its main rivals in the coming election.

 

While the intent of the Senate investigation is to expose the corruption of the vice-president, it also exposes the ongoing corruption involving more government officials associated not only with the ‘opposition’ UNA but with the ruling party. Senate President Franklin Drilon, the head of the Liberal Party, is himself implicated in a P700-million ICC building corruption. It is sheer hypocrisy for the Senate committee to keep silent about Drilon’s corruption while they pillory Binay almost daily with great aplomb and fanfare.

 

Let’s be clear about this. Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) wants Binay to be investigated of corruption charges. And if found guilty, he should be arrested, impeached or penalized for the crimes committed against the people not only of Makati but the entire country. The money stolen should also be retrieved and restored to the country’s coffers to be used for welfare projects that benefit the poor.

 

On the other hand, Drilon and the other politicians, even those in the ruling party – or all those implicated in the misuse of government funds and outright corruption – should be made to account for their crimes. Only three UNA senators (Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada) have so far been put to jail, but everyone knows that the Janet Lim-Napoles’ scam implicated almost all the entire Senate, many members of the House of Representatives, and top officials of government agencies.

 

Even Representative Walden Bello, whose partylist Akbayan is allied to President Aquino, has repeatedly called on the latter to investigate and sack those perceived corrupt officials close to him, including Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, and Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima. President Noynoy has consistently rejected the calls even for their investigation.

 

The PLM demands that everyone in the government, from top down, from Malacanang to Congress and various agencies of the government, be made to account for their use of government money over the years that they are in power. Everyone must be audited, and those found to be accountable be charged in court and be made to pay back what they have stolen from the people’s money.

 

The PLM also believes that this high-level corruption is happening in government, and will continue to happen in government, unless we do away with:

 

--  The political dynasties which have ruled our country for so long. The Binays are a dynasty, and so are the Cayetanos, the Abads, the 75% of our so-called representatives in the House and the Senate, and the 80% of governors and mayors in the entire archipelago.

 

--  The pork barrel system, which despite the removal of the PDAF and the DAP, continues to be enjoyed by almost those in government to the detriment of people’s needs and welfare.

 

The government of thieves should not be given any opportunity to continue its crimes. Families lording it over in different levels of government should be stopped in monopolizing power. Government funds made available to all their whims and caprices -- including those dispersed to all their spouses and children, relatives, and friends -- should be scrapped and should be provided only to appropriate government bodies and line agencies which are open to public scrutiny.

The government of thieves can only rule through deceit. A thorough-going Freedom of Information Law can make government more transparent and subject to people’s scrutiny. This bill however has been languishing in Congress for many years simply because the legislators do not want it.

 

Lastly, we call on all those who reject the political dynasties, the trapo politics, the pork barrel, and the entire rotten system to unite and organize a genuine alternative to a government ruled by thieves. Individuals, organizations and networks should come together to form a genuine and strong opposition to those in power who continue to plunder our resources and oppress the poor. The people should not be made to choose once again between the ‘most evil’ and the ‘lesser evil’ in the coming elections.  Neither LP nor UNA, neither Mar nor Binay. Now is the time to march forward.

 

NO TO TRAPO POLITICS!

YES TO ALTERNATIVE POLITICS!

YES TO ALTERNATIVE CANDIDATES!

YES TO GOBYERNO NG MASA!

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

November 2014

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 21:05
 
Statement on the AFP plunder scandal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 12:20

 

 

Stop the Plunder! Revamp the AFP Now!

 

THE FUNDAMENTAL role and character of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been brought
into question by the latest revelations of the colossal scale of corruption, nay, plunder of state and
people’s resources by the general command of the AFP.

 

Lt. Col. George Rabusa, the former Philippine military budget officer, has revealed a fraction of
this plunder, as well as one of the mechanisms by which it takes place: the payola (slush) fund,
known as the provisions for command-directed activities (PCDA), which has a fund of around
half-a-billion pesos yearly. Through this PCDA fund, General Angelo Reyes helped himself to
50 million pesos when he retired in March 2001, after just 20 months in office. Generals Villanueva
and Cimatu were given a 10 million pesos start-up fund each. All three generals also received a
P5 million monthly allowance from the fund during their term in office. Some 160 million pesos
"pabaon" (send-off money) was given to General Villanueva when he retired in May 2002.
In total, Rabusa had converted into dollars and handed out to the generals almost one billion pesos
from the payola fund.

 

Perhaps even more alarming are the revelations of former Commission on Audit officer
Heidi Mendoza. Mendoza states that an even larger amount of millions of dollars of overseas
funding from international agencies, such as the United Nations, slated for Philippine troops on
peacekeeping missions overseas, have been siphoned off into dubious accounts in the Philippines.
This includes a single check for $5 million, which was “picked up” in the US by an “unidentified
AFP officer”. Former comptroller General Carlos Garcia, who has been pinpointed by Mendoza,
was the main operator who was fronting for several top generals, and not only Angelo Reyes.
High ranking officials of the AFP are now claiming that the plunder was stopped through the
abolishment of the PCDA in 2005. But this sounds more like damage control on the part of the
serving AFP top brass, to contain the situation from further damaging and undermining the institution.

 

However, these plunder charges prove that there is something fundamentally flawed about the AFP
as currently constituted. The AFP, far from being the protector of the people seems to be the very
anti-thesis of this, plundering the resources that belong to the ordinary soldiers and the masa.
Ordinary rank-and-file soldiers put their lives on the line every day and their families scrimp on
meagre wages and are deprived of much needed benefits, while the top brass, their wives and
children, wallow in plundered wealth.

 

We think that a genuine government of the people will act and take some immediate measures
to revamp and fundamentally transform the AFP. These include the following actions:

 

-- Press for the resignation of the top generals.

-- Replace them with a younger generation of junior officers,
with the commitment and will to serve the people.
-- Abolish not only the slush funds, but all the discretionary funds
of the generals, and channel the funds to the rank-and-file
soldiers’ welfare and benefits, i.e. medical benefits, housing
and salary increases.
-- Review the defense budget with the aim of re-channelling the savings
towards people’s welfare expenditure, such as education and health.
-- Investigate the financial dealings of the top generals, with the view
to charging them with corruption and plunder of the people’s resources.

 

These are the most immediate and practical measures that are necessary to revamp the AFP and
transform it into a genuine protector of the people’s interests.

 

February 2, 2011

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 12:42
 
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