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
 
May 31, 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 13 June 2016 09:14

May 31, 2016. PLM joins the big rally in front of Comelec demanding the proclamation of Ating Guro partylist.

 

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CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS

 
PLM Statement on the prospect of the Left under the Duterte presidency PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 28 May 2016 12:08

Philippine Left facing a Duterte-CPP Coalition Government?

 

 

An extremely interesting and challenging political situation has opened up for the Philippine Left.  Plans are underway by the newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte to establish a government with CPP participation and move forward with peace talks to resolve the five-decade long armed struggle conducted by the New Peoples Army. The May 9 national elections saw the former mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte, elected as president. Duterte is considered to be a political maverick and an outsider to the traditional oligarchy that has ruled the Philippines since the ‘Edsa revolution’ that overthrew the Marcos dictatorship in 1986. Duterte is a former student of the CPP founding Chair Jose Maria Sison and is a long-time ally of the CPP-NPA, since he became a local official in the Davao City government, in the late 1980s.

 

 

The CPP has proposed a list of candidates to head up four key ministries: labor, social welfare, agrarian reform, as well as energy and the environment (combined in one department). Key leaders of the CPP-National Democratic Front, who have been living in self-declared exile in the Netherlands, have now returned to Manila to negotiate the arrangements. Jose Maria Sison is expected to return to the Philippines after Duterte formally assumes the presidency. Duterte has declared that he will set in place security arrangements for Sison’s safety. He has also promised to release imprisoned CPP leaders, including leaders of the New Peoples Army.

 

 

The CPP has called for the establishment of a ‘government of national unity, peace and development’ and the CPP Central Committee has issued a statement outlining its position. The statement analyses the Duterte presidency as a continuation of elite rule in the Philippines and is seemingly contradictory, given the CPP’s agreement to participate in and form a coalition government with Duterte: “The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces take stock of the significance of the rise of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as chief political representative of the ruling classes and head of the reactionary client-state and its consequences in advancing the national democratic revolution through people’s war”. The statement outlines the program for such a government of ‘national unity’, which is against neoliberalism and based on the historic demands of the mass movement: “Duterte must repudiate the neoliberal thrusts of liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization of the previous regimes. Advancing land reform and national industrialization will generate jobs and end the need for such palliatives as the conditional cash transfer (4Ps) that only perpetuate the people’s poverty and smokescreen the deterioration of public social services. … The Duterte regime must heed the demand of workers and employees for a national minimum wage and the abolition of the regionalization of wages. He must end contractualization and take back his earlier statements against unions and workers rights. Without their unions, workers have nothing to defend themselves against attacks on wages.”

 

 

See full statement here: http://www.ndfp.org/prospects-duterte-presidency/

 

 

The CPP analysis of the class-character of the Duterte presidency is in line with the position of PLM.

 

 

See PLM analysis prior to the elections, here: http://www.masa.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=401:the-duterte-phenomenon

 

 

Joma Sison has also indicated that he is open to unity with Left forces outside the CPP: “Past differences can be overcome by current resolutions which are good and forward-looking toward a better and brighter social system”. The newspaper report quoting Sison refers to the “rejectionists” forces, specifically the forces led by Felimon ‘Popoy’ Lagman, who disagreed with the CPP military strategy of ‘protracted people war’, which led to a split with the Manila Rizal Regional Committee declaring ‘autonomy’ from the party in 1993. Popoy Lagman was brutally assassinated in 2001, the first leader of the left to be killed under the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, by unidentified goons of the military.

 

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa-PLM Chair Sonny Melencio has welcomed Sison’s statement: “This is a welcome statement from CPP founding chair Jose Ma. Sison. … I have long believed that the RA-RJ divide, which happened 23 years ago, that is a very long time in politics, can be overcome by political unity, not so much by ideological homogeneity. Ideological unity can be a process of discussion and clarification as the class struggle unfolds. On the government of national unity, its objectives of peace and development can only be founded on the interests of and justice for the masses. This is where the unity of the Left and progressive forces is crucial – it is to ensure that such a program can be achieved and implemented, whichever direction the political storm surges during the coming administration.” (RA are the ‘reaffirmists’ of the strategy of protracted peoples war; RJ are the ‘rejectionists’ of the strategy of protracted peoples war.) PLM was instrumental in forging a unity ticket of seven senate candidates, including Neri Colmenares of the Makabayan bloc (aligned with the CPP) and Walden Bello, former leader of Akbayan in Congress. Both Colmenares and Bello attended and spoke at various gatherings and assemblies of PLM and its allied organizations.

 

 

The CPP statement is not so much addressed to Duterte, as to the masses who support Duterte. The statement presents a program for how a Duterte regime can genuinely advance people’s aspirations for change. In this sense, this is also a program that can scrape away the layers of posturing that Duterte has projected in his campaign. If the CPP confronts a Duterte regime that fails or refuses to heed this program, then it will be better to turn its call for a government of national unity, into a broad popular movement that mobilizes the masses and fights for a national program against neoliberal-elite rule.

 

 

Reihana Mohideen

National Council member, PLM


Last Updated on Saturday, 28 May 2016 12:14
 
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
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