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
 
Duterte's State of the Nation Address (Sona) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:37

DUTERTE’S SONA – MORE SWEARING THAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS

By Sonny Melencio

 

WHOEVER thought of the theme of Duterte’s Sona – “A Comfortable Life for All” – must be living in Mars, if not out of his mind. How can life be comfortable for all when there is martial law in Mindanao. Can you tell that to the 260,000 refugees from Marawi still languishing in evacuation centers? The 8,000 Tokhang victims and the widows of the war on drugs in poor neighborhood? The millions of contractual workers who are denied regular work despite Duterte’s promise of dismantling labor contractualization? The landless farmers? The masses suffering from unemployment, rising prices of basic commodities, and lack of decent housing?

 

The comfortable life finds resonance only among the hundreds of trapos, top bureaucrats and VIP honchos who paraded inside the Batasan. For the many, especially for the tens of thousands who rallied outside, the “comfortable life” is another comfortable lie peddled by the Duterte administration.

 

Duterte’s Sona is almost a repeat of last year’s, but minus the expectations from many who watched last year’s event. It lacks a coherent message. It was rambling and without focus; the theme itself was not explicated.

 

At certain points, the Sona is crass entertainment. Duterte had the sense to veer away from his disgusting and disturbing rape jokes, but he managed to keep the gallery entertained with the usual boys’ talk, like how many wives each of the male government officials in the gallery is keeping. After depicting this as a natural inclination of men, he then pilloried Senator Leila de Lima for immorality, for having a driver lover.

 

Not about accomplishments

 

The Sona turned out to be not about the accomplishments of Duterte’s administration. It was a blistering attack against his sworn enemies. At several points, he cussed and foul-mouthed the incarcerated Senator de Lima, Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Ma. Sison, Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon, the United Nations, the media corporations ABS-CBN and Rappler, and many others. Aside from the cussing, there were actual threats made by Duterte in the Sona, like the threat to order the soldiers and the police to shoot Kadamay members if they try again to take over idle government housing units.

 

[Duterte’s threats continued during the press conference after the Sona where he threatened to bomb the Lumad communities, especially its schools, for coddling the New People’s Army and teaching rebellion.]

 

Double talks

 

There’s a lot of double talk in Duterte’s Sona. Here are some of them:

 

n  He used former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez’ anti-mining advocacy to threaten mining companies for degrading the environment. While everybody knew he had allowed Congress to remove Lopez from her post and appointed a new secretary who’s now reversing her policies.

 

n  He premised his talk of a desire to keep peace, and yet he imposed martial law and disbanded the peace talks.

 

n  He cursed the CHR and the human rights defenders and yet not a whimper about police atrocities on the war on drugs, including the killing committed by top police officers inside Camp Crame itself.

 

n  He asked the United States government to return the Balangiga bells to the Philippines, the church bells seized by US soldiers in 1901 after a heroic resistance of Balangiga villagers and guerrillas in the fight against American colonization of the country. And yet, he allowed China to occupy islands and bodies of water in the West Philippine Sea in return for Chinese loans to his infrastructure projects.

 

n  He boasted of increase in assistance to our Overseas Filipino Workers from P400 million to P1 billion, and yet there is already grumblings by OFWs on a supposedly free OFW card which they are paying right now by around P501 each. (The Department of Labor & Employment said they are looking into this.)

 

Duterte is not the sole problem

 

While he huffed and puffed, the entire gallery broke into cheers and incessant clapping. But no surprise here. The gallery is largely made up of representatives from Congress (the Lower House and Senate) which two days ago voted overwhelmingly to extend martial law in Mindanao.

 

The Lower House specifically had accomplished notoriety by passing death penalty and raising consumer taxes and VAT under the name of Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, both of which would only pillory the poor. The Senate is still to give its imprimatur, although judging by the votes on martial law extension by its joint session with the House, it has also become hopelessly beholden to Duterte.

 

Duterte is clearly not the sole problem. The entire bureaucracy seems to have lined up with Duterte. This government is indeed not yet a one-man dictatorship, but it is very much a dictatorship of the trapos, the warlord, and the dynasties which comprise Congress.

 

Issues not tackled

 

While a lot of cussing and ad hominem peppered Duterte’s Sona, he seemed to have acquired amnesia on previous promises to purge labor contractualization, implement land reform, and establish full-scale industrialization. Not a word about them.

 

The media said he also did not talk about the Basic Bangsamoro Law (BBL) submitted to him by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a few days before the Sona. The BBL has been overshadowed by the extension of martial law and the continuation of war in Mindanao, the main targets of which are not just the terrorists but the armed groupings (not just the Maute, the Abu Sayyaf, the BFF, and other extremist groups, but also the MILF, and probably the MNLF).

 

It is probable that Duterte did not mention the new BBL in the Sona because he wanted to keep the MILF at bay while he concentrated his military operations and bombings against the NPAs. Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines, even before the Sona, to hunt down the NPAs after concluding its wiping-out operations against the Mautes.

 

Barangay elections, ChaCha and federalism

 

There was also no mention of charter change (Chacha) and the federalism thrust of Duterte’s government. But these are already in the bag. In October, Duterte is set to postpone the barangay elections and appoint his own people to the barangay councils. Before the year ends, he intends to go ahead with the ChaCha through Congress sitting as a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass). With a servile Congress and the barangays under Duterte, federalism will soon be adopted, one that will perpetuate trapo, warlord and dynasty rule in every region in the country.

 

The ChaCha also aims to scrap all protectionist economic provisions in the Constitution, i.e., the 60-40% corporate equity provisions in favor of Filipinos, and the prohibition on foreign land ownership. With ChaCha, the limitations on martial law imposition will be scrapped too. This will give much power and prerogatives to Duterte in extending and expanding martial law.

 

Somewhere in his talk, Duterte said he did not intend to go beyond his term. But in the plan of things, after two years at least, we have to be ready for a counterfeit version of Marcosian rule, with Duterte in full control. And with his lackeys and minions in the federal states. This is the essence of what could be called a full-blown Dutertismo. #

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:39
 
International Human Rights Day 2016 – Philippines PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 10 December 2016 15:32

 

PLM (Partido Lakas ng Masa) joined iDEFEND, a coalition of human rights and people’s rights groups in the Philippines, in a rally this morning marking International Human Rights Day. PLM slams the killings of suspected pushers and drug users, which now reached 6,000 dead, under President Duterte’s war on drugs. PLM and a number of groups called for the building of a broad opposition coalition that will campaign against the mass killings, the reinstitution of the death penalty, the lowering of criminal age to 9 years old, and others.


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15337546_1132351460213102_5459158643896491035_n 15421004_1132347696880145_8077309586338360504_n

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 December 2016 16:03
 
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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