Monday, September 15, 2014

Groups Launch Resistance Movement vs. Noynoy Aquino

Photo by Omeng Abunda of Sanlakas, 091514

Joint Press Release
15 September 2014

Groups Launch Resistance Movement vs. Aquino’s Emergency Powers, Cha-Cha, Term Extension and Attacks vs Supreme Court

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty.” Atty Aaron Pedrosa, SANLAKAS Secretary General borrows a quote from Thomas Jefferson, as various groups and sectoral organizations gathered to launch a movement dubbed as “All Resist Movement” (ARM the People!).

Leaders of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP). SANLAKAS, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralita sa Lunsod (KPML), Aniban ng Magsasaka sa Agrikultura (AMA), Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT), Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA) and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) took turns in lambasting President Noynoy Aquino’s request for a Joint Resolution from Congress that would grant him emergency powers to address a purported energy crisis in 2015.

Leody de Guzman, BMP President, added, “Two presidents invoked and used Emergency Powers: Fidel Ramos, when he used it and locked-in the country in IPP contracts that to this day the Filipino people are paying for in high electricity rates; and Gloria Arroyo, when she wielded emergency powers to preserve her fraudulently acquired presidency in the 2004 elections. During both times, emergency powers did not serve the people’s interest and welfare at all.”

“Why does he need Emergency Powers? The energy crisis is the result of EPIRA, a law that after over ten years of existence has proven to have failed in ensuring power supply and affordable electricity for the people, especially the masses. If Congress should act to resolve the crisis, it is should not be to give Noynoy emergency powers but to throw out EPIRA and pass a new law that gives back the control of the power industry to government.” decried Flora A. Santos of the Metro Manila Vendors Alliance.

“Connect the dots. From appropriating the powers of Congress to stop approved government projects, declaring these funds as “savings” in order to divert the funds into other projects, and the cross-border transfer of these funds to allies and prospective allies, his endorsement of ChaCha for the expressed purpose of clipping the powers of the Supreme Court, his innuendos towards term extension, and now, Aquino wants emergency powers. Doesn’t this smack of Marcosian rule?” Pedrosa pointed out.

The groups also opposed the Economic ChaCha, .spearheaded by House Speaker Sonny Belmonte. Sonny Melencio, PLM Chairman, described the move to insert the phrase “and as provided by law” towards allowing 100% foreign ownership in the Philippines as “an attempt to give foreign corporate interest a free pass to ravage the nation’s natural and human resources without any guarantees that it will benefit the entire populace and not only the factories in export processing zones and the residences of the propertied classes”.

While Aquino and his allies give foreign corporate interest carte blanche rights to plunder our economy, PNoy is going on his 4-European Nation 8-day Tour on a Filipino labor-pimping mission.”, added Gie Relova of BMP”.

“All of the Heads of State and corporate bosses that Aquino will talk to will find out how dirt cheap Filipino labor is and how contractualization has breached all industries in the country and that once the constitution is amended, it will make it even more profitable for capitalists to invest here, Relova said.

The All Resist Movement (ARM the People) which they described as a peoples’ crusade in response to Noynoy Aquino’s plans to further plunder the economy and extend his term in office by amending the constitution and utilizing special provisions that will grant him emergency powers.

The ARM the People campaign, as the militants articulated “is also the peoples’ response and resistance to the crude political maneuvers of Aquino and allies to secure their political survival in the 2016 elections by the continued practice of the pork barrel system”.

Pedrosa argued that, “After the striking down of the impeachment charges before the House, this call to arms is the logical step forward for an aggrieved and victimized nation to redress the four-year epic failure of the presidency of Aquino and the unabated neglect and misery of our people”.

ARM the People will be launched this coming week from the 16th onward with a series of mass actions to bring to Noynoy’s doorstep in Malacanang, to Congress, to the Senate the resistance of a people who will not allow corruption, injustice or tyranny to prevail.

On September 21, ARM the People will hold simultaneous protest actions at the grassroots level in various cities and municipalities in Metro Manila, and in major city centers in Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban, Davao City and Ozamiz City.#

All Resist Movement (ARM the People!), Inilunsad

Kuha ni Omeng Abunda ng Sanlakas, 091514

Joint Press Release
15 Setyembre 2014

Resistance Movement, Inilunsad ng iba’t ibang grupo laban sa Emergency Powers ni Aquino, Cha-Cha, Term Extension at Atake sa Korte Suprema

“Kapag naging batas ang inhustisya, tungkulin na nating makibaka.” Hiniram ni Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary General ng SANLAKAS, ang mga pananalitang ito kay Thomas Jefferson, habang nagtitipon ang iba’t ibang grupo at organisasyong sektoral sa paglulunsad ng isang kilusang tinawag nilang “All Resist Movement” (ARM the People!).

Kinutya ng mga lider ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP). SANLAKAS, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralita ng Lunsod (KPML), Aniban ng Magsasaka sa Agrikultura (AMA), Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT), Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA), at Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) ang kahilingan ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino sa kahilingan nitong Joint Resolution mula sa Kongreso na magbibigay sa kanya ng emergency power upang matugunan ang napipintong krisis sa enerhiya sa 2015.

Idinagdag pa ni Leody de Guzman, pangulo ng BMP, “Dalawang pangulo na ang naggiit at gumamit ng emergency power: si Fidel Ramos, nang ginamit niya ito at ipiniit ang bansa sa mga kontrata ng IPP na hanggang sa ngayon, nagbabayad ang mamamayang Pilipino ng napakataas na presyo ng kuryente; at si Gloria Arroyo, nang ginamit niya ang emergency power upang mapanatili sa kanyang nakuha-sa-dayang pangkapangulo noong halalang 2004. Sa dalawang panahong iyon, hindi nakapagsilbi sa kapakanan at kagalingan ng mamamayan ang emergency power.”

“Bakit niya kailangan ng emergency power? Ang krisis sa enerhiya ang resulta ng EPIRA, isang batas na makalipas ang mahigit sampung taon ay patunay ng pagkabigong matiyak ang suplay sa kuryente at abotkayang elektrisidad para sa mamamayan, lalo na sa mga maliliit. Kung kikios ang Kongreso para maresolba ang krisis, ito’y hindi ang bigyan ng emergency power si Noynoy kundi ibasura ang EPIRA at magpasa ng bagong batas na magbabalik sa pamahalaan ng kontrol sa industriya ng kuryente,” puna ni Flora A. Santos ng Metro Manila Vendors Alliance.

“Ikonekta natin ang mga tuldok. Mula sa paglalaan ng kapangyarihan ng Kongreso upang matigil ang mga aprubadong proyekto ng gobyerno, na idinedeklrarang “ipon” o “savings” ang mga pondong ito upang mailipat ang mga pondo sa ibang proyekto, at ang mga paglilipat ng mga pondong ito sa mga alyadao at inaasahang alyado, ang kanyang pag-endorso sa ChaCha para sa adhikain niyang mabawasan ang kapangyarihan ng Korte Suprema, ang mga pasaring niya sa pagpapalawig ng termino, at ngayon, nais ni Aquino ng emergency power. Hindi ba ito isang paggaya sa pamamahala ni Marcos?” pagdidiin pa ni Pedrosa.

Laban din ang mga nasabing grupo sa Economic ChaCha, na pinangungunahan ni House Speaker Sonny Belmonte. Inilarawan ni Sonny Melencio, pangulo ng PLM, ang kilos upang ipasok ang pariralang “and as provided by law” hinggil sa pagpayag sa 100% pag-aari ng dayuhan sa Pilipinas bilang “pagtatangkang bigyan ng libreng pases ang mga dayuhang korporasyon na was akin ang likas-yaman at lakas-paggawa ng bansa nang walang anumang katiyakan na ito’y magbibigay ng benepisyon sa buong mamamayan, at hindi lang sa mga pabrika sa export processing zones at sa mga tahanan ng uring maraming pag-aari”.

Habang binibigyan ni Aquino at kanyang mga alyado ang interes ng mga dayuhang korporasyon ng blangkong karapatang mandambong sa ating ekonomya, patungo naman si PNoy sa kanyang walong araw na pagdalaw sa apat na bansa sa Europa upang ibugaw ang manggagawang Pilipino.” Dagdag ni Gie Relova ng BMP.

“Lahat ng mga Pinuno ng Estado at mga boss na kapitalista na kinakausap ni Aquino ay malalaman kung gaano kamura ang lakas-paggawa ng manggagawang Pilipino, at paanong dumaragsa ang kontratwalisasyon sa lahat ng industriya sa bansa, at kapag naamyendahan ang konstitusyon, lalo pang magkakamal ng tubo ang mga kapitalistang magnenegosyo rito,” dagdag pa ni Relova.

Ang All Resist Movement (ARM the People) na inilarawan nilang krusada ng taumbayan bilang tugon sa plano ni Aquino na patuloy pang dambungin ang ekonomya at palawigin ang kanyang termino sa pwesto sa pamamagitan ng pag-amyenda sa konstitusyon at paggamit ng mga ispesyal na probisyon na magbibigay sa kanya ng mga emergency power.

Ang kampanyang ARM the People, na ipinaliliwanag ng mga militante “ang siya ring tugon ng sambayanan at paglaban sa baluktot na maniobrang pulitikal ni Aquino at ng kayang mga kaalyado upang matiyak ang kanilang pulitikal na pananatili sa halalang 2016 sa pamamagitan ng patuloy na paggamit ng sistemang pork barrel”.

Iginiit pa ni Pedrosa, “Matapos na mabasura ang mga impeachment charges sa Mababang Kapulungan, ang panawagang pag-aarmas na ito ang lohikal na hakbang pasulong para sa inapi’t biniktimang bansa upang tugunan ng apat-na-taong pagkabigo ng pagkapangulo ni Aquino at ang patuloy na pagbalewala at karukhaan ng ating mamamayan”.

Ilulunsad ang ARM the People sa susunod na linggo mula sa ika-16 sa pamamagitan ng serye ng mga aksyong masa upang madala sa tarangkahan ni Noynoy sa MalacaƱang, sa Kongreso, sa Senado ang pakikibaka ng taumbayang hindi pumapayag sa katiwalian, inhustisya o tiranya na manatili.

Sa Setyembre 21, maglulunsad ng sari-saring pagkilos sa antas ng masa ang ARM the People sa iba’t ibang lungsod at bayan sa Metro Manila, at sa mga mayor na sentrong lungsod sa Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban, Lungsod ng Davao at Lungsod ng Ozamiz.#

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sigaw sa Mendiola at Luneta: Pork Abolition, Hindi Term Extension at ChaCha!

Sigaw sa Mendiola at Luneta: Pork Abolition, Hindi Term Extension at ChaCha!

Agosto 25, 2014 - Madaling araw pa lang ng Lunes ay nasa Mendiola na ang mga kasapi ng SANLAKAS, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML), Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA), Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO), Piglas-Kabataan, at Teatro Proletaryo. Bandang ikapito ng umaga ay dumating naman ang Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), UP KAISA, at iba pa.

Sa saliw ng ChaCha, at ng awiting "Kung alam mo lang, Bayan" (rendisyon ng awiting "Kung Alam Mo Lang, Violy" ni Gary Granada), nagsayaw ang mga kasapi ng Teatro Proletaryo sa Mendiola, bandang ikaanim ng umaga. Ito'y bahagi ng kanilang protesta laban sa pork barrel at term extension na balak ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino kaya nais nitong magkaroon ng ChaCha o Charter Change.

Bandang ikasiyam ng umaga ay nagmartsa na sila patungo sa Quirino Grandstand upang makiisa sa mas malawak na pagtitipon ng sambayanan. Idinaos sa Luneta ang aktibidad na "Stand Up! Sign Up!" o "Manindigan at Lumagda" laban sa pakanang term extension ng pamahalaang Aquino.

Ulat at mga litrato ni Greg Bituin Jr.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joint PR: Groups Vow to Fight Aquino’s bid for Cha-Cha and Term Extension

SANLAKAS - BMP - PLM
Joint Press Release
20 August 2014 

Gina Flores 0922-8761086
Sanlakas Media Liaison

Groups Vow to Fight Aquino’s bid for Cha-Cha and Term Extension to Secure Himself and his Pork Barrel Beyond 2016

CITING President Noynoy Aquino’s innuendoes towards Cha-Cha and term extension, and his declaration of intent to clip the powers of the judiciary after the Supreme Court declared his Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) unconstitutional, progressive groups say this clearly reveals Aquino’s dictatorial tendencies.

In a press conference held in Quezon City, the groups Sanlakas, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) and allied peoples organizations vowed to take to the streets and mobilize to fight President Noynoy Aquino schemes to change the Charter in order to extend his term in office to secure himself in the face of recent Disbursement Acceleration program (DAP).controversy.

“If a sitting President flouts the Constitutional tenets on checks and balance by flagrantly attacking the judiciary, flaunts his control over the legislative branch, and pits this against the judiciary as well,  does this not endanger the very delicate balance of power of existing constitutional democracy?” argued Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, national Secretary-General of Sanlakas.

Pedrosa said that Aquino’s recent moves against the judiciary, and calls for cha-cha and term extension reminds us of how President Ferdinand Marcos, who in 1972 was on his last year of his Constitutionally-mandated second term made similar innuendoes for term extension during the Constitutional Convention to amend the 1935 Constitution. “We all know what happened in September of 1972, Marcos usurped absolute power when he declared martial law and ruled as a dictator for the next 13 years”.

For his part, Leody de Guzman of BMP asserted that, “the bottom line of recent political tumult since parts of the DAP were declared unconstitutional by the SC is Aquino’s intent to protect himself and his partymates from the consequence of such a resolution, and to secure himself and his party of continued control over power beyond 2016.”

The groups also decried the refusal of Congress to recognize an impeachment complaint they filed earlier against President Aquino on the grounds of “culpable violation of the constitution” and “betrayal of trust”.  

Sonny Melencio of Partido Lakas ng Masa said, “Despite the general belief that impeachment in our political system is a numbers game, and that all impeachment complaints that are now filed and being deliberated in the House Committee on Justice are expected to be thrown out because of Noynoy’s and the ruling party coalition’s control over the very large majority of the House of Representative, it is still important and significant that we and all the groups who have done so, take a stand and file for impeachment of President Aquino, in the effort to expose the hypocrisy of this administration’s campaign against corruption, and the nature of their TRAPO rule.”  

Melencio added, “the fact that we have a House of Representative that will do the behest of the Executive in order to preserve the pork barrel system and to protect their hold on power merely reveals the reality that what we have is a Congress of TRAPOs and elite politicians, not a Congress truly representative of the people, the large majority that is the toiling masses.”

The groups called on the public “not to rely and put their lives and welfare in the hands of the Congress of TRAPOs, but to secure the people’s welfare and interest by setting up a People’s Congress that is representative of the large majority, that is of the toiling masses.”  

At their press conference, the groups announced that on August 25, they will launch a nationally-coordinated protest actions in major urban centers such as Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Cebu City, Bacolod City, and Tacloban City in the Visayas, Davao and Ozamis City in Mindanao.

In Metro Manila, they will march to Mendiola in the morning to raise their call, and in the afternoon they will join with various forces gathering in Luneta against the Pork Barrel System.

Thereafter they vowed to hold a series of protests in all urban centers nationwide in the coming weeks. The activists say that these mass actions shall serve as venues and spaces for ordinary folks to link arms and resist and fight the Aquino government’s track of preserving their pork barrel, Cha-Cha and Aquino’s term extension.###

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

SONA 2014: "AQUINO, PATALSIKIN!"

SONA 2014: "AQUINO, PATALSIKIN!"

Lunes, Hulyo 28, 2014 - Nagmartsa patungo sa Batasang Pambansa, ngunit hinarang na agad ang mga raliyistang nananawagan ng pagpapatalsik kay Noynoy Aquino sa pwesto, sa ikalimang SONA (State of the Nation Address) ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino, dalawang taon bago matapos ang kanyang termino. Mula sa Tandang Sora ay hindi man lang nakarating kahit sa Gotesco ang mga raliyista dahil hinarang na sila ng mga pulis, kaya nagpasya na silang magprograma isang kilometro bago mag-Ever Gotesco, sa kahabaan ng Commonwealth Avenue.

Dala ang malaking streamer na de-gulong na may panawagang "Aquino, Patalsikin! Itakwil ang Kurap at Elitistang Rehimen! Itayo ang Gobyerno ng Masa!" at malaking dilaw na krus na nakasulat ang "Pasakit sa Manggagawa - BMP" at "Patalsikin!", sama-samang nagmartsa ang mga grupong Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), SANLAKAS, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod (KPML), Metro Manila Vendors Alliance (MMVA), Samahan ng Mamamayan - Zone One Tondo Organization (SM-ZOTO), Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA), SUPER-Federation, Piglas Kabataan (PK), Makabayan-Pilipinas, Koalisyon Pabahay Pilipinas (KPP), atbp. Sumama rin sa kanila ang grupong Manggagawang Sosyalista (MASO) at Teachers' Dignity Coalition (TDC).

Kasabay nilang magprograma ang mga grupong nasa ilalim ng Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) at Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Ang SONA ay ginaganap tuwing ikaapat na Lunes ng Hulyo.

Ulat at mga litrato ni Greg Bituin Jr.

Monday, July 21, 2014

An initial response to Akbayan’s defense of its coalition politics

An initial response to Akbayan’s defense of its coalition politics
By Sonny Melencio, Chairman of Partido Lakas ng Masa

Akbayan's article in today's Philippine Daily Inquirer (p. A14) stresses the importance and need for coalition politics. Leaving aside the rather patronizing tone, the article is also revealing in what it doesn't say.

Akbayan is in a ‘coalition government’ with the ruling party, so this is clearly no ordinary coalition. This is a coalition with the ruling class in power and therefore has grave consequences for the progressive movement, the masa, and the entire nation.

The political character of the government
The question was also posed right from the beginning: What is Akbayan coalescing around? What is the political platform of this so-called coalition government? If you are in a coalition government, you should be clear on what is the reform agenda of this government.

Many of us in the Left believe that this is a government still wedded to a neoliberal economic program. Many of us believe that the government represents the interests of the elite. Does Akbayan agree with this, or not?

Pointedly, how does Akbayan assess the political character of the government? The article does not address this.
.
The article also defends Akbayan's decision to transform itself from a party of 'protest' to a party of 'governance'. Leaving aside the counter position of ''protest' and 'governance', any political party worth its salt should aim to be in power – to be the government. The critical question is: Do you win government to work within and limit yourself to the existing system, or do you win government so that you can fundamentally transform the existing system?

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) believes that we should win government in order to fundamentally change the system.

Governance and power
We also understand that being in government (‘governance’) and being in power are different things. Power also resides outside government, such as corporate power and the economic and military power of imperialist nations, which use their might to intervene in governments in order to protect their vested interests.

The woeful inability of Akbayan to contest and hold back the neoliberal economic agenda of the current government is testimony to this. Akbayan might have some positions in government, but to imagine that this is the same as winning government or being in power is to fool oneself and your supporters. To defend its line by arguing that it's trying to influence the direction of government is farcical. The fact is that Akbayan is unable to influence the direction of government to the extent that it claims it can. Akbayan’s record under the PNoy presidency demonstrates this. You merely end up becoming co-opted in the system.

If you are using your positions in government for your own political purposes, such as access to resources to build your base, that's a different matter. But please don't claim that the aims are to influence and change government policy, and so on and so forth.

Some international examples
And we too study international events and examples. We believe that in Bolivia and Venezuela today, we have socialist parties and forces who have actually won government and are using this power to implement anti-neoliberal policies and change the system. This also includes mass mobilizations on a massive scale and people’s power participation in government. Here 'protest' and 'governance' are combined in a unified strategy and are not mutually exclusive.

On the other hand, we also have the experience of the PT in Brazil and the ANC in South Africa, in governments implementing essentially pro-market neoliberal policies. Or the European and Australian Green Parties, aptly dubbed "neoliberals on bicycles".

The problem is the system
This is also linked to an assessment of the nature of the economic and political system. Akbayan believes, according to the article, that the system has 'limitations'. On the other hand, we believe that the system itself is the fundamental problem. Hence, it cannot be reformed, and the system needs to be replaced so that meaningful and far-reaching changes can be implemented.

These debates are as old as the hills, certainly as old as Karl Marx onwards.

As for electoral reform, we urge Akbayan to support and campaign for the anti-dynasty bills, the anti-DAP and anti-pork bills, the freedom of information bills, the genuine agrarian reform bills which are now key electoral reforms ignored by the president and the ruling party. Where does Akbayan stand on these key questions?

On compromises
There are compromises and compromises. There should be a framework to base these compromises. Compromises that benefit and advance only the interest of a select few, such as Akbayan’s people in Cabinet and in government, are by no means principled.  One of the main and guiding principle in opening up compromises should be whether it advances the interests and the struggles of the masses in general. Otherwise one ends up compromised and becomes opportunistic.

We don’t need inane lectures on compromises in coalition politics. Right now we need accountability from Akbayan on its role and activities in government, not just a superficial defense of its ‘tactics’. There has been no such accountability from this government, let alone the Akbayan leaders who are now in Cabinet and in leading positions in government.

Akbayan also asks us to keep hoping. In whom? The President and Akbayan? For what? For a miracle that the government will fundamentally change its course and genuinely address the dire needs of the masses?

A pragmatic plea
Despite the article’s claim that this is not a politics of pragmatism but based on idealism, to ask us to continue to hope under this desperate socio-economic situation, sounds a pragmatic plea to continue supporting Akbayan’s coalition with this government.

The masses are losing hope and large numbers have already lost hope with this government. What is Akbayan trying to say? That we should ask the masses not to lose hope in this government? We cannot do that, when we think they are correct to do so. This line of asking the masses to keep their hopes with this government will contribute to the derailing of the mass struggle.


In fact, our responsibility is not to ask them to hope harder, but to develop a genuine alternative to this government of elite rule and neoliberal economics. This is the big challenge that the Left faces today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Itigil ang Pambobomba ng Israel sa Gaza!

Itigil ang Pambobomba ng Israel sa Gaza

Hulyo 15, 2014 - Nagrali ang iba't ibang grupo, tulad ng Anak Mindanao, Partido Lakas ng Masa  (PLM), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), at MASO (Manggagawang Sosyalista) Pilipinas, sa harapan ng tanggapan ng Embahada ng Israel na nasa Global City sa Taguig. Dito'y ipinanawagan nila na dapat nang matigil ang digmaan sa pagitan ng Israel at Palestino. Ang Israel ay may sopistikadong kagamitang pandigma habang imperyor naman ang armas ng mga Palestino.

Ipinrotesta nila ang pagkamatay ng maraming bata at kabataang Palestino na walang kalaban-laban sa mga sopistikadong armas ng Israel. At sinabi pa nilang dapat nang magkaroon ng kapayapaan sa Gitnang Silangan, at itigil na ang pandarahas ng mga Israeli sa mga Palestino.

Ulat at mga litrato ni Greg Bituin Jr.