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.
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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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Panawagan ng mga militante: "Aquino, Patalsikin!"

Panawagan ng mga militante: "Aquino, Patalsikin!"

Hulyo 14, 2014 - Kasabay ng nakatakdang talumpati ng Pangulong Noynoy Aquino sa telebisyon sa ika-6 ng gabi, nagrali naman ang mga kasapi ng Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), at Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod sa iba't ibang lugar, tulad ng Monumento, Mendiola, at Welcome Rotonda. Dito'y kanilang ipinanawagan ang pagpapatalsik kay Pangulong Aquino dahil sa patuloy nitong pagtatanggol Disbusement Acceleration Program (DAP) na idineklara nang unconstitutional ng Korte Suprema.

Naging tagapagsalita sa Welcome Rotonda si Ka Sonny Melencio, pangulo ng PLM at Edwin Guarin ng PLM-NCRR, at sa Mendiola naman ay sina Ka Leody de Guzman, pangulo ng BMP at Ka Anthony Barnedo, secretary general ng KPML-NCRR.

Nauna rito'y nagrali na umaga pa lang ang BMP at KPML sa harapan ng tanggapan ng Department of Budget and Management (DBM) at nagmartsa sila patungong Mendiola kung saan nila tinapos ang kanilang programa.

Ulat at mga litrato mula sa Welcome Rotonda ni Greg Bituin Jr.

Monday, July 7, 2014

PNoy, Abad: DAPat managot! Nagnakaw sa pondo ng bayan, DAPat kasuhan!

SIGAW NG PLM: P'NOY, ABAD: DAPAT MANAGOT! NAGNAKAW NG PONDO NG BAYAN, DAPAT KASUHAN!

Kasabay ng ika-122 anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag ng Katipunan, nagsagawa naman ng kilos-protesta ang Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) sa Welcome Rotonda upang tuligsain ang laganap na katiwalian sa pamahalaan, pangunahin na ang Malakanyang, Senado, Kongreso at ang iba't ibang ahensya ng gobyerno. 

Sa malaking streamer nila ay nakasulat: "PNoy, Abad: DAPat managot! Nagnakaw sa pondo ng bayan, DAPat kasuhan!" Para sa PLM, hindi lamang sina Napoles at Tandang BonJing (Enrile, BONg Revilla, at JINGgoy Estrada) ang dapat nakasuhan at nakakulong ngayon kundi lahat ng kawatan sa pamahalaan.

Nagsimula ang kilos-protesta bandang ikalima't kalahati ng hapon (5:30nh) at natapos ng ikapito ng gabi.

Ulat at mga litrato ni Greg Bituin Jr.