PLM statement on the passage of Duterte's TRAIN bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 17 June 2017 23:06


Duterte’s gravy TRAIN for the rich


The tax system in the Philippines is biased towards the rich. The Duterte government’s

new tax reform package House Bill (HB) 5636 or the Tax Reform Acceleration and

Inclusion Act (TRAIN), recently adopted by the Lower House of Congress, further burdens

the poor – the unemployed and under-employed -- and low-income earners.


Genuine tax reform means reversing the pro-rich bias in the taxation system. Genuine tax

reform must be a mechanism that redistributes wealth, from the rich towards the rest.

Income inequality is increasing with the richest families having incomes some

nine times more than that of poor families. Genuine tax reform should be a mechanism

for reducing the gap in income inequality between the rich and the poor.


The Duterte government’s tax reform does the opposite. According to estimates by some



-- It reduces the income of the bottom 60% of the households.

-- The monthly take-home pay of poor households will shrink by P1,189 and for

middle class workers by P13,652.


How come, when according to the bill, workers earning P250,000 a year or approximately

P20,000 per month won’t have to pay taxes? Yes, but this is a con.


More of our income will go towards paying Value Added Taxes or VAT. The VAT will be

expanded and some exempted goods and services will now be charged a VAT.

According to some estimates the government will be collecting around Php170 billion

less from the richest families while the rest of us will be paying more than Php340 billion

for previously VAT-exempt items.


We will pay more for oil and petroleum products as the excise tax on oil and petroleum

products will be increased. P3.00-P6.00 excise taxes will be imposed per liter on fuel.


The overall package would result in a net gain of P133.8 billion for the government.

This tax revenue will mainly fund the Duterte administration’s trillions-worth of

infrastructure spending, which will also be awarding lucrative contracts to the

corporate rich.


It’s a win-win for the rich and their corporations, while the rest of us are being conned.

We are being conned into paying the lucrative infrastructure contracts being

awarded to the corporate rich – both Philippine and foreign owned.


In view of this, PLM calls for genuine tax reform to redistribute the wealth and reduce

the income inequality between the rich and the rest. It means the following:


Scrap the VAT;

For a steeply graduated and progressive tax system where the wealthy pay their share;

Introduce a wealth tax for the super rich;

An immediate rise in company tax;

Tax the big environment polluters;

End the billions in public subsidies to the corporations and banks and energy


End rampant tax evasion by the corporate rich;


Double the tax free threshold to P500,000 a year;


Increase the minimum wage;


Increase the social wage through the funding of affordable social services. #


Last Updated on Saturday, 17 June 2017 23:49
PLM picket at the Supreme Court PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 15 June 2017 13:47

PLM picket at the Supreme Court in solidarity with the petitioners against martial law in Mindanao.

June 15, 2017




Last Updated on Thursday, 15 June 2017 13:50
Partido Lakas ng Masa –PLM Forum: The socialist stand on terrorism. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 08 June 2017 22:01



End Martial Law in Mindanao! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 05 June 2017 13:17


PLM statement on the imposition of martial law in Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 05 June 2017 09:48
PLM statement on the imposition of martial law in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao through Proclamation 216 issued while he was still visiting Russia on May 23, 2017. This was in reaction to the attacks made by the Maute Group, a Moro group supposedly inspired by or with links to Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

According to the proclamation, the Maute Group took over a hospital in Marawi, set up several checkpoints within the city, burned down government and private facilities, inflicted casualties on the government forces, and flew the flag of Isis in several areas – acts which purportedly constitute rebellion, a basis for the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. The Maute Group has been identified by the government as a terrorist group responsible for a number of attacks, bombings, and killings in Lanao del Sur. It was also responsible for the mass jailbreak in Marawi which freed their jailed comrades and other detainees in August 2016.

On May 23, when the military and police forces conducted an operation in Marawi to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the Abu Sayyaf forces fought back and called reinforcements from the Maute Group. About 50 came and engaged the government forces in a shooting spree. At least one policeman and two soldiers were killed, while 12 other government troops sustained wounds. Many members of the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute were also reported killed.

Many have observed that the declaration of martial law is an overkill response. The night of the attacks, the military declared that the situation had been under control. Hence, the government could have just responded with more police and military operations to hunt down the terrorist groups.

The PLM sees the declaration of martial law an indication of the failure of the Duterte government to solve the conflict in Mindanao through the peace process it supposedly initiated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The Maute Group, the Abu Sayaff, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and other groups used to belong to the MILF and probably have connections with them till now. Most have become bandit groups but some espoused Islamist convictions founded on perceived national and religious oppression.

Martial law will only fan the flames of war in Mindanao. It is not a solution to the long-festering insurgency in the area. The solution has always been the eradication of the roots of poverty and national oppression of the Moro people and the various indigenous groups in Mindanao.

Duterte’s declaration of martial law also confirms the drift of his administration to the Right. Just recently, Duterte allowed anti-mining activist Gina Lopez to be removed by his cabal from Congress as DENR secretary and replaced by an ex-general associated with mining interests. He has also appointed several ex-generals and military men to government  posts, making his administration the most “militarized” one since the Marcos period.

The martial law regime, with Duterte as the commander-in-chief, will have the military and police as its main implementors, therefore its main beneficiaries. When Duterte explained that his martial law will look like martial law under Marcos, it is also to spite the limitations and safeguards put forth by the Constitution in declaring martial law today.

Martial law will only induce violence from various groups engaged in armed resistance. Today, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on its army, the New People’s Army, to intensify guerrilla actions in Mindanao. The declaration of martial law clearly puts to risk even the peace talks with the CPP which has a large number of its forces in Mindanao. As long as the climate of martial law persists, and the political negotiations are stalled, the insurgency will continue unabated.

As a response, we call on various progressive and democratic forces to unite in the broadest coalition possible against the declaration of martial law. If Duterte is testing the waters in his open longing to declare martial law all over the country, we have to ensure that today’s declaration will not prosper if ever there is a Congress review on this matter, and during the deliberation in the Supreme Court once the cases against it have been filed by various groups. The only assurance to this is our capacity to unleash massive mobilization that will reverse the tide of authoritarian rule in the country.

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

May 25, 2017
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A new party is born. A party for our times.

A party of Change! A party of Socialism!

“Pare-pareho lamang silang trapo!
Mangungurakot na naman yan!
Bobolahin na naman nila tayo!”

Sounds really familiar. We have heard this expression from people of all walks of life time and again. An automatic response, when one is asked about a certain politician or politicians in general.

For decades, generations of politicians from the same clan and some new ones have been deceiving the masses. Every election for them has been an opportunity to make more promises. And after every election, all these remain just that – promises.




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