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
 
Pahayag ng PLM sa SONA 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:42

HARANGAN ANG DIKTADURA!

WAKASAN ANG MARTIAL LAW!

 

 

 

KINOKONDENA ng PLM (Partido Lakas ng Masa) ang desisyon ng buong Kongreso na ipagpatuloy ang martial law sa Mindanao hanggang katapusan ng Disyembre ngayong taon.

 

Sa botong 261-18, nanaig ang mayorya ng mga trapo na tagasuporta ni Pangulong Duterte. Wala pang 5 porsyento ng Kongreso ang tutol sa martial law. Isang rubber stamp na lamang ang Kongreso. Wala tayong maaasahan sa isang Kongreso na pinaghaharian ng mga trapo at ng mga nagmula sa angkan at dinastiya na matagal nang nagpapahirap sa bayan.

 

Sa isang salita, bomoto ang Kongreso sa pagpapaigting ng gyera sa Mindanao bilang solusyon sa problema ng terorismo doon. Pero isa itong gyera na sa halip masugpo ang terorismo ay kikitil pa ng maraming buhay ng mga sibilyan at sundalo at sisira sa mga syudad at kabuhayan ng masa doon.

 

Ang makikinabang lamang sa gyera ay ang rehimeng Duterte at mga kapanalig nito. Ang bentahan ng armas ay malaking negosyo na pinagtutubuan ng malalaking korporasyon ng armas at pinagmumulan ng kickback para kay Duterte, sa AFP, at mga kasabwat ni Duterte.

 

Naninindigan kami na hindi martial law ang solusyon sa terorismo sa Mindanao. Ang ugat na kailangang bunutin ay ang kahirapan at pagsasamantala sa Bangsamoro at ang kawalang-hustisya sa kanilang kalagayan. Kailangang ipagkaloob ang tunay na otonomiya at sariling paghahari nila sa Mindanao. Ito ang batayan ng peace talks sa MILF, MNLF, Lumad, at iba-iba pang grupo doon. Kung matutugunan ito, magkakaroon ng payapang Mindanao at payapang Pilipinas, kung saan ang lahat ng Pilipino, Moro at katutubo ay magtutulungan para mapaunlad ang buong bayan.

 

Ang hinaharap ng  masa

Sa loob ng isang taon, ang buong adyenda ni Duterte ay nakalatag na. Sa pulitika, ito ang paggamit ng kamay na bakal para wasakin ang lahat ng oposisyon sa kanyang paghahari. Ginagamit ang gyera sa droga at gyera sa terorismo – at ang pwersa ng pulis at militar – para mapahigpit ang tangan niya sa poder.

 

Ngayong Oktubre, nakatakang i-postpone ng rehimeng Duterte ang barangay elections at sa halip, i-aapoint ang kanilang mga alagad bilang mga pinuno ng barangay. Bago matapos ang taon, ipatutupad ang pagbabago ng Konstitusyon (ChaCha) sa ilalim ng Constitutional Assembly (Con-Ass) ng sunud-sunurang Kongreso.

 

Sa pamamagitan ng Con-Ass, ipatutupad ni Duterte ang pagbabago ng Konstitusyon (ChaCha) na magpapalit ng pamahalaan tungong federalismo. Isang federalismo kung saan ang lokal na gobyerno ay paghahati-hatian ng kanyang mga alagad na trapo. Kapag binuksan ang ChaCha, tatanggalin din ang lahat ng mga probisyong nagpuprotekta sa ating ekonomiya, gaya ng 60-40% equity ng mga korporasyon pabor sa Pilipino at ang pagbabawal sa mga dayuhan na magmay-ari ng mga lupain sa Pilipinas.

 

Kasama ring tatanggalin ang lahat ng limitasyon sa pagdedeklara ng martial law na nakasaad sa Konstitusyon. Sa gayon, maliwanag ang direksyon ng lahat ng ito. Ito ay para manatili sa poder si Duterte at ang kanyang mga bataan na hayok sa kapangyarihan.

 

Kontra-masa rin ang mga pang-ekonomiyang patakaran ng rehimeng Duterte. Pangunahin dito ang pagpapataw ng ibayong VAT at consumer tax sa ilalim ng kanyang Tax Reform Program; ang public-private partnership program (PPP) sa ilalim ng islogang “Build, Build, Build” na ang kikita lamang ay ang mayayamang kakutsaba ni Duterte sa negosyo – ang San Miguel, Henry Sy, mga Chinese corporations, at ang Chinese government na kikita nang malaki sa mga pautang. Lahat ng mga ito ay babawiin sa mataas na toll ways ng mga korporasyon at sa mataas na buwis sa masa!

 

Anong dapat gawin?

Nananawagan kami sa progresibong pwersa na magkaisa para hadlangan ang pagdeklara ng martial law sa buong bayan at ang pagdausdos ng rehimen tungong diktadura.

 

Hindi ito panahon na maghati-hati pa tayo ng protesta at paglaban sa kontra-masang patakaran at nagbabantang diktadura ng rehimeng Duterte. Napatunayan sa maraming pagkakataon na habang hati-hati ang progresibong pwersa, patuloy na nagwawagi ang mga kontra-masang patakaran, kabilang na ang pagdakip, pagpatay at masaker sa mga tumututol sa gobyerno.

 

Kailangan ang tunay na nagkakaisang hanay o koalisyon para palakasin ang ating mga protesta at umani ng mga tagumpay, gaano man kaliit ito ngayon. Kailangan natin ito para bigyan ng pag-asa at direksyon ang masa na may natitira pang alternatiba kaysa sa rehimeng Duterte.

 

Sa kabataang milenyal, batid namin na hindi ninyo palalampasin ang pagtatangka na ibalik ang diktadura sa bansa. Panahon nang magpamalas na muli ng lakas. Lumabas sa inyong mga eskwelahan sa darating na mga araw. Magsama-sama tayo muli sa People Power Monument at iba pang mga lugar para harangan ang diktadura at wakasan ang martial law sa Mindanao!

 

24 July 2017

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 July 2017 18:42
 
NCAD 2017 (Day 1) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Friday, 21 July 2017 09:37

My talk at the opening session of the National Conference Against Dictatorship (NCAD), Benitez Hall, UP Diliman, July 20, 2017.*

 

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Click for more photos

 

THIS IS an initiative appropriate to the times. President Duterte has just confirmed that he’s raring to establish a dictatorship. He wants to extend martial law in Mindanao until December this year. And his chuwariwariwap boys in Congress had agreed to this. And now even Vice Leni said don’t be suspicious of his intentions, because he’s out to do good. Seems like he’s out to no good for me.

 

A few days ago, Duterte got an 82% approval rating from the Pulse Asia survey. His highest so far. There was a lot of questions about this survey. The survey was conducted from June 24 to 29. You know what these dates are? These are when President Duterte has gone missing for a week. No one knew where he was at that time. So does this mean people approve of him while he’s missing and not doing anything? It seems people had enough of him, and voted for a peace of mind.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 July 2017 15:10
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Solidarity greetings to the National Conference Against Dictatorship (NCAD) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 12:24

 

Partido_Lakas_ng_Masa

Solidarity greetings to the National Conference Against Dictatorship (NCAD)

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) extends its strongest solidarity to this historic and courageous event – the National Conference Against Dictatorship -- that comes on the heels of a Supreme Court decision affirming, and thereby supporting, the drift towards a fascistic dictatorship of the Duterte regime. 

We are honored to be conveners of and to participate and speak at the Conference.

We especially acknowledge the new generation of young leaders who are responsible for taking the initiative to organize the Conference. We are now assured that the resistance will continue to grow and recruit more forces. We salute you all and are with you in this resolute campaign to thwart the dictatorial moves of the Duterte regime. 

We agree with your assessment of the current political situation and the need for this Conference. The Duterte regime represents elite rule, albeit a certain faction of the elite, outside of the traditional national oligarchy. The only promises Duterte has fulfilled are the brutal drug war and the widely opposed hero’s burial of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 July 2017 15:12
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CALL FOR A NATIONAL CONFERENCE AGAINST DICTATORSHIP PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 11:02

 

19956882_286646925144560_3817316901775085353_o

 

CALL FOR A NATIONAL CONFERENCE AGAINST DICTATORSHIP
20-21 July 2017

Since he assumed office, President Rodrigo Duterte has still failed to fulfill his promise to “provide for those who have little”: Workers still continue to receive low wages and experience job insecurity because he has failed to fulfill his vow to end contractualization. Small farmers and peasants still suffer from landlessness and rural distress because he has refused to carry out land reform and prevent land grabs. Even middle-class professionals suffer from the high cost of living, inadequate and poor public services, and worsening pollution because he has refused to strengthen the regulation of the market and to pursue progressive taxation. Women and LGBTs, in particular, continue to suffer more as a result of his failure to significantly reduce poverty and improve people’s well-being.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 July 2017 15:08
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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.

Read more...

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