PLM statement on 'state of lawlessness' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 08 September 2016 11:35

Stop the killings! Stop the bombings!

For peace, not a war strategy!

 

The dangerously deteriorating situation that the country now faces, marked by the killings and bombings resulting in the meaningless death of thousands of people, is a result of the 'war 'strategy followed by the Rodrigo Duterte regime. The war strategy, which began as a ‘war against drugs’, has now been extended and intensified with the ‘war on terror’ in Mindanao.


The 'war' against drugs has led to mass killings mostly in urban poor communities. The death toll of suspected pushers, users and innocent civilians has reached more than 2,000 in a span of less than three months of the Duterte administration.


The war against the Abu Sayyaf, a small bandit group, led to the bombing and destruction of villages in Mindanao. There is an ongoing AFP military offensive against Abu Sayyaf groups in southern Sulu province, an intensified attack called by President Duterte after the beheading of an 18-year old hostage. At least 30 of the Abu Sayyaf gunmen were killed in the week-long offensive, according to the AFP.

 

It is reported that the attack against Abu Sayyaf territories in Sulu and Basilan has triggered the bloodbath in Davao City which killed at least 14 civilians. Abu Sayyaf first owned up to the bombing in Davao, but it later clarified that the killers were from another group sympathetic to them.


Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) calls for a stop to the mass killings of suspected drug users and pushers in the urban poor communities. The campaign against drugs could simply be an intensified police operation, targeting the biggest drug lords and their protectors.

 

The Abu Sayyaf bandits can also be curtailed with targeted military operations, instead of bombing entire villages. The bombings have resulted in massive loss of lives and the retaliation of increasingly desperate communities wanting to hit back against forces they deem to be supporting the government operations.

 

The human casualties of this war strategy – its so-called collateral damage -- are very high.  It plays into the hands of the US 'war on terror', which has been rightly condemned by President Duterte in his recent speeches. It also plays into the hands of the rightist forces, including the ‘war hawk’ generals.


A war strategy has its own dynamics, which cannot be easily controlled. The war itself is a declaration of a state of lawlessness, a state of belligerency; the imperative being the extermination of the combatant forces engaged in war. If the war continues, it will also create a scenario leading to the declaration of martial law, from the current 'state of lawlessness' declared by the government.

 

This war strategy is clearly not in the best interest of the masses.

 

The PLM calls instead for a strategy of peace in Mindanao, an inclusive process of all the Bangsamoro forces and not only the MILF and the MNLF. A strategy that addresses the basic causes of the conflict, based on the Bangsamoro people’s right to self-determination.


We reiterate our call for a 'peace strategy' with the CPP-NDF-NPA. Such a strategy must address the root causes of the insurgency, including urgent measures to address the impoverishment of the masses, implementation of genuine agrarian reform, and labor rights.


Lastly, we call for an end to the terror sown by the war on drugs in the urban poor communities. We call for a 'peace strategy' that stops the killings in the communities and arrests and prosecutes the big drug lords and their protectors.

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
September 7, 2016

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 September 2016 11:37
 
August 14, 2016 LEADERS ASSEMBLY AT LUNETA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 14 August 2016 14:19
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PLM 2nd Barangay Coordinators Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 06 August 2016 20:05

August 6, 2016. Congrats to the Second Barangay Coordinators Assembly at OSHC Auditorium, Quezon City. Hosted by PLM. Participants from a number of barangays in Metro Manila, and parts of Bulacan and Southern Tagalog. PLM is gearing up for the October 31 barangay elections and consolidating its network.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 August 2016 07:54
 
PLM statement on President Duterte's Sona PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:56

Genuine change is possible only through mass struggle

 

President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address failed to live up to the expectations of the masses, especially the workers who were waiting for clear pronouncements on eliminating job contractualization and providing more worker benefits.

 

Key pronouncement

 

The key pronouncement was President Duterte’s call for a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF and the start of peace negotiations with them. We welcome this initiative and add our voices for the release of all political prisoners as an imperative toward meaningful political negotiation.

 

While the arms will be stilled, the mass movement should be further energized and take the center stage during the talks. This is the assurance that the negotiations will continue on a course favorable to the masses.

 

The entire working class has a stake in the outcome of the talks. We call on all Left and progressive forces to support the substantive demands that will render justice to the dominated and oppressed classes in society and uplift the situation of the country in general.

 

We observe however that aside from the unilateral ceasefire and the issuance of an executive order on Freedom of Information, there is nothing more politically substantive in the Sona declaration. The Congress version of FOI, which will cover not only the executive but other branches of government, has yet to be done.

 

Minor steps

 

The Sona took much time to announce some systems of operation that the government should have done long ago to alleviate people’s sufferings when dealing with them. These include cutting down on government processing time for documentation, setting up a one-way stop house for all services, increasing train service, extending passport life, and the likes.

 

The killings continue

 

The Sona also affirms our worst fear that the government will continue with its War on Drugs operations that have turned several communities in the country into a killing field. While correctly acknowledging that human rights should uplift human dignity, the president turned this argument around by saying that it cannot be used as a shield to destroy the country.

 

The statement is unclear. But if the president means that the critique of killings is becoming an excuse to reject his government, the killings itself will lead to that. The human rights advocates are merely defending the poor from this retribution. Human rights advocacy needs no excuse for its existence.

 

The killings however have become the Achilles heel of this administration. It is not implausible to think that the anti-Duterte section of the elite under whom some of the most heinous violations of human rights have occurred --  such as in Maguindanao, Mamasapano and Kidapawan massacres -- will use this as an excuse to oust him from power.

 

It is to the interest of the present administration to use all its power to stop the killings of the poor victims of the drug trade (whether they are re pusher or user) and concentrate on the top coddlers and the big capitalist drug lords. Human rights that uplifts dignity also means that the president should focus on the poverty eradication measures to ensure the success of the war on drugs campaign.

 

Other highlights

 

Some of the highlights of anti-poverty alleviation have also been mentioned in the nearly two-hour speech of President Duterte, but these need more specific elaboration like the universal health insurance, the no-demolition without relocation policy, and the likes. Without clarification, these measures may be no different from those undertaken by previous administrations.

 

Fine-tuning for the elite

 

It means that the Sona has been deliberately fine-tuned to the ears of the ruling elite and their representatives who have flocked to the assembly. Save for some embellishments, the economic and political programs enunciated in the speech still conform to neoliberal paradigm and needs of elite politics.

 

President Duterte has raised the level of expectations of the masses during his presidential campaign. It is less than a month since he took his office. But the lesson seems to be clearer even now: we need to continue to be on the streets and to expand and strengthen the mass struggle as the proper venue and recourse for change in society today. #

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

July 26, 2016

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 17:59
 
JULY 25, 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 25 July 2016 18:48

July 25, 2016. First Sona (State of the Nation Address) of President Duterte. We had the usual rally, but we're allowed to come close to the Batasan. More information later.

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Page 8 of 75

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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