$1-B Australian aid linked to two key issues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 24 November 2011 14:10

[This was published in the Letter to the Editor, Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 24, 2011]


During his press conference upon his return from the Apec meeting in Honolulu, President Aquino thanked Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the $1 billion aid provided by the Australian government to “help the recent flood and typhoon victims.”


Before we applaud the Australian government and its prime minister for their apparent generosity, let us consider Australia’s national interests that are involved in the Philippines. There are two key issues that stand out.


Firstly, there’s the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SoVFA) with Australia, somewhat secretly sealed by the Philippine government in Canberra on May 31, 2007.


While the US-RP VFA has been much discussed in the media, the RP-Australia SoVFA has not been given much attention, although it contains similar provisions that violate the country’s Constitution and national sovereignty.


This includes the rather hazy provisions of Article 11 (7) on jurisdiction over criminal offenses committed by Australian troops, which states that the “custody of any member of the visiting force, if he or she is in the hands of the (Philippines), shall remain with the (Philippines).”


This provision could also read to mean that if an Australian soldier accused of a crime on Philippine soil, such as rape, is in the custody of the Australians, the Philippines will not be able to get custody.


The RP-Australia SoVFA has yet to be endorsed by the Philippine government. Could a $1-billion aid package be an inducement? You can bet “your bottom Aussie dollar” that it is.

Secondly, Gillard gained some notoriety for ousting then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with the support of Australian mining company magnates opposed to Rudd’s rather mild mining tax.


Gillard promised to junk plans to tax the mining company’s super profits, winning the magnates’ support in the Labor Party leadership battle for the prime minister’s position.


This brings us to Australian mining company interests in the Philippines. There are at least 11 companies in the Philippines with licenses to operate and explore, including OceanaGold, Xstrata, Indophil, Central Gold Asia, Pelican Resources and Mindoro Resources Limited.


Earlier this year, the Commission on Human Rights released a statement confirming the community charges that OceanaGold had committed gross violations of human rights against the indigenous people of Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya, including illegal and violent demolition of their homes.


A large mine owned by Xstrata Copper and Indophil Resources will also be opened in Mindanao region which is said to have the largest underdeveloped copper-gold deposit in Southeast Asia. However, the local government of South Cotabato banned open pit mining in the province and the mining company is now pressuring the national government and the local officials to lift the ban.


Gillard’s “close relationship” with the Australian mining industry gives us much cause for concern about these and other Australian government interests tied to a hefty aid package of $1 billion.




—REI MELENCIO, International Department, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM),

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Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 14:29
The People Demand Full Justice PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 21 November 2011 12:30

A delegation of women trooped to the Department of Justice building this morning, November 21, and presented Secretary Leila De Lima with a bouquet of flowers to congratulate her for being the “hero of the moment” in taking the initial steps to bring the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to justice.

“We are here to congratulate the Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for successfully blocking the planned escape of the Arroyos. We also want to congratulate Secretary De Lima for standing up to the Supreme Court which was clearly acting in collusion with the Arroyos and assisting them  to flee the country. Secretary De Lima is the hero of the moment.” said Emma Garcia, Spokesperson for Partido Lakas ng Masa, PLM-Women.

“However, we also want to deliver the message that the process of bringing the Arroyos to justice, which started with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s arrest last Friday, must continue right through to the end.” Garcia added.

“For a start, we don’t think that GMA should be granted any special favors. Isn’t everyone supposed to be equal before the law? Those who robbed the people of their basic democratic right to vote should not be passing their time in posh places. What next? Luxury resorts? The entire  system of corruption  is based on this practice of granting ‘special favors’ to the rich and powerful.

“We are also here to press for plunder charges to be brought against GMA. The stolen wealth of the people must be recovered and put to use for the welfare of the masa.

“Furthermore, we also want President Aquino to spell out his government’s policy on the Arroyo case, so as to dispel any confusion about the commitment of his government to get rid of systemic corruption. Bringing the Arroyo’s to justice will be the most important example of the government’s willingness to implement this promise.

“We must be vigilant to thwart any attempts by the Arroyo camp and their supporters in the Supreme Court at subverting the course of justice, and the people's clamor for full justice. Secretary De Lima, we will stand with you in the pursuit of full justice in the interest of the masa.”, Garcia concluded.

Congratulations, Secretary De Lima, for Blocking the Planned Escape of the Arroyos!
No Special Favors for GMA!
Bring Plunder Charges Against the Arroyos!
President Noynoy Must Spell Out Government Policy on the Arroyos!
The People Demand Full Justice be Served!

Statement by PLM-Women




More Photos at the Photo Gallery

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 November 2011 14:08
Ang Masa November Issue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Thursday, 17 November 2011 02:45
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 17:25

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to grant a temporary restraining order on the watch list and hold-departure orders of the Department of Justice against the Arroyos. The haste with which the Supreme Court ordered the TRO appears to be a move in collusion with the Arroyos and not in accordance with the people’s right to be served justice.

We also deplore the Supreme Court’s decision which suggested that ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should be given the right to travel just like any ordinary citizen. We ask the Court, did the ordinary citizens sabotage elections, plunder the economy, and abuse authority? The Supreme Court should not use our names to argue for the right of saboteurs, liars, plunderers and abusers.

By its action, the Supreme Court has proven once again that is a heavily factionalized and “politicized” (i.e, trapo-controlled) body. This is a result of Arroyo’s appointees still lording it over the courts in the land. This is a problem with a Supreme Court beholden to those who have appointed them in powers.

We also lamented the fact that the Aquino government, up to now, has failed to file any criminal and administrative charges against the Arroyos so they will be barred from leaving the country. Because of this failure, the people continue to suffer the consequences of the factional infighting of the Arroyo and Aquino camps within the Supreme Court and the government’s gross incompetence in providing justice for the people.

We hold the Supreme Court and the Aquino government both responsible for the failure to prosecute the Arroyos. The Arroyos have attempted to flee the country last night; they will try to do it again and again, until the Aquino government has put its act together and dealt with the Arroyos firmly.

Specifically, we ask the Supreme Court justices to resign, not only with regard to this latest mess, but with previous decisions that favor only a few people seen to be their benefactors, such as the flip-flopping decision on the Fasap issue favoring the capitalist taipan Lucio Tan.

We ask the Aquino government to continue the hold-order against the Arroyos, file the long-overdue criminal and administrative charges, and haul them off to jail.


Sonny Melencio

Chair, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)

November 16, 2011


Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 12:41
All Leaders Assembly PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 12:06

UP Diliman November 05, 2011: About 250 members of the Partido Lakas ng Masa attended the All Leaders Assembly wherein Chairperson Sonny Melencio discussed the platform of the masses including the ammendments. The program also had a video presentation about the Occupy Movement that is happening around the whole world which was prepared by Reihana Mohideen. Speakers representing each chapter of PLM had the chance to share their insights on the latest issues that the people are facing today. Followed by the poetry reading by Greg Bituin and an open forum which was led by Jhuly Panday.






More Pictures at the Photo Gallery

Last Updated on Monday, 21 November 2011 12:45
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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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