PLM Statement on the 25th Anniversary of EDSA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Friday, 25 February 2011 13:48

Statement of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses)

February 25, 2011

 

 

25 Years of Continuing Plunder and Oppression of the Masses

 

WHAT “EDSA REVOLUTION”?  There was no revolution on February 25, 1986. What happened was a people’s uprising that ousted the Marcos dictatorship, but was hijacked by a leadership composed of the elite – the capitalists, landlords, traditional politicians and clans which were also persecuted by the dictatorship. A revolution that could have resulted in a genuine change in society was derailed by these forces, which also got support from the United States government and other imperialist forces.

 

For 25 years, the nation was dominated by representatives of the ruling elite under four successive post-Edsa governments, which took turns in continuing the plunder and oppression of the masses.  The failure of the Edsa uprising in 1986 also intensified the crisis of the ruling system:

 

1.  We are witnessed now to the gross plunder of state resources by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This takes the form of multimillion pesos of funds lining the pockets of top brasses of the AFP and their backers in Malacanang.  This is plunder allowed by the Cory Aquino government in order to appease and pacify the military; plunder which reached its peak under the previous Arroyo administration, and plunder which continues to this day.

 

2.  The corruption and injustices pervading the Supreme Court and the judiciaries.  Latest witness to this was Lauro Vizconde, whose eldest daughter was raped and killed together with his wife and another younger daughter. Vizconde recounted how the Supreme Court justices were bought with P50-million peso bribe in order to acquit the main suspect who belonged to a powerful and influential family.

 

3.  The failure of the government to mediate in the wanton escalation of prices of basic goods.  While the incidence of hunger and poverty continues to spread all over the country, the government of Noynoy Aquino has ordered the implementation of new rounds of fare increases, toll fees, gasoline prices and other basic food items.

 

4. The failure to implement even the basic land reform legislation certified 25 years ago by the Cory Aquino administration. The 6,500-hectare Hacienda Luisita, owned by the Aquino-Cojuangco clan, was able to circumvent the land reform law.  Until now, no justice has been given to the 14 peasants massacred by the military and hacienda goons during a strike in 2004 calling for the implementation of land reform in the hacienda.

 

The only thing different from the administration of Noynoy Aquino today and the previous regimes from Marcos to Arroyo is the opportunity for people to witness the various atrocities committed by state institutions in the last few years.  Various cases of plunder and corruption in institutions such as the AFP, the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan, the Land Transportation Office, and others, are now investigated on live television, as more and more “whistleblowers” and witnesses come out to expose the crimes.

 

However, the main concern of the people has always been the lack of concrete outcome of these proceedings. In the main, these investigations, which were mainly undertaken by Congress, was not aimed at punishing the guilty but merely as an “aid” to legislation.

 

Let the lesson of people’s power in Egypt and in many countries of the Middle East today be a guide to all of us.  The people should guard their actions from elite forces which are out to hijack the uprisings in order to perpetrate the ruling class – under new representatives – in power.  The unfinished revolution should be brought to the full conclusion by the people taking power in their own hands. #

 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 February 2011 13:59
 
Reproductive Health Bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by PLM-Women   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 17:57

Campaign information click here

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 18:03
 
PLM-Women Statement on the Reproductive Health Bill PDF Print E-mail
Written by PLM-Women   
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 15:01

A. Why the Partido Lakas ng Masa supports the “The Responsible

Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and

Development Act of 2011”

The Partido Lakas ng Masa stands for the promotion and advancement

of women and children’s health and the reproductive health and rights of women.

“The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and

Development Act of 2011”, contains important legislative measures, to

advance and promote women’s health and reproductive rights. This Act,

if passed, will especially benefit poor women who have to suffer the

consequences of unintended pregnancies, birth-related maternal deaths,

miscarriages and unsafe and dangerous abortion.

 

  • 54% of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unintended,
  • In 2008, there were 1.9 million unintended pregnancies,
  • 560,000 of these pregnancies ended in induced abortions,
  • 90,000 women were hospitalized because of abortion complications.
  • 1000 died from abortion complications,
  • 1,600 more died from births and miscarriages related to unwanted pregnancies,
  • Poor women and families have least access to family planning services,
  • 54% of women who do not use any method or form of contraception are poor.[1]

 

B. What is “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health,

and Population and Development Act of 2011”?

Under the Act:

 

  • Modern family planning methods will be provided in all accredited
health facilities,
  • For poor women this will be free and fully subsidized by PhilHealth and
government financial assistance;
  • Family planning supplies and products shall be included in the regular
purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all hospitals;
  • LGUs will provide poor families preferential access to family planning services;
  • The number of midwives and skilled attendance will be increased to achieve
a minimum ratio of 1 full-time birth attendant for every 150 deliveries per year;
  • Emergency obstetric care will be upgraded and access improved for the
poor improved,
  • Mobile Health Care Services will be improved and each congressional
district will be provided with at least one Mobile Health Care Service van;
  • Reproductive health and sex education, including gender and

development and responsible relationships and parenthood topics, will be taught in

schools, by trained teachers through appropriate curricula, from Grade 5 to Fourth Year;

  • Employers must respect the reproductive rights of the workforce and will
provide paid, half-day, prenatal medical leave for each month of pregnancy of women workers;
  • Every individual’s right to information on the availability of reproductive
health services, including family planning and pre-natal care, will be guaranteed by the government.
  • Greater investment and prioritization of family planning and reproductive
health services through anti-poverty programs.

 

C. The Act can save poor women and children’s lives

If the Act is passed and implemented it will save lives. If all women use

modern contraceptive methods, for example, it will:

  • Reduce maternal death by 2,100 every year;
  • There will be 800,000 less unplanned births;
  • There will be 500,000 less induced abortions;
  • There will be 200,000 less miscarriages.

 

This is why the Partido Lakas ng Masa supports the “The Responsible

Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development Act of 2011”.

We call on our members to join the campaign to support the Act, to organize

activities to inform and educate the communities and the barangay councils,

and to join the mobilizations organized by RHAN and other women’s networks,

to support the passing of the legislation in the Congress and the Senate. The

facts show that this is the truly moral and the correct thing to do.



[1] The data has been obtained from Likhaan’s Policy Brief. Web source  www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2009 “Meeting Women’s Contraceptive Needs in the Philippines”.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 18:04
 
Statement on the AFP plunder scandal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 12:20

 

 

Stop the Plunder! Revamp the AFP Now!

 

THE FUNDAMENTAL role and character of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been brought
into question by the latest revelations of the colossal scale of corruption, nay, plunder of state and
people’s resources by the general command of the AFP.

 

Lt. Col. George Rabusa, the former Philippine military budget officer, has revealed a fraction of
this plunder, as well as one of the mechanisms by which it takes place: the payola (slush) fund,
known as the provisions for command-directed activities (PCDA), which has a fund of around
half-a-billion pesos yearly. Through this PCDA fund, General Angelo Reyes helped himself to
50 million pesos when he retired in March 2001, after just 20 months in office. Generals Villanueva
and Cimatu were given a 10 million pesos start-up fund each. All three generals also received a
P5 million monthly allowance from the fund during their term in office. Some 160 million pesos
"pabaon" (send-off money) was given to General Villanueva when he retired in May 2002.
In total, Rabusa had converted into dollars and handed out to the generals almost one billion pesos
from the payola fund.

 

Perhaps even more alarming are the revelations of former Commission on Audit officer
Heidi Mendoza. Mendoza states that an even larger amount of millions of dollars of overseas
funding from international agencies, such as the United Nations, slated for Philippine troops on
peacekeeping missions overseas, have been siphoned off into dubious accounts in the Philippines.
This includes a single check for $5 million, which was “picked up” in the US by an “unidentified
AFP officer”. Former comptroller General Carlos Garcia, who has been pinpointed by Mendoza,
was the main operator who was fronting for several top generals, and not only Angelo Reyes.
High ranking officials of the AFP are now claiming that the plunder was stopped through the
abolishment of the PCDA in 2005. But this sounds more like damage control on the part of the
serving AFP top brass, to contain the situation from further damaging and undermining the institution.

 

However, these plunder charges prove that there is something fundamentally flawed about the AFP
as currently constituted. The AFP, far from being the protector of the people seems to be the very
anti-thesis of this, plundering the resources that belong to the ordinary soldiers and the masa.
Ordinary rank-and-file soldiers put their lives on the line every day and their families scrimp on
meagre wages and are deprived of much needed benefits, while the top brass, their wives and
children, wallow in plundered wealth.

 

We think that a genuine government of the people will act and take some immediate measures
to revamp and fundamentally transform the AFP. These include the following actions:

 

-- Press for the resignation of the top generals.

-- Replace them with a younger generation of junior officers,
with the commitment and will to serve the people.
-- Abolish not only the slush funds, but all the discretionary funds
of the generals, and channel the funds to the rank-and-file
soldiers’ welfare and benefits, i.e. medical benefits, housing
and salary increases.
-- Review the defense budget with the aim of re-channelling the savings
towards people’s welfare expenditure, such as education and health.
-- Investigate the financial dealings of the top generals, with the view
to charging them with corruption and plunder of the people’s resources.

 

These are the most immediate and practical measures that are necessary to revamp the AFP and
transform it into a genuine protector of the people’s interests.

 

February 2, 2011

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 12:42
 
PLM Statement on the Bus Bombing in Makati PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 29 January 2011 14:34
Don’t imperil the peace talks!
Stop scapegoating the MILF for the bus bombing!
Comprehensive negotiated political solution for Bangsa Moro
self-determination and lasting peace!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The death tolls from the bus bombing in Makati last Tuesday (January 25) are

tragically rising as more victims succumb to their injuries. The Partido Lakas

ng Masa condemns this terrorist act that has harmed and killed innocent

civilians and calls for a thorough investigation and punishment of the

perpetrators.

 

 

While now blaming international terrorist groups, Philippine intelligence sources

are trying to link up the bombing to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, having

previously accused them of masterminding the operation through a unit

allegedly called the MILF Special Operations Group. The MILF has

condemned the bombing, however, and has described the perpetrators as

‘soul-less’ people.


 

The attempt to implicate the MILF is of extreme concern as it will imperil the

fragile peace talks and the search for a lasting peace. Any stalling of the peace

talks will only encourage terrorist attacks by the rabid fundamentalist groups

who purport to struggle for Bangsa Moro self-determination. The only solution

to prevent and stop this terrorism is, in fact, the comprehensive settlement of

the Bangsa Moro right to self-determination. However, it seems that the peace

talks with the MILF are not moving forward, and according to MILF sources,

Bangsamoro leaders are becoming increasingly pessimistic about the possibility

of a successful negotiated political settlement.

 

 

We urge the Aquino government to address the substantive issues of self-

determination and not merely the symptoms of the problem. As long as genuine

Bangsa Moro self-determination is not granted, there can be no long-term peace

and this society will be torn apart by war and strife, as we see in the Middle East,

Afghanistan and Pakistan today. PLM warns that if the Bangsa Moro right to self-

determination is trifled with, it will result in the ‘Palestinianisation’ of the Moro

struggle in the Philippines and the region.

 

 

PLM therefore calls on the Aquino government to urgently move forward on the

peace negotiations, build confidence amongst the parties, and demonstrate its

sincerity and commitment to a comprehensive negotiated political settlement.

 

 

This will require taking the following measures:

·      Stop accusing the MILF of terrorist acts that they publicly disclaim and

condemn!

·      Immediately release all Bangsamoro Political Prisoners in a show of good

faith!

·      Halt all military activities in Mindanao!

·      Start immediate negotiations with the MILF to begin withdrawing the AFP

from MILF areas!

·      Take every possible measure to fast-track a new Memorandum of

Understanding for a comprehensive settlement!


Last Updated on Saturday, 29 January 2011 14:44
 
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Page 75 of 79

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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