Seasons Greetings to Comrades and Friends PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 01 January 2011 05:58

PAGBABAGO, SOSYALISMO! SOCIALISM, FOR CHANGE!

group 2

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 January 2011 06:12
 
Regional socialism conference PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 11 December 2010 12:42

 

 

Successful socialism conference held in the Philippines

From Partido Lakas ng Masa, International Desk

(Conference talks uploaded in Socialist Dialogue section)

 

A successful ‘socialism conference’ was held in Manila from

November 27 to 28. The conference was organized by the socialist

Partido Lakas ng Masa or Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM)

and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia. The

conference was attended by 100 delegates, leaders of the PLM

from Metro Manila, and other leading socialists of the Philippine

left, as well as 13 international guests.

 

The international organisations represented came from the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM);

People’s Democratic Party (PRD-Indonesia); Working People’s Association (PRP-Indonesia);

Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD-Indonesia);

Socialist Alliance (Australia); The Left Party (Sweden); the General Confederation of Nepalese

Trade Unions (Gefont); the Vietnamese Union of Friendship Organisations; the Turn Left (Thailand);

and the Centre for Environment and Community Asset Development (Vietnam). Keynote speakers

at the conference included the newly appointed Cuban Ambassador to the Philippines Juan Corrales.

Greetings were also given by the representative of the Venezuelan embassy, Charge d’affaires

Manuel Iturbe.

 

The aim of the conference was explained by the opening speaker Reihana Mohideen, Chairperson of

Transform Asia. “We need to go beyond anti-capitalism. We have no shortage of those criticizing the

horrors of capitalism today, including the capitalists themselves, such as George Soros and even

former leaders of international finance institutions, such as Joseph Stiglitz… to NGOs, who are also

critics of the system. [But] anti-capitalism is not enough today. We need to put forward alternatives

to the capitalist system and we need to name these alternatives,as socialism. This is what this

conference aims to do,” she explained.

 

Conference highlights included panels and discussions on socialist strategy, the capitalist economic

crisis and socialist alternatives to the environmental crisis. Sonny Melencio Chairperson of PLM

argued that “there’s no strategy for all seasons” and that strategy is “not something constant, fixed,

once and for all.” “Strategy becomes a key question during historic turning points, when there is

intensification in the class struggle and during political crises…. [Otherwise] we face periods of

protracted organising and the preparation of the forces of the working class.”

 

Melencio gave some examples of such historic turning points: “While Lenin did not use the term

strategy, the question of strategy was posed in the 1905 and the 1917 Russian revolutions, when

the capture of political power by the working class was resolved through insurrection … The second

world war gave rise to national liberation movements and the strategy of Mao’s peoples war or

protracted peoples war [emerged] in China… Gramsci put forward the idea of ‘war of positions and

war of maneuvers’ which was in the context of the structure of the state in western countries.”

Melencio outlined the strategy pursued by PLM as a “combination of uprising or people's power

action and electoral intervention”, also drawing from the lessons of the revolutions in Venezuela and

Bolivia that involved insurrectionary uprisings and electoral victories.

 

Bui Ba Binh, from the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, described the situation in Vietnam

today under the ‘socialist oriented market economy’. He explained that the key features of this

orientation was “to consider the market as a means to achieve social development objectives…

to rationally use the market space… and to harmoniously link the market space with public,

non-market, space in other fields.” According to Binh, the ‘socialist-oriented market economy’ has

brought about real positive changes in Vietnam.

 

The final plenary session included a discussion on socialist internationalism and the call made by the

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela for the formation of a

Fifth International. Speaking on the proposal Arul Arutchelvan, from the Socialist Party of Malaysia,

explained the importance of the proposal. “Hugo Chavez and Venezuela have the moral authority to

call for the Fifth International because of their commitment to building socialism in the 21st century.

It’s also a non-sectarian position taken by Chavez. This is not a rigid [structure] it calls upon all left

parties and anti-imperialist groupings to come together.”

 

The conference concluded with a performance by the PLM cultural group Teatro Pabrika and

the singing of the Internationale.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 20:47
 
SOCIALISM CONFERENCE: MANILA, NOV 27,28 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Friday, 26 November 2010 12:49

SOCIALISM CONFERENCE PROGRAM

University of the Philippines (Diliman campus)

College of Social Work and Community Development

Quezon City

November 27-28, 2010, Saturday & Sunday

 

FIRST DAY

Nov 27/Saturday

 

 

Time

Topic

Speakers

 

9:00am

 

REGISTRATION

 

9:40-10:00am

Cultural Introduction

Teatro Pabrika

 

10:00am-10:20am

(20 mins)

Conference Opening: The need for socialist alternatives

Reihana Mohideen, Chairperson, Transform Asia Gender & Labor Institute

 

10:20am-12:20am

(2 hrs)

Plenary Session

The capitalist economic crisis and imperialist wars

A discussion on the deteriorating economic crisis characterized by the smashing of the welfare state programs in Europe and advanced capitalist countries and the working class resistance against it. In Third World countries, the crisis takes the form of imperialist wars to control resources and markets.

 

  • Stuart Munckton, Socialist Alliance, Australia
  • Rasti Delizo, PLM/Sanlakas, Philippines
  • James Miraflor, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines

 

Facilitator: Jofti Villena

 

12:20nn-1:00pm

LUNCH

 

 

1:00pm-3:00pm

(2 hrs)

Plenary Session

Renewing socialist feminism

The panel will be a discussion of the experiences of socialist parties in developing the socialist feminist alternative in the context of the renewal of ‘socialism for the twenty-first century’ in Latin America.

 

  • Vivi Widyawati, KPRM-PRD, Indonesia
  • Ann-Margarethe Livh, President, VIF, Sweden
  • Reihana Mohideen

 

Facilitator: Jofti Villena

 

3:00pm-5:00pm

(2 hrs)

Plenary Session

Socialist strategy

A discussion on the strategy by the working class and the dominated sectors in seizing state power.  A comparison of the strategy and tactics being undertaken by various socialist parties in their own home-fronts.

 

  • Arul Arutchelvan, General Secretary, PSM, Malaysia
  • Vipar Daomanee, Turn Left Organization, Thailand
  • Ric Reyes, Katarungan, FDC, Philippines
  • Sonny Melencio, Chairperson, PLM, Philippines

 

 

5:00pm-6:30pm

(1hr, 30 mins)

FEATURE TALK

 

The Left in Indonesia: Post-Suharto

A post-Suharto situationer on the Indonesian left. The strategies for change of the various groups and their endeavors for unification.

 

  • Muhammad Ridha, PRP
  • Paulus Suryanta, KPRM-PRD
  • Wahida Baharuddin, PRD

 

2ND DAY

Nov 28/Sunday

 

 

OPTIONAL

8:30am

Socialism RUN

 

A jog or a stroll along the UP oval as a fresh start of the morning for delegates.

Assembly: Conference venue

 

 

9:00am-9:15am

Cultural Introduction

 

Teatro Pabrika

 

9:20am-9:35am

Guest speaker: Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Initiatives

Dr. Francisco Nemenzo

 

9:35am-9:45am

Greetings from the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Charge d’affaires Manuel Perez Iturbe

 

9:45am-10:45am

(1hr)

FEATURE TALK

Cuba Today

A presentation on the socialist economic restructuring that is happening in Cuba, the U.S. blockade, the Cuban 5, and other issues faced by socialist Cuba today.

Ambassador Juan Carlos Avencibia Corrales

 

10:45am-12:45noon

(2 hrs)

Plenary Session

Environmental crisis and socialist alternatives

If capitalism is causing severe environmental crisis in the world today, how can socialism be an alternative and environment-friendly system? How can the socialist alternative reverse the effects of the environmental degradation?

  • Red Constantino, Philippines
  • Stuart Munckton
  • Vi Pham, Co-founder, CECAD, Viet Nam
  • Gerry Arances, Philippines

 

12:45nn-1:30pm

LUNCH

 

 

1:30pm-2:10pm

(40 mins)

Vietnam Today

How is “market socialism” faring in Vietnam today? How can we compare the country’s development with capitalist Asia? What are the prospects of socialist renewal and peace and development in Vietnam.

  • Mr. Bui Ba Binh, Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation; Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations

 

2:10pm-3:40pm

(1hr, 30 mins)

FEATURE A

 

The working class today and its leading role

How do socialists assess the revolutionary potential of the working class today, in the era of “globalization” and the dispersal and atomization of the labor force?

 

  • Dr. Bharat Raj Pahari, Gefont, Nepal
  • Leody de Guzman, President, BMP, Philippines
  • Arul Arutchelvan, Malaysia

 

3:40pm-4:40pm

(1hr)

Closing Plenary

A discussion on the call of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and his party – the United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV -- for the formation of the Fifth International, a gathering of socialist parties and militant working class formation in the world today, and the summary of the 2-day conference.

  • Arul Arutchelvan, Malaysia
  • Sonny Melencio, Philippines

 

 

Facilitator: Luke Espiritu

 

 

 
PLM on Department of Labor's decision to sack 3,000 PAL employees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:57
Simple Greed

 

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’ argument on allowing Philippine Airlines management to sack its 3,000 employees sounded as if it was a sacred and sacrosanct act. She said it was a “just, reasonable, humane and lawful exercise” of management prerogative. PAL Chairman Lucio Tan could not have said it better.

 

But if in her statement Baldoz painted a saintly figure of the PAL management, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna presented a scary scenario of what would happen if the company would not have its way. Villaluna said that if there was no spin-off, the company “will close down and 7,500 workers will be displaced without separation pay,” thereby having “adverse effects on PAL’s shareholders, the riding public and public interest.”

 

Villaluna’s argument is not only meant to scare; it threatens the workers with non-payment of what is due them. Hasn’t it crossed Villaluna’s mind that not paying separation pay for displaced workers, should the company decide to close down for whatever reason, is illegal, i.e., against the law?

 

The point about the mass lay-off at PAL is that it is being implemented to cut down on the number of regular workers, so the company could subcontract the jobs to irregular workers.  So how can it be “just” when you have been working for the company for decades and then your jobs would be spinned off to other “service providers” (which they also control) which give less wages and benefits for workers.

 

The culprit here is the contractualization strategy implemented by many companies today.  What is happening in PAL is also happening in Fortune Tobacco, also owned by Lucio Tan; in SM group of companies by Henry Sy; the Gokongwei groups of companies; and many more big corporations in the country.

 

To save on costs, capitalism today has to sack more and more number of regular workers and replace them with contractual labor. This may be legal, according to the present law, but it surely isn’t “just,” “reasonable” or “humane.” It’s simply greed, or a drive to maximize capitalist profits.

 

Sonny Melencio

Chairperson, PLM

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 15:01
 
PLM on the Barangay election PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Saturday, 16 October 2010 19:45

PLM Statement on the Barangay Election

 

The barangay election will be held on October 25. This is an occasion for us to expand our network on the grassroots level.  The election can be used to recruit new members of PLM and to propagate the Plataporma ng Masa.

 

We ask PLM members who are interested in the election to actively intervene by filing their candidacies as barangay captain or kagawad.  Our PLM chapters or organizers in the area can assist the candidates. The PLM can also field entire slate which includes the captain and seven kagawad candidates. As of today, there are more than 100 reported PLM members running in the barangay election.

 

Since the barangay electoral law prohibits the participation of parties in the election, we remind the PLM candidates that they are running as independents and not as members of PLM or any political party.  The PLM cannot fund the activities of any candidate.

 

We will try to help the PLM members primarily through assistance in organizing (if there are chapters and organizers in the area), assistance in propaganda (leaflet and small posters and coverage through our newspaper and radio program), and assistance in convening barangay assemblies.  The assistance will be on a very minimum scale and based on the capacity of the national office to provide for our members and sympathizers.

 

Three Demands

 

We also require the candidates we are supporting to carry the following three urgent demands during the barangay campaigns. (Please see the “Primer Hinggil sa Mga Isyu sa Barangay.") The three demands are lifted from the Plataporma ng Masa, the governmental platform that PLM adheres to.  These demands can be combined with other demands, but they are the basic demands that we will carry in our campaign in the barangay:

 

1.  Larger decentralized funds for barangay and barangay projects.

  • The barangays should receive 50% of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) from the government as a co-equal branch of local government unit to the provincial, municipal and city governments. The barangay should not be made beholden to the local and national trapos who control the allocation of budget from national sources.

 

2.  Participatory budgeting in the community through the barangay assemblies.

  • The residents should be consulted and should have decision-making power over the priority projects or local services in the community (health, water, electricity, sanitation and the likes).

 

3.  Transformation of barangays into organs of popular power through the formation of barangay assemblies composed of representatives of all the household families in the community.

  • This is the principle of direct democracy that we want to see in action. It runs counter to the “representative democracy” that is beholden to elite and trapo rule. The masa should be represented in the basic political unit of the country.

 

October 4, 2010

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 October 2010 19:56
 
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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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