Sunday, March 17, 2013
Justice for Kristel Tejada!
Justice for the Filipino youth!
In a genuine democracy, the state must ensure full support to education. If a student’s life is perished because of the State’s negligence to provide her free and accessible education, then that’s murder.
We in the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) mourn the passing of University of the Philippines-Manila (UPM) student Kristel Tejada, who reportedly committed suicide because the UPM administration denied her right to study because of her failure to pay the P10,000 tuition required for admission in the country’s state university.
We view her death not as a suicide, and it’s criminally vulgar to blame her and her family for her financial woes. We view her demise as State murder, for the State failed in its mandate to provide free education to its young constituents, and worse, it even denies the masses admission to its educational institutions because of the lack of capacity to pay the soaring tuition fees in state universities.
The death of Kristel Tejada is the most tragic thing that happened to our education system in recent memory—a system that measures the youth on their capacity to pay the cost of schooling, and the capacity to serve the dictates of the market upon graduation. This is unlike the alternative education system we have been long proposing—education that is accessible and free to everyone and will ultimately serve for the full development of society and humanity.
How can a minimum-wage, non-regular cab driver, like Kristel’s father, afford a supposedly State-subsidized college education worth (at a discounted rate) P10,000? How can a common market vendor afford the voluminous papers and readings needed to cope up with school? How can a factory worker pay for the laboratory and miscellaneous fees for his son?
And UP, as supposedly the premier state university of the land, could not consider these real-life predicaments of the masa student who only yearns for quality education to bail herself, her family, and her class from the strangling claws of poverty! Nay, it blatantly turns a deaf ear to this noble yearning!
What’s worse, Malacanang even admitted that it is “helpless” in preventing the rise of tuition while the Commission on Higher Education gave the convenient excuse of “studying” the incident and to wait for the result of police investigation.
What can we expect from a government blind to the basic necessities and rights of the poor? Can we expect a hacendero to lead the government to be responsive to the masa? Can we expect capitalists and technocrats to lead a state university in pushing the government to fulfill its constitutional obligation in providing free and accessible education at ALL LEVELS, when their measure of poverty is based on abstract figures and concept?
We must hold President Noynoy Aquino, the Commission on Higher Education, Congress and Senate, and the UP Administration accountable for murder on the death of Kristel Tejada. Their continued insensitivity to the issue just adds insult to injury.
Let us bring justice to Kristel Tejada by starting a strong and consolidated movement that will push for free education to all, in all levels! If this is realized in poor countries such as Cuba and Venezuela because of their people’s united action, then we must do it in the Philippines.
EDUCATION IS A RIGHT! IT MUST BE PROVIDED BY THE STATE FOR FREE! JUSTICE FOR KRISTEL TEJADA!
March 17, 2013
Contact person: Merck Maguddayao 09267101392
Posted by sosyalista at 6:29 AM
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) condemns the assault on Lahad Datu by the combined forces of Malaysian armed forces, commandos and Marines that led to the death of 12 members of the Sulu sultan's security forces and the death of two Malaysian policemen. Our Filipino Moro brothers camped out in Lahad Datu onlu to dramatize the claims on Sabah.
We hold the Philippine government equally responsible for neglecting to give them protection during the 'standoff period' with the Malaysian military that lasted for almost a month. Instead of protecting the lives of our Moro brothers, President Aquino added insult to injury by ignoring the sultanate's claim (despite it being the basis of the Philippine government's claim to Sabah) and even threatening to do them harm if they would not leave the encampment.
President Aquino should have used the occasion from day one to undertake negotiations between the Malaysian government, the Sultan's family and followers, and the Philippine government. The spokesman of Sultan Kiram has stated that there was no effort on the part of the Philippine government to intervene by leading a negotiation.
We assert that the Philippine claim to Sabah has its merits and should not be abandoned by the government. More so, the government should not have abandoned the security and lives of our Filipino Moro brothers during this period.
However, we believe that the claim should be pursued in a peaceful manner through firm diplomacy of the Philippine government.
And the final solution to the Sabah claim should also consider the demands and interests of its inhabitants, be it Malaysians, indigenous people or Filipinos who have lived there for a long time -- even the disadvantaged groups that have been historically displaced and exiled to other places because of the conflict.
We believe that this democratic process is the only way to prevent a useless war and carnage between Malaysia and the Philippines.
Posted by sosyalista at 5:25 AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The beacon has passed away. But the light within us will guide us.
We shall continue the journey.
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) joins PhilVenSol (Philippines-Venezuela Solidarity Network) in remembering and honoring the life and struggle of Commandante Hugo Chavez. He inspired us, and millions of poor people around the world, to dare to struggle and dare to win the fight for socialism in today’s world, in this 21st century.
President Chavez has proven to everyone that there is an alternative to the rotten neoliberal order that capitalism offers today. His achievements mute the trumpets of the capitalist world; capitalism represents old order that dehumanizes people and jeopardizes the existence of our very own planet. Chavez’ accomplishments have been a great boon to the lives and livelihood not only of the Venezuelan people, but of the people of Latin America as well.
Chavez represents a new type of socialist leader, whose vision and action inspire and mobilize people to take matters on their own hands. With this style of leadership, we are confident that the Bolivarian Revolution that Chavez has led will continue because he has trained big number of leaders of his caliber who will lead and can continue the fight for socialism in Venezuela, in Latin America and in all parts of the world.
Mabuhay, Komandante Chavez!
Tuloy ang Laban para sa Sosyalismo!
March 6, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
PLM statement on the misuse of MOOE fund
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) is spearheading a campaign to eradicate corruption, patronage politics and shamelessness among government officials. The picket today at the Senate is only the first of the PLM campaign to pursue transparency in government.
On the recent scandal over Senate President Johnny Enrile’s distribution of P30 million savings in the maintenance and other operating expenses fund (MOOE) to the senators last December, we call on all senators to return the so-called “gifts” or “bonus” right away. Such appalling act of dispensing people’s money for personal discretions by the senators disgraces and dishonors whatever virtue the people sees in this Senate.
While we welcome Senator Miriam Santiago’s move to immediately return the money, we call on each senator not to give back the money to Senate President Enrile. The fund should be returned to the government coffers as savings in the Senate fund last year. As savings, we welcome the government’s allocation of the fund to urgent social welfare projects, or specifically as additional fund to assist the victims of typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
We also condemn Senator Enrile’s attempt to use the money to factionalize the Senate by giving P1.6 million each to the 18 senators whom he is allied with, and P250,000 each to four senators he obviously hates. This type of patronage politics should be expunged from the Senate and any institutions of government.
We also deplore the Commission on Audit’s pathetic response to Enrile’s misuse of government fund. The COA has stated that Enrile’s action is aboveboard and is allowed under the General Appropriations Act. Firstly, the fund is intended for the maintenance and other operating expenses of the members of Senate. Using it for other purposes – in this case, Christmas bonus – is the height of brazenness (kapalmuks or kapal-mukha in the dialect). Secondly, while the disbursement of “savings” of Senate funds by the Senate President can be considered legal, it is downright unethical and callous given the state of poverty and deprivation experienced by millions of Filipinos today.
We also demand that the Senate fund and each senator’s funds be subject to scrutiny and audit by the government. We should stop the practice of exempting the Senate from auditing of funds and from submitting receipts or liquidation of their budgets – a practice which has been started during the time of Senate President Marcelo Fernan in the 1990s. If there was a law exempting the Senate from doing this, we require that such law be impugned and repealed outright by the Senate itself.
Lastly, we call for the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information Bill which will guarantee the people's right to know where and how the people’s money is used by the Senate and other officials of the government.
Chairperson, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
Posted by sosyalista at 9:36 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A total ban on all logging and mining activities!
Implement massive reforestation and a sustainable development plan!
Climate justice now! We demand full reparation from rich countries and their corporations!
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) extends full sympathy to the victims of Typhoon Pablo: to the families of those killed and missing, and to the millions suffering from the destruction of their homes and crops and those still waiting for relief. PLM demands answers to serious questions raised by the government’s response to the catastrophe.
These include why, despite the authorities warning of the impending disaster in advance, no concrete evacuation plans were in place; evasiveness about the death toll; delays in getting food and other supplies to survivors and diversion of resources to prevent small-scale looting by desperate survivors rather than providing food.
That both the death toll and the number reported missing have continued to rise days after the typhoon had passed indicates that the government’s response focused more on political spin than life-saving preparations. Pagasa gave warning well in advance. But the government seemed to think it was doing its duty by having President Noynoy Aquino appeared on TV to tell people they should evacuate. In many affected areas that was all. Geologist Mahar Lagmay said that while most people in the affected communities had been aware of the danger, they had not known where to go for safety.
PLM contrasts this response with disaster response in Cuba, which also lies in a cyclone-prone area, but where the UN International Secretariat for Disaster Reduction has noted far lower death tolls. This is achieved by adequate infrastructure, such as buildings and roads; institutionalised and well-resourced response systems, including the ability to activate shelters that are staffed with trained medical personnel; and the integration of hurricane training into the general education system. All of this reflects Cuba’s socialist system, where meeting human needs is prioritised.
We also condemn the large-scale looting of the Philippines by foreign logging and mining companies which contributed greatly to this tragedy. The government’s condemnation of illegal logging and small-scale gold mining ignores the real culprit. We call for a total ban on logging and mining in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, the areas hardest hit by the tragedy. These areas have been devastated by these operations for a long time, and further logging and mining will destroy what’s left of the ecology.
To start the process of rebuilding, we also call on the government to implement massive reforestation and develop sustainable crop agriculture that will provide food security for people in the damaged areas and elsewhere. It’s about time that the country deviates from plantation monoculture of export crops and large-scale mining.
Lastly, we find it ironic that the devastation in Mindanao came in the wake of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar which again failed to deal with increasing greenhouse emissions by the rich countries. The failed conference locked in the planet for another decade of unchecked gas emissions which bring devastating climate impacts.
While the United Nations has appealed for $65 million aid for the victims of Typhoon Pablo, we believe that we should not have to beg for charity from the rich nations. We hold the rich and imperialist states of the global North responsible and we demand reparations and climate justice.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Dinastiya, tama na! Bagong politika, NOW NA!
Youth members of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), a newly-accredited national political party, staged a mass action today at the Commission on Election (Comelec) national office in Intramuros, Manila to urge the poll body to declare candidates coming from political dynasties as nuisance.
With its rallying call “Dinastiya, Tama na! Bagong politika, NOW NA!” the group, comprised mostly of first-time voters, slammed the strengthening hold of political dynasties, which is solidly cemented with the candidacy of at least 14 scions of political clans in the 2013 senatorial election.
“These politicians coming from the dynasties are ridiculously circumventing the term limits of their incumbent relatives by running as their heir apparents,” said PLM chair Sonny Melencio. “This is what the constitutional provision banning political dynasties seek to address, but the trapos in Congress and Senate who come from this dynasties will not pass an enabling law for it will dismantle their clout.”
“Our challenge to Comelec is to use its moto propio powers and declare the candidates as nuisance for they just use their surnames as their main selling point, instead of specific platform,” he added.
In the rally, some youth members of PLM impersonated and mocked political dynasties, presenting the Trapo Family, a mock political dynasty wherein all members of said family are shown running at all available elected positions of government. The Trapo Family even showed its pet dog, Bogart, as running for town councilor.
“Ito ang nakakatawa ngunit nakalulungkot na hinaharap para sa aming mga kabataang first-time voters,” commented youth leader Chris Cabrera. “Pinaglalaruan na lang ng mga elitistang pamilyang ito ang kinabukasan namin sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasahan ng kapangyarihan sa kanilang magkakamag-anak lang.”
Virgin Rarang, another youth leader, urged the Comelec to give chance to new politicians who represent the interest of the youth and the masses, instead of selfish family and clan interests.
“Kailangan na talaga silang i-disqualify ng Comelec kasi ang tendensiya kapag magkakamag-anak lang ang nasa pwesto ay yung kanilang sariling kapakanan lamang bilang magkakapamilya ang iniintindi. Paano naman kaming mga mahihirap na nawawalan ng tsansa para pamunuan ang aming sarili,” she stressed.
Aside from the impersonation, hip-hop group BOS Thugz of Navotas performed their original compositions, which are written to criticize and slam the rule of traditional politicians in the country. ###
Posted by sosyalista at 9:30 PM
Monday, October 15, 2012
The roadmap for peace in Mindanao
Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), a national political party of the marginalized sectors, welcomes the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement as a roadmap for peace in Mindanao. The agreement is also the first step to end the centuries-old oppression of the Moro people in Mindanao.
Sonny Melencio, chairman of PLM, said, “The signing of the agreement is just the first step towards peace. But to ensure that the fighting in Mindanao will really come to an end, the government has to ensure that the agreement is implemented at every step, and that democracy, based on people’s participation, is enhanced in the Bangsamoro government that will replace the ARMM (Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao).
“We expect the agreement to attract resistance at every step, especially those coming from the Rightist forces in government, and from the trapos who continuously oppose the right to self-determination of the Moro people.”
Melencio identified the possible contention in the formation of the Transitory Commission which will draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Other contentious issues involve the expansion of the present geographical area of ARMM to include more municipalities, barangays and cities in Mindanao. There is also a contention on adding new territories through a resolution of local government unit or a petition by at least 10% of qualified voters in a respective area.
“The main concern of PLM, however, is to ensure that the Bangsamoro agreement will also enhance the rights and representation of the poor and marginalized sections of the Moro people. In this regard, we are supporting the call for a ministerial form of Bangsamoro government that will have representation based on parties and not on personalities.
“This is to ensure that the ushering of peace in Mindanao, and the economic construction that will commence, will redound to the benefit of the many and not just a few clans and corporations, especially foreign ones,” Melencio added. #
15 October 2012.
Posted by sosyalista at 11:32 PM