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Communist Party of the Philippines
Philippines socialists on President Duterte’s SONA: ‘Genuine change is possible only through mass struggle'
By Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
By Sonny Melencio
July 24, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Partido Lakas ng Masa with permission – The following text is based on a talk delivered at All Leaders Meeting of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers, BMP)-Sanlakas-Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) at Claret Parish Church on July 13, 2016.]
1. The Rodrigo Duterte government is right now the most popular government since the Cory Aquino administration [1986-1992]. (It cannot be compared though to the euphoria that greeted Cory Aquino’s installation to power through the Edsa 1 uprising, which occurred in a different historical context and circumstance.) According to the Pulse Asia survey, President Duterte enjoys a 91% trust rating. This means 9 out 10 Filipinos trust him; and practically no one (0.2%) rejects him, as the remaining 8% are the undecided.
On coming to power, newly elected Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte (left) originally offered cabinet posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), headed by Jose Maria Sison (right). The move only intensified debate on the Left surrounding Duterte's rise and what it means for politics in the Philippines. As part of bring this debates to an international audience Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing below a May 15 CPP Central Committee resolution outlining its position - "Prospects under a Duterte presidency" -, along with some introductory comments by Reihana Mohideen from the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM). We are also publishing an update version of article by Sarah Raymundo, vice-chairperson of the Philippine Anti-Imperialist Studies: "Duterte, a socio-political outcome".
Full Quarter Storms
By Sonny Melencio
2010, Transform Asia Inc.
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Review by Tony Iltis
February 27, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Veteran Filipino socialist activist Sonny Melencio’s political autobiography, Full Quarter Storms, covers a lot of history. The book tells the story of the “First Quarter Storm”, the student uprising in 1970 (from which the book draws its title) and the driving of this powerful movement underground by the declaration of martial law by then-president Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.
The book gives a first-hand view of the mass popular struggles followed by the difficult and dangerous experience of operating underground — one step away from Marcos’ brutal thugs.
In fact, the book opens with the story of Melencio’s detention and torture by the military in 1977 — and his dramatic escape, a tale worthy of any Hollywood thriller.
Melencio describes the guerrilla war waged by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) against the Marcos regime through to the 1986 “people’s power” uprising that brought down the dictator — scenes anyone watching the current Arab revolts will find familiar.
Satur Ocampo, Bayan Muna president, interviewed by Reihana Mohideen
August 11, 2010 -- Some 1205 extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, largely political activists and journalists, took place under the government of former Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, according to the human rights organisation Karapatan. In the few weeks since the June 30 inauguration of the new president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, six extrajudicial killings have taken place, three being members of organisations aligned with the Bayan Muna (Country First) party.
Bayan Muna is an electoral formation and Satur Ocampo is its president. Ocampo is a former member of the Philippines Congress representing Bayan Muna, when Bayan Muna topped the 2001 and 2004 party list elections (the system of proportional representation for the marginalised sectors). Ocampo headed the peace negotiations panel of the National Democratic Front, allied with the Communist Party of the Philippines–New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), after the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.
By Reihana Mohideen
[The first two in a series of commentaries in the lead-up to the May 10, 2010 elections in the Philippines.]
March 12, 2010 -- Socialist Feminist -- While Latin America has opened up a new socialist front for the 21st century and we have the most recent victory of the united left coalition in Uruguay, the Frente Amplio (FA – Broad Front), led by a former leader of the Tupamaros Jose "Pepe" Mujica, winning thep residency in November 2009, the Philippines left, by contrast, is a tragic and even horrible spectacle going into the May 2010 elections.
While the left is undeniably present in the electoral arena, the main tactic pursued is to vie for positions in the Senate tickets of pro-capitalist trapo (traditional politicians) presidential candidates who are the frontrunners in the polls, i.e. the tickets of Noynoy Aquino, the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party (which is carrying an Akbayan Senate candidate), Manny Villar, the presidential candidate of the Nacionalista Party (which is carrying two senators for the Bayan bloc), and the previously ousted former president Joseph Estrada of the Partido ng Masang Pilipino (which is running a Sanlakas Senate candidate).
Corazon Aquino (far right) in 1986.
By Reihana Mohideen
August 14, 2009 – Former president of the Philippines Corazon Aquino died on August 1. Following the 1983 assassination of Benigno Aquino, her husband, Cory Aquino became the Philippine’s leading bourgeois opposition figure to the US-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos. She stood against Marcos in the 1986 presidential election. After Marcos was proclaimed the winner of the blatantly rigged election, a mass uprising – dubbed the ``people power revolution’’ -- overthrew Marcos and Aquino became president. She was in office from 1986 to 1992.
The Philippines left’s reaction to the death of Corazon Aquino has been intriguing. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) did a complete about-turn, recanting its previous position that Cory Aquino was a representative of the reactionary classes.
By Sonny Melencio
On February 24, 2006, a Friday, the Philippine media reported an aborted coup d’etat allegedly launched by rebel military forces against the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was supposed to be headed by young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led by a former senator and colonel, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. He is said to command a group of junior officers and soldiers that has formed an alliance with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. A few days later, the government announced a bounty of five million pesos for the arrest of Honasan, who had gone into hiding since that Friday. The government also released a list of more than fifty alleged co-conspirators in the coup attempt, although the prize money was reserved for Honasan, who topped the list.
Former movie actor Joseph Estrada was elected president of the Philippines in a landslide vote in June 1998. This electoral mandate, however, paled in comparison with the people’s mandate that brought Corazon Aquino to power in 1986. The latter was a product, not of an election, but of the people’s power uprising known as EDSA.
This comparison is significant in that Estrada’s landslide represents a lowered expectation of the masses in the government that they voted into office. The people’s euphoria during the initial period of the Aquino administration was subsequently damped by the regime’s incapacity to alleviate the destitution of the people during its six-year existence. The succeeding administration of Fidel Ramos was a continuation of this suffering.
- Vietnam's Pol-Mil
- The Philippine pol-mil
- Terrorism and terror as tactics
- When terror is admissible
- Pol-Mil versus mass struggle strategy
A number of party formations in the Philippines, such as the PMP (Workers Party of the Philippines), RPM (Revolutionary Workers Party), PMLP (Party of Marxists-Leninists in the Philippines), adopt the politico-military ("pol-mil") strategy as a reaction to the protracted people's war strategy of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It is defined as a combination of political and military struggles, with the military struggle playing a secondary or subordinate role to the political struggle.
By Sonny Melencio and Reihana Mohideen