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Partido Lakas ng Masa

Venezuela: (Updated March 17) Asia-Pacific socialists pledge continuing solidarity with revolution

If your organisation would like to sign this statement, please email: international@socialist-alliance.org

March 11, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialists in Asia-Pacific pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

March 5 marked one year since the death of Venezuela's president and revolutionary Hugo Chavez. An outspoken fighter for the oppressed in Venezuela and Latin America, the loss of Chavez is still felt keenly by socialists and anti-imperialists globally.

But the Bolivarian revolution that Chavez led is a mass movement of millions of people that lives on in the barrios and workplaces in Venezuela. This process, led by the government of President Nicolas Maduro, is facing fresh attacks by right-wing forces backed by the United States.

The recent violent protests by a minority that has repeatedly been defeated at the ballot box has caused widespread destruction and terror. Along with at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries, public buildings and government-run, pro-poor social missions have been attacked by opposition protesters, at the estimated cost of up to 10 million bolivars.

The international media has presented this fascist violence as a peaceful democracy struggle that has been repressed by a dictatorial Maduro government. This turns reality on its head.

Philippines: 'Forward, bayanihang sosyalismo!' Popularising a socialism 'with local colour'

The above video presents a summary of the activities of the Partido lakas ng Masa in 2012-2013.

Introduction by Reihana Mohideen

January 24, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following is the English-language translation of a document on bayanihan socialism that was presented at the convention of the Philippines socialist party Partido lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM) in December.2013.

It is an attempt to project more strongly the socialist character of PLM and at the same time to popularise the ideas of socialism to a mass audience in the Philippines. Lessons were drawn from the Latin American experience, of linking the egalitarian principles of socialism with national and Indigenous historical experiences and traditions. It also flows from the understanding that it's no longer enough to struggle around specific issues, but that there is an urgent need to put forward an alternative vision or possibility, that is socialism, in a way that the masses can understand.

Another important question raised in the paper is the restructuring of the working class, towards contractualisation and the growth of the informal economy and the urban poor, which is an important area for ongoing discussion and assessment. 

Philippines, Malaysian socialists: 'Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013, Mabuhay!'

By the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines)

December 7, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa salutes Nelson Mandela, the great freedom fighter, who led the struggle to smash apartheid in South Africa. The dismantling of the political institutions of the apartheid state is a historic contribution of Nelson Mandela to the struggle of the international working-class movement.

Here in the Philippines, during the height of the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship in the 1980s, we were inspired by our South African comrades-in-arms and Nelson Mandela. We understood then, that our struggles were interlinked and that the stakes were high internationally, for the outcome of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The defeat of the apartheid government, and the victory of the liberation movement in South Africa, was also our victory.

The current chairperson of PLM had the honour of representing the Philippines movement at the first congress of the African National Congress after winning power, in December 1994, where he met Nelson Mandela and had discussions with the South African Communist Party comrades. We, in the Philippines movement, were thus able to participate, albeit to a small extent, in the celebration of the victory of the South African liberation movement.

¡Justicia Climática Ya! ¡Salvar vidas, redistribuir alimentos, detener el saqueo económico y la destrucción del medio ambiente!

Por Partido Lakas ng Masas (Partido de las Masas Trabajadoras, PLM)

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3587]

11/11/2013 -- Partido Lakas ng Masa -- Los filipinos han sufrido el efecto devastador del que haya sido posiblemente el mayor tifón que haya azotado el país. El número de muertos aumenta rápidamente. Hay una enorme devastación.

Muchos están tratando de ponerse en contacto con sus familiares, amigos y compañeros , pero los sistemas de comunicación no funcionan en las zonas más afectadas. ¿Cómo debemos , como activistas y socialistas, hacer frente a la crisis?

(Updated Nov. 11) Philippines' Typhoon Haiyan crisis: For climate justice now! Fight, don’t be afraid! Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!

Typhoon Haiyan bears down on the Philippines.

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, PLM)

[We're turning the PLM office into a relief goods' collection office for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, especially for Leyte and Samar victims, where we have some families, comrades and friends to assist for possible distribution. We'll also link up to appropriate relief organisations to send what we can collect. Transport lines have been opened. Please bring relief goods (water, medicines, rice, canned goods and other items) to PLM Office: 13 Rigor St., Bgy. Masagana, Project 4, Quezon City. Tel. 439-5811. Look for Ka Nelia, Van, Lara.

Stop the US-led war on Syria! (Updated Sept. 1)

[Below are statements from the left in Asia, from Australia, Malaysia and the Philippines.]

Statement by the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

August 28, 2013 -- Socialist Alliance -- The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military alliance with the US and end its involvement in all aggressive multinational military operations.

The Socialist Alliance supports the Syrian people’s democratic uprising against the tyranny of the Bashar al-Assad regime but we reject the interventions of the US and its allies in Syria. The Syrian people should have the right to decide their own future.

The horrendous chemical weapons attack on civilians is being used as the justification for this latest intervention. The use of chemical weapons is a heinous war crime and whoever uses it should be brought to account.

Philippines: The killing of workers' leaders is a blow to combating corruption! The government must be held accountable!

Assassinated transport workers’ leader Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin.

By Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

August 12, 2013 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) joins the campaign to protest against the recent spate of killings of labour leaders, the most recent case being the assassination of transport workers’ leader Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin on July 2. Petalcorin joins the ranks of assassinated workers’ leaders this year, such as Emilio Rivera and Carlos Cirilo, who were also members of national labour centre, the Alliance of Progressive Labor in the Philippines.

While the PLM demands that the Benigno Aquino government put a stop to the assassinations and speedily bring the murderers to justice, we are also outraged at the seeming lack of determination of this administration to do so.

Furthermore, we are extremely concerned that this lack of determination emanates from a government which includes Akbayan as a coalition partner. While Akbayan congress representatives have called on the president to act on the cases of the assassinated labour leaders, some of whom are also members of Akbayan, what of the Akbayan leaders and their supposed allies in government and in cabinet? They all seem unable to bring the murderers to justice!

Revolución Bolivariana inspira a militantes en Filipinas

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3306.]

Por Sonny Melencio

15/04/13 -- America XXI -- El legado del fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez ha sido poderoso para las organizaciones socialistas revolucionarias de todo el mundo. En Filipinas, la Revolución Bolivariana liderada por el comandante Chávez inspiró la construcción de un nuevo partido político, que forma parte de las lecciones y experiencias que renuevan y revitalizan el socialismo en el siglo XXI.

El Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM o Partido de las Masas Trabajadoras) fue construido (o, más precisamente, reconstruido por diversos partidos políticos y grupos de activistas en Filipinas) en 2009. El documento que describe la formación del Partido examinó la experiencia venezolana, la Revolución Bolivariana y las ideas del socialismo del siglo XXI y las hizo guía para la lucha revolucionaria.

Bolivarian Revolution inspires Philippines revolutionaries

PLM members.

By Sonny Melencio

April 15, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The legacy of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez has been overwhelming for revolutionary socialist organisations all over the world. In the Philippines, the Bolivarian Revolution led by Commandante Chavez inspired us in building a new political party that partakes of lessons and experiences that renews and revitalises socialism in the 21st century.

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM or Party of the Labouring Masses) was built (or, precisely, rebuilt by various political parties and activist groups in the Philippines) in 2009. The concept paper that outlined the formation of the party examined the Venezuelan experience, the Bolivarian Revolution and the ideas of Socialism in the 21st century and made them the guiding light in our conduct of revolutionary struggle.

Philippines socialists on the Korean crisis: 'Halt all war preparations! Stop US provocations and intervention!

US sailors aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington prepare to leave for joint military exercises at the port in Busan, South Korea, in 2010.

By Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

Direct political negotiations to defuse Korean crisis! Halt all war preparations!

Stop US provocations and intervention!

Philippines government act responsibly! Halt joint US military exercises! Protect overseas Filipino workers!

For a unified Korea without US and big power interference!

Hugo Chavez Frias – visionary, fighter, companero (Asia-Pacific left statements) (updated Mar. 17)

[Below are statements issued by socialist and progressive organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. More will be posted as they come to hand.]

* * *

Statement of the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

March 6, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia expresses its deepest sympathies with the people and government of Venezuela on the death of Companero Hugo Chavez Frias on March 5. His passing is a huge loss for all peoples, across Latin America and the globe, struggling for a world free of inequality, exploitation and oppression.

It is testament to Hugo Chavez’s great leadership that, while mourning his death, we are also confident that the Bolivarian Revolution and the new movement for socialism of the 21st century that Chavez inspired will be continued by the mass of people, to whom he worked so hard to give power.

Philippines: Socialist party supports Australian workers' blockade

February 12, 2013 -- Radio Australia -- A Philippine socialist party has thrown its support behind the Australian workers blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant south-west of Melbourne.

Unemployed local tradespeople have been blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant for the past week to protest against the employment of Filipino workers on special 457 visas [for guest workers].

Earlier this week, the Federal Court reserved decision on the Fair Work Building and Construction Inspectorate's bid to end the eight-day blockade.

On Monday, a group of 12 men, including Filipino workers, were helicoptered into the water treatment plant to avoid the blockade.

The chairperson of the Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM), Sonny Melencio, has told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific program he's concerned Filipino workers are being used to break picket lines.

Philippines left: In wake of Typhoon Pablo, global South demands 'reparations and climate justice'

Typhoon hits the Philippines, December 4, 2012.

By Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines

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!

December 11, 2012 -- The 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. The 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.

(Updated Nov. 22) Solidarity from the Asian left: 'Stop Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza and the killing of children and civilians!'


A protest in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, on November 15, 2012, called for an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza.
 [To be included in this round-up, please send solidarity statements to linkssocialism@gmail.com.]

The Noynoy government must condemn Israel’s actions and support build-up of international pressure to stop Israeli aggression!

Statement by Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines)

Solidarity statements: 'A vital victory for Chavez, Venezuela and the Bolivarian revolution'

Brigadistas from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network brigade get ready for the massive march in Caracas, October 4, 2012. For eyewitness accounts from AVSN members, join the AVSN Facebook page.

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network statement on the October 7, 2012, presidential elections

October 9, 2012 -- AVSN/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Three days after more than 3 million people took over the streets of Caracas in a huge show of support for Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez and his socialist platform, Chavez has won the October 7 Venezuelan elections with more than 55% of the vote, against right-wing opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ 44%. A record 81% of the 19,119,809 registered voters in Venezuela participated in the election.

Philippines: PLM officially recognised as political party of the marginalised sectors

Statement by Sonny Melencio, chairperson, Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses)

September 23, 2012 -- Partido Lakas ng Masa -- The petition for certification of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) as a national political party was approved by the Commission on Elections on September 19, 2012.  With this approval, the fight for a national political party representing the marginalised sectors has escalated to new heights.

This is a confirmation of the PLM’s three and half years of existence and its expansion as a political party with a mass constituency and grassroots chapter-formations.  PLM members belong to the basic sectors of the Filipino masses, which include workers, farmers, public transport drivers, vendors and the urban poor in the 12 administrative regions in the country. A majority of our members are women.

The PLM's growth and expansion is a validation of PLM’s unceasing struggle to dismantle the elite system of political and economic rule in the country, and replace it with full democracy under a government of the masa [masses].

This is an affirmation of the correctness of PLM’s advocacy for a socialist society to supplant the moribund and profit-oriented capitalist system today. PLM’s Plataporma ng Masa is also gaining support from the masses as a concrete and urgent platform for national survival and social justice.

Video: Class and climate catastrophe in the Philippines

August 30, 2012 -- GreenLeftTV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring masses), reflects on the politics of class and catastrophic climate change in the wake of the 2012 Manila floods. Interview by Peter Boyle.

Philippines: Lessons from Manila floods -- interview from the climate-change frontline

Sonny Melencio (second from left) distributes flood relief supplies.

Peter Boyle interviews Sonny Melencio

"People’s solidarity is a latent component that exists even in the capitalist system. We have to nurture it and provide an environment for it to fully develop by changing the system."

August 13, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- While the Philippines government dithered and made excuses for its grossly inadequate response to the catastrophic floods -- which inundated 80% of the country's capital, Manila -- Sonny Melencio was leading a people's relief effort that brought the first food supplies in days to some of the poorest and most badly effected communities. Together with other activists from the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses), Melencio went to a string of urban poor communities along the flood-breached Marikina River with supplies collected from ordinary folk, whose upsurge of solidarity was in sharp contrast to the official response.

Philippines flood disaster: A political response is urgently needed

PLM activist Sonny Melencio (right) distributes flood relief.

Statement by the Partido Lakas ng Masa 

August 11, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- While organising relief activities for communities hard hit by the devastating floods, the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) believes that a political campaign is urgently needed, targeting the inadequacy of government preparedness and response to the flood disasters.

The emerging pattern of extreme weather conditions is related to climate change and while the solution to the climate crisis, given its global parameters, cannot rely on countries such as the Philippines, those suffering the worst impact of the crisis are again, the poor in our countries. The biggest calamity is poverty and mass poverty is the most critical and underlying issue that must be addressed in order to protect and save peoples lives.

This means, among others, the provision of secure employment and a living wage, quality and affordable housing, health and education, electrification and water. While we believe that a program of poverty eradication is the only effective climate crisis mitigation and adaptation strategy, we also put forward the following urgent and necessary measures to mobilise the PLM base communities.

Release calamity funds

Philippines: Climate change crisis hits world's poor hardest -- again

Floods in Marikina, Manila. Photo courtesy of Dave Llavanes Jr.

By Peter Boyle

August 9, 2012 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "The situation is pretty grim", Reihana Mohideen told Green Left Weekly from the frontline of devastating floods that have submerged half of Manila over the last few days. "It's still raining hard and hard to get around."

"This is another painful reminder of the global climate change crisis and the pain is being felt most by the poor and most oppressed."

Mohideen was part of a team delivering basic supplies, collected at the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) national office, to urban poor and working-class comunities. These include canned goods, instant noodles, milk, coffee, sugar, biscuits, bread, basic medicines and towels. The PLM is one of a number of progressive people's organisations doing relief work with very limited resources.

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