imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Philippine Leftists launch election campaign to take on traditional politicians

by Tony Iltis Wednesday, Jan. 02, 2013 at 11:16 PM

At a one-day assembly of more than 500 delegates on November 28, the militant socialist Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM - Partido Lakas ng Masa) introduced its candidates for national elections scheduled for May 13 next year.

Philippine Leftists ...
1-partido-lakas-ng-masa-plm-workers-philippines-aktibista.jpg, image/jpeg, 449x381

The PLM, which now holds positions in several Barangay (neighbourhood) councils, is running 20 candidates for municipal councillor, vice-mayor, mayor and Congress. They include candidates in Negros and Iligan, in the Philippine archipelago’s south. Most candidates, however, are in Metro Manila or the semi-urban provinces surrounding the capital: Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan and Laguna.

This area, home to more than a third of the country’s population, is where the party has its strongest base.

Along with the PLM candidates, the assembly was also addressed by Dick Penson, a businessperson running for the Senate.

A successful entrepreneur may seem an unlikely guest at an assembly of a radical left-wing party whose main base is in the urban poor. But as another guest speaker – Australian Socialist Alliance member and former Green Left Weekly Caracas correspondent Federico Fuentes – explained, a feature of neoliberal imperialism is that in many poor countries every aspect of the economy is monopolised by foreign multinationals.

Political power becomes concentrated in an ever-shrinking elite, marginalising national business in the process.

In the Philippines, this has reached the point of absurdity, with political power monopolised by 119 families, less than 0.0005% of the population. These dynasties use political office to enrich themselves, generally through legally suspect means such as awarding themselves land. As their wealth is dependent on holding office, they invest in getting family members elected.

Penson is running on the Krusada Kontra Dynasty (Anti-Dynasty Crusade) ticket, while the PLM is making tackling the political dynasties the focus of its campaign. There are plans for both to join on a “caravan against the dynasties” that will travel the country early next year.

PLM national chairperson Sonny Melencio, in his address to the assembly, explained the history of the dynasties. The most established can trace their power to their ancestors collaborating with the Spanish, who ruled the Philippines from the 1500s until 1898.

The Filipino revolution against the Spanish was crushed by the US who established their own rule. New collaborators came forward, creating new dynasties.

When Japan occupied the Philippines during World War II, most of this elite departed with the US occupation forces. This was an opportunity for others to collaborate with the Japanese and found their own dynasties.

The 119 families who rule the Philippines come from all these generations of collaborators. They also feature a few newer dynasties established through holding political office in the neocolonial independent republic established in 1946.

In a country with no social security and few opportunities for regular employment, one way the dynasties stay in office is through the distribution of meagre “gifts” to their electorates.

They also use more sinister means. Particularly in rural areas, political clans keep private armies. Elections in the Philippines can be violent affairs.

After the 1986 uprising that overthrew the US-backed Marcos dictatorship, some anti-dynasty measures were introduced. Article 2, Section 26 of the constitution states: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as defined by law.”

However, laws to make this constitutional provision reality are unlikely to come while legislators are themselves members of the dynasties.

Another measure is the reservation of 57 of the 287 seats in Congress to Party Lists representing marginalised constituencies. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is supposed to ensure that Party List candidates are from non-elite backgrounds.

This has not stopped the dynasties from establishing Party Lists with their family members as candidates. These are popularly known as “BoPals”, short for “bogus Party Lists”.

On October 25, the PLM Youth held an anti-BoPal protest at the Comelec offices, with street theatre featuring the “Trapo family” running various members for elected office, including the family dog. Trapo is a pejorative term for traditional politicians.

Fuentes’ presentation on the revolutions in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador generated much discussion, particularly as the working class in these countries is – like the Philippines – comprised mainly of people in the informal sector.

Before the Asian financial crisis in 1998, the PLM-aligned trade union federation, the BMP, was made up mainly of industrial workers. Since then, this sector has shrunk dramatically due to jobs being exported to Cambodia and China. The BMP’s work has increasingly been through its affiliates, KPML and PMT, organising the urban poor: motorcycle-taxi drivers, street vendors, contractualised call-centre workers, the underemployed and the unemployed.

As urban poor communities are often next to rivers and creeks and are flooded with increasing regularity, climate justice has become an important issue for the PLM.

The Philippines’ role in the globalised capitalist economy is predominantly as an exporter of labour. This has a devastating effect on society as families are torn apart. Filipino children are commonly brought up by grandparents. The abuse suffered by overseas Filipino workers, particularly female domestic workers, is infamous.

Apart from the issue of political dynasties, Penson has said that export of labour is the main issue on which he will campaign. He noted that from the glitzy buildings of Dubai to the mines of outback Australia and US hospitals, the world is kept running by Filipino labour while the Philippines stagnates.

PLM candidates include Uriel Jojo Borja, running for Congress in Iligan, Bong Sevilla, running for mayor of General Mariano Alvarez municipality, Cavite, where the PLM is running a full slate of eight councillor candidates, and Restituto Mendoza running for vice-mayor of San Pablo City.

Dominic Flores, running for councillor in Quezon City, is making history as an openly gay candidate. In Barangay Pansol, whose council he heads, he established a gender equality office and anti-discrimination ordinances. He has pledged to replicate this in the Quezon City municipal council if elected.

Tony Iltis, Manila

Tony Iltis as a member of the Australian Socialist Alliance who attended the PLM’s one-day assembly.

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/53026

http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article27404

http://www.masa.ph

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

KPFK's Indy Media on Air Now on Wednesdays J25 9:13AM

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists J13 7:36PM

Dr. Maryse Narcisse of Haiti Visits Southern California M20 5:55PM

May Day March in Riverside M02 10:35PM

Nuclear Shutdown News: April 2017 M02 4:38PM

Jewish “Defense” League: Nazis in Skull-caps A07 11:13AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

[France] The State Attacks Indymedia-Grenoble and Indymedia-Nantes… Solidarity! S25 5:18PM

The US Superpower is Dangerous S25 7:59AM

Stéréotypie paraphysique S22 11:36PM

Eye Opener S22 5:43PM

There's a pretend world and a real world S22 3:38PM

Winner takes all S22 3:12PM

Doggy style S22 2:59PM

Development Group Says Debt Relief Can Provide Quick-Recovery Aid to Caribbean S22 10:32AM

Nuremberg trials needed S21 8:53PM

The Shortwave Report 09/22/17 Listen Globally! S21 4:37PM

Darkness over the White House S21 4:17AM

Paraphysique de biodynamie généralisée S20 10:09PM

6 Arrested in Female Genital Mutilation Business in La Vonia Michigan S20 10:32AM

Gang Stalking by fbi S19 6:14PM

Hurricane Maria Slams Dominica and Heads Towards Puerto Rico S19 10:18AM

Phone Privacy? S19 6:42AM

Paraphysique de l'orthopraxie S18 10:40PM

Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem S18 9:07PM

Evidence of USA Murderous Decadence &Threat to Civilization S18 5:46PM

The World at Risk under Trump S18 6:00AM

Fbi are human monsters S18 5:00AM

August 2017 Honduras coup update S17 10:50PM

Perpetrators of atrocities are employed by or associated with fbi S17 5:48PM

Mr. President ... S17 2:13PM

Nicaraguas fake Communist Gov. Forcing Canal on Southern Portion of Country No MoneyHealth S17 1:47PM

Allied Efforts in WW2@ Shortened Length of Time Nazi Party Terrorized Western Theater S17 1:36PM

Identity TRheft Rings Hurting all Classes Races and Types in USA Identity Sytems S17 1:26PM

Celebrate California Safe Schools S16 11:56PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy