imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

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 - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

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

In LA, San Diego, Sacramento and 147 Other Cities, McD And Other Fast Food Workers Picket S05 1:08PM

Did LA pro-Israel group conceal right-wing identity from Hollywood celebs and media? S04 11:39AM

Stop Circus Animal Suffering – Protestors Urge Audiences to Shun the Wild Animal Circus S02 4:49PM

Anti-blackracism in the U.S. S01 12:10PM

New Zine on Activist Collective Living A29 9:19AM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 2 of 2 A21 9:09PM

LA Fields Two Marches Against Police Executions Photoset 1of 2 A21 7:01PM

Running Down the Walls 2014 A20 8:48PM

Weaving the Past: Journey of Discovery Extends Exclusive Engagement A19 3:37PM

Los Angeles Declares “Hands Up!” in Peaceful Protest of LAPD Murder of Ezell Ford A18 4:09AM

Ezell Ford and Ferguson Solidarity A17 6:35PM

Family and Supporters of #Justice4Fords Protest LAPD Execution of Ezell Ford in South L.A. A17 2:49PM

Southern California Swarms to Save the Bees in Solidarity with Honey Bee Day Around the Gl A17 5:30AM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 4 A05 7:03PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 3 A05 6:45PM

More about KPFK via Pacifica turmoils A05 6:29PM

L.A Supports August 2nd International Gaza Protest Photoset 2 A05 6:23PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Dreaming War, Threatening Humanity S16 5:56AM

18 Ways AntiHealth Departments Connected To Drug Co. Pawns In The CDC Do Harm S15 2:59PM

Israel's Genocidal War on Palestine Without End S15 1:55PM

Israeli Persecution of Palestinians Unrelated to Defense S15 7:48AM

Beat the Heat S14 6:32PM

Israeli High Crimes Against Peace Examined S14 1:30PM

Russell Tribunal on Ukraine S14 10:16AM

TISA versus Public Services S14 9:29AM

Russia Denounces New Western Sanctions S14 6:13AM

I demand right to inform Chch post-quake victims of human rights truth and ethical plan. S13 6:28PM

Abbas Blocks Israeli War Crimes Investigation S13 1:20PM

Wolf Patrol enters Yellowstone backcountry to document and protest Montana wolf hunt S13 8:45AM

3 More NW Illinois Counties Show Insect Resistance to Monsanto's GMO Bt Corn S13 8:00AM

IDF Soldiers Denounce Israeli High Crimes Against Peace S13 6:45AM

Mustafa Barghouti on Operation Protective Edge S13 3:41AM

Jewish Voice for Peace= Jewish voice for Hamas? S12 11:37PM

Artists, Actors and the creative Community for Israel S12 11:22PM

Marijuana – A Real Danger to Young Lives S12 2:53PM

Washington Hawks Want Greater Middle East Spending S12 2:38PM

MSM Ignore International and Constitutional Law S12 11:34AM

How to Combat ISIS Without War S12 10:37AM

Modus operandi de l'apocope S12 12:51AM

The Shortwave Report 09/12/14 Listen Globally! S11 4:53PM

Beyond Development: Alternative Visions from Latin America, 198 pp S11 3:53PM

Amnesty International Fronts for Power S11 2:16PM

Lavrov on Syria, Ukraine and Terrorism S11 12:20PM

Obama Declares Open-Ended Middle East War S11 5:49AM

Why Millions Will Vote Against Gov Kasich of Ohio S10 5:02PM

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