Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Struggling for Liberation despite 'Hindipendence'

Struggling for Liberation despite 'Hindipendence'

(Or "notes after Hindipendence and how people
chose to continue the national-social struggle")


As the country celebrates its "independence day", let the people first see at some major realities the country is really experiencing- such as those deemed inconvenient.

For at first it is indeniable that International high finance, via its domestic stooges still continues to maintain its grip over the country. And since everyone knows that a chunk of the national budget goes to paying debts to multinational moneylenders if not those of its neighbouring countries, every Filipino felt its continuous hardships especially in seeing prices of commodities and services increasing, while seeing their wages insufficient and their living standards as unjust.

For as these elites afforded to say "Change is coming" under Duterte, they all invested in the leader's tough guy stance towards the people, knowing that the people had voted him with all the promises of security and stability if not an answer to the problems left by past administrations.

However, that administration whom promises that so-called "change" is actually doing a continuity for as the concerned knows how Duterte, as any other president, had to continue the programs of past administrators, abit with different names and amended with new terms, as well as stresses its firm commitment to upheld the status quo, even at the expense of the people.

"You shall devour all the peoples", this may be the hidden statement of despotic landlords, interest-seeking compradores, and corrupt bureaucrats as they insist their version of development which is based on profit than the welfare of the people-usually cloaked with terms like initiative, competition, cooperation, freedom, anything that pleases the people when in fact tries to keep the country held by multinationals and its domestic stooges.

For sure initially most people find a ray of hope on those developments, especially under a regime whose toughness means action, and action means a myriad of fulfillment- and Duterte, just like his own predecessors would have taken pride in its various programs, its dispensation of justice, and other numerous promises that hath been churned throughout social media to those of television, radio, and print- enough to shatter the people's will to resist, bit by bit including those of taking over the most important structures of the state body.

But despite all these "achievements", or even claims that "change" has taken root over the country, the fact that the administration sworn to upheld the status quo it all means having repression, injustice, corruption be prevail- for as everyone knows that the regime had its bloodied records (using drug war as one of its alibis) and incompetent bureaucrats (like in the case of Tulfo-Teo or Mocha Uson), its economic programs created a negative effect especially towards the working masses whose living wages remain low despite high costs of goods and services.
The TRAIN law which supposed to uplift the laborers with promises of take home pay hath rather made these costs increased, if not listening from its economists justifing low wages. With this did diminish that kind of "change" been blared about. The TRAIN-suppored BUILD BUILD BUILD program rather benefit moneylenders as well, that in turn affected the taxpayers with direct and indirect taxes if not slow developments or even chances of corrupt practises; and will that JOBS JOBS JOBS truly benefit workers amidst the fact that Contractualisation and low wages as hot topics by many? There are more matters which people find the administration worth to ridicule than given praise, including those of its foreign policies that regardless of its assumed "independence" from foreign intervenors it didn't even repeal any of the unequal agreements that deprives the country its chance of genuine development for decades.

All in all, the "change" being babbled by the Duterte administration is nothing but a continuity with new terms but same essences, if not a rhetoric meant to sneer every Filipino through the eye and ear despite the fact they are being exploited. Will the people get contented in seeing a country still a vassal of American, Chinese, Japanese and other interests? Will the country remain deprived of chances for genuine national development that benefits those of the laboring masses? No other regime that swore to maintain the semicolonial-semifeudal order would truly adhere to defend its country's independence, safeguard its democracy, and empowering its people.

And thus no wonder why the Filipino people still continues its decades-old, yet still unfinished struggle. In commemorating its Declaration of Independence 120 years ago and honoring those who fought and died for its desire for national independence, it is worth to heed the late Salud Algubre to carry forward the struggle brought about by Rizal, Bonifacio, and his cohorts:

 "No uprising fails. Each one is a step in the right direction. In a long march to final victory, every steps counts, every individual matters, every organization forms part of the whole.”

And all these are for genuine independence, national sovereignty, and social liberation.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

"Still bound by Finance Imperialism"

"Still bound by Finance Imperialism"

(Or how the Philippines still bound by Yankee-Multinational
Finance capital and the need to put an end to its dependency)





It's been decades passed since Filipinos remember how it's former coloniser self-proclaiming itself as the developer of the islands.

Driven by statements such as "benevolent assimilation", followed by all the numerous contributions shown be it in a form of infrastructure to those of modern machinery, the United States did afford to "brag" that their brand of civilisation created a modern colony enough comparable with the centuries-old ones in the far east, what more that it afforded to provide some semblance of self-rule, which was a product of serious lobbying and negotiations by known Filipinos, that even at the expense of their lives it resulted to various agreements, including those of its fundamental laws that made Filipinos unconditionally indebted to them.

And from those experiences no wonder why the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt stated in his radio broadcast to the Filipinos his promise, that:

“I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence established and protected. The entire resources, in men and in material, of the United States stand behind that pledge. It is not for me or for the people of this country to tell you where your duty lies. We are engaged in a great and common cause. I count on every Philippine man, woman, and child to do his duty. We will do ours.” 

Sounds full of optimism indeed those promising times; especially if complimented by some promises from again, according to Roosevelt:

“Over a third of a century ago, the United States, as a result of a war which had its origin in the Caribbean Sea, acquired sovereignty over the Philippine Islands, which lie many thousands of miles from our shores across the widest of oceans. Our Nation covets no territory; it desires to hold no people against their will over whom it has gained sovereignty through war.

“In keeping with the principles of justice and in keeping with our traditions and aims, our Government for many years has been committed by law to ultimate independence for the people of the Philippine Islands whenever they should establish a suitable Government capable of maintaining that independence among the Nations of the world. We believe that the time for such independence is at hand.

“A law passed by the seventy-second Congress over a year ago was the initial step, providing the methods, conditions and circumstances under which our promise was to be fulfilled. That Act provided that the United States would retain the option of keeping certain military and naval bases in the Islands after actual independence had been accomplished.

“As to the military bases, I recommend that this provision be eliminated from the law and that these bases be relinquished simultaneously with the accomplishment of final Philippine independence.

“As to the naval bases, I recommend that the law be so amended as to provide for the ultimate settlement of this matter on terms satisfactory to our own Government and that of the Philippine Islands.

“I do not believe that other provisions of the original law need be changed at this time. Where imperfections or inequalities exist, I am confident that they can be corrected after proper hearing and in fairness to both peoples.”

However, despite that atmosphere of freedom independence doesn't mean an unconditional one people idealised of. For behind that recognition lies agreements wherein it favours its former coloniser especially those on trade, commerce, and security. Roosevelt's death negated his statements, reducing the spirit of independence into a mere testament when in fact retains its vassalage to its master.
There were attempts to insist independence in its fullest form, but it end failed to succeed what more of its leaders maligned, sidelined,or even killed such as in the case of Recto, whose patriotism been cut short by a vial of poison.  

And one American legacy was and is how free-trade ideologues have succeeded in imposing their will upon the world under the guise of “globalization.”, those years of reconstruction and genuine self-rule left a generation wherein it was and is easier to think (and therefore to say) that foreign capitalists can act only as catalystic agents to stimulate local investment, what more of its agreements regardless of its unequal character. 

Sounds too much as this person ought to say that despite being situated in the Southeast Asian region, that the Filipinos, reared in its colonised upbringings, made itself a stranger among the Asiatic peoples, who although recognises the country's potential as a growing country, it will remain skeptic in its drivel to take its own path-given its inherent dependency to its former coloniser as well as other "developed countries" the country depended on.
Cannot blame them for thinking that way, knowing that as they removed their clutches they started to develop their own using their inherent thoughts as well as those their colonisers taught them; but the Filipino, particlularly its system, treats its own struggle for national rebirth as a cultural facade, and if taken seriously it rather lead to a series of debates. It did tried to stimulate production for its own benefit, especially when patriotic fervour is strong, but it end shelved in in favour of its usual dependence if not getting threatened by those whose policies obviously hinder development if not sneered by promises of cheap goods and hot flow of investments.


Looking back at the past
(and how that past still continues to be debated)

Speaking of debates if not messages from various personages, this writeup looks back at history, especially on how men like Manuel Roxas stubbornly defend the idea of parity rights as necessary for the country's development even at the expense of patrimony.

Based from an old government-sponsored pamphlet containing the speeches regarding the pros and cons of parity rights, the then president-elect explained the United States as a benevolent country that "guides" and "cares" to its underdeveloped counterparts if not trying to relive the past how that country liberated the Philippines from the Japanese occupiers, as well as insisting the benefits of free trade and making the country one of its markets.

They say parity is an extraordinary concession. Why should we give this right, this privilege to Americans when we are not giving them to Englishmen? To us, that is an extraordinary concession. But so are the concessions which Americans are giving to us. Not only extraordinary but very extraordinary, not only very extraordinary but unprecedented in the whole history of the world since the dawn of civilization. They say that "parity" is a concession demanded by Wall Street in the United States in order to exploit this nation. Where is the authority for that statement? Wall Street is not interested in the Philippines. America is not an Imperialistic nation. Not because Americans are angels, but because America is such and wealthy nation and has such tremendous resources that she does not have to be an imperialistic nation. An Imperialistic nation arises when that nation needs products or goods vital to her existence. So if that nation cannot get them in good fashion, it grabs the territory that has them.

America has an excess of raw materials. America does not need raw materials from the Philippines. It might be convenient for the Unitef States to have some raw materials from the Philippines like Copra, like Hemp, like Tobacco, or Shell Buttons. I wonder how many nations would be imperialistic just to get shell buttons! I wonder how many nations would become imperialistic to het copra from the Philippines when copra is produced in many parts of the world; when everybody knows that there are many well-known substitutes for vegetable oil. Hemp? Everybody knows that during the war we did not export a single poind of hemp from this country. And yet America did not die. There are many other fibers that can substitute for hemp, and steel cables and synthetic materials can be fashioned now for use in place of cordage made from hemp. There is nothing we can produce in this country that is absolutely necessary to the economy of the United States.

But they say that the concession we grant to the United States is extraordinary. So is the free trade granted to us by America extraordinary. What nation in the world would not want to enjoy free trade with the United States? Is there any nation in the world that would not give quite a lot for the privilege of selling in the great Ametican market? But contrary to her traditional foreign policy, contrary to her commitments in many powers, America has entered into an agreement with the Philippines whereby for 28 years, Philippine products will be admitted into the United States, free of duty, with certain modification at the end of the first eight years. Isn't that extraordinary?

- Manuel Roxas

From this, one would say that his statement was more of a reaction from a nationalist-oriented policy brought about by the Commonwealth and the Japanese Occupation. Roxas sought that with the United States as an important ally in Asia, it also means better prospects of assistance in various forms of development, even at the expense of local expertise- especially those of sugar interests, which saw in those agreements as their economic salvation.
And knowing that as the country was severely tarnished by the war, and its economy struggling due to low output growth and with high unemployment rates, Roxas finds it necessary those US-sponsored acts (Bell trade Act and War Damage Act) in order to support reconstruction activities regardless of being seen as a stumbling block to the full flowering of Filipino nationalism particularly those of economic protectionism and domestic-based economic development- if not a means to retain the friendship of American officials who had helped whitewash him of charges of wartime collaboration with the Japanese occupiers.

Ironically, Roxas himself was once advocating Filipino products and ingenuity through his "Bagong Katipunan", so for sure one would think why would he end becoming an American stooge? Sounds opportunistic isn't he? And in speaking of "stumbling blocks", issues like sovereignty, the right to tariff protection, currency autonomy, and taxing authority, hath been the topics which both those in favour and those who oppose been debating about.

On the other hand, a statement from the late Claro M. Recto recalled a prewar attempt to industrialise the country only to be blocked by the policies brought about by its trade relations with its colonial master. From this, the late senator expressed seriously that the country, being independent has to create its own direction than retaining its vassalage that continues until present.

There was an attempt in the Philippines at industrialisation. An attempt embodied in a programme enunciated by his excellency in 1933 when he made his then very famous, although now forgotten speech, before the student body of the Ateneo de Manila. This attempt, this programme of industrialisation was formally announced by the late President Quezon in his first inaugural address as president if the Philippine Commonwealth.

President Quezon had six years before the war to industrialise the country. We know that almost nothing was accomplished. And not for lack of money. In those years millions were pouring into the Philippines from the excise taxes that were being collected from our products in the United States. If President Quezon was not able to achieve the industrialisation of our country- ably assisted through was for some years by our present president who was then the Secretary of Finance- let us not ascribe this failure either to the President or to his Secretary of Finance. 

In all justice, the blame lies in, the main cause is, our free trade relations with the United States.


- Claro M. Recto 

And the poof of prewar attempts for industrialisation was characterized by an effort to free the Philippines from foreign domination, during which was born the Philippine National Bank that broke the country away from the dominance of such foreign banks as Bank of America, National City Bank and Hong Kong Shanghai Bank. Every effort was made to be economically self sufficient with the birth of the National Development Company and its subsidiaries like the National Coconut Corp. (NACOCO), National Food Corp., National Textile Corp., Rice and Corn Administration (RICOA), among others, liberating the country from the monopoly of multinationals like Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, and importers of food and clothing.
Even postwar industrial institutions like the private-owned Republic Flour Mills and the Philippine National Oil Company, were also products of those attempts, whose personages behind were driven by the ideal of breaking away from multinational dependency and to assert independence via a self-reliant economy.

Other than Recto, Rafael Alunan Sr. also recognises the need to revive Philippine industry through reconstruction and investing on Filipino ingenuity as necessary ensuring national survival in the time of war, with himself as secretary for Agriculture and Commerce:

"More and more, the production of essential commodities is being increased to replace finished products that had to be imported formerly. Among the goods now being turned out by factories to replace the old imports are cassava flour, corn flour, rice flour, in substitution for wheat flour; alcohol for motive power to replace gasoline; cleanser, toilet soap, canned goods, etc. The production of toilet soap has been expanded to an appreciable extent, and filter mats made of coir are being manufactured to be used by soap and lard factories in lieu of asbestos. 

Some 1,500 local factories operating in Manila and in nearby provinces are now engaged on the processing and manufacturing of goods for everyday use, such as flour, starch, soap, matches, preserved fish, chocolate, coffee, biscuits, and other foodstuffs, etc. This is an encouraging indication of the significant changes in the phases of Philippine industries."

- Rafael Alunan Sr.

Sounds idealistic especially that out of survival a country has to stimulate production, cultivate ingenuity, and promote self-reliance; while at the same time unpleasing as the Japanese were rather forcing them as an occupied country to produce for the occupier's benefit while propagandists telling how that war and national survival requires strong political will and social cohesion-even at the expense of rights, in a way Kim Munhollland reported a widespread consensus among historians regarding the Vichy regime as a broadly stated desire to regenerate a decadent state and society that had become corrupted by an ambient lassitude, secularism, and hedonism under the Third Republic by returning to earlier and purer values and imposing a greater discipline and dynamism upon the industrial order.
And as a patriot perhaps both Recto and Alunan Sr. expressed concern and hope that a country, if truly adheres to its desire for progress and retaining its independence has to painstakingly set the foundations such as those of a self-reliant economy. The former knows that the country did have funds to industrialise if not for the policies that hinders it, while the latter, knowing that the country being occupied by a wartime power, tried to make sure that the country least stimulate enough to ensure its survival.

But again, the postwar generation and its succeeding ones left an impression that foreign investment if not being lended by multinational moneylending agencies as necessary for national development- leaving the country at the hands of commercial interests instead of building solid foundations such as those of industry.  True that the agreements lasted for several decades (until 1974), but the impression continues as there are those who actively seeks foreign investment using a variety of alibis such as to generate employment, and laws such as the Foreign Investment Act (R.A. 7042, 1991, amended by R.A. 8179, 1996) gradually liberalized the entry of foreign investment into the Philippines.



Still, the debate continues
(With same entites benefiting)

As in the past, the debate between economic protectionism and liberalisation remains especially amongst the learned. Both did spew words like "oligarchs" if not "sellouts", given their interests prevailing than those of the people- but they fail to distinguish which is protectionist or liberalist among the elites whose primary intent is to maintain their interests.

They look at Ayala, Sy, Ty, Tan, Pangilinan as examples of those elites. Of course they appear to be privileged, Noblesse Oblige-driven personages in the socio-economic arena, trying to make profit while throwing some crumbs in its tiresome subjects. They would done themselves in Barong Tagalog and singing the national anthem, putting some patriotic flavor in their statements and promising to support various forms of economic developments which includes currying foreign investment and keeping wages low for the workers; but, after hearing statements from the government promising to curb their power in favour of empowering the commons, have they already curbed? For sure apologists would have cited the examples of Lucio Tan and Mighty Corporation, if not threatening the Lopezes and Pangilinan, but how about the other bigger ones like those who ruled over the enclaves of Makati and Pasig?

So are the multinationals whom been described as an "alternative" to those oligarchs.  With "economic liberalisation" presented as an alternative, the lessening of government restrictions, privatisation, and subservience to the international market has been the agenda that pleases those of the compradores and bureaucrats. They would even make various alibis such as maintaining or increasing their competitiveness as business environments, if not bluntly stating that  only through globalised capitalism, with its  so-called free markets and free trade, or even free borders and less to none government interventions, a literal interpetation of laissez faire, as the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and to grow a society's economy.

but come to think of it- if protectionism meant economic power at the hands of the oligarchs, then how come economic liberalisation also involves the same oligarchic entities who stubbornly keeping their interests? Isn't that Liberalisation meant dismantling their power? Yet how come the compradore-landlord nature of these oligarchs find economic liberalisation pleasing as it "updates" their antiquated existence? The ruling class hath remain united for an oligarchy to remain in power and maintain its survival. They see appeals as thoughts to toy with- the way they did made factories out of patriotic sentiment, while at the same time privatising state assets to curry outside investment. The ruling class doesn't really care about the commons despite throwing scraps and crumbs at them-for least it provides them with sustenance so to speak in exchange for unjust agreements and conditions.

In fact, some of them would even look at the example of Japan during the last years of the Tokugawa shogunate and the rise of the Mikado as the absolute ruler- it did curry foreign investment, technology, knowledge, anything necessary for its modernisation; but, the government was also involved in economic modernization, providing a number of "model factories" to facilitate the transition to the modern period, as well as built railroads, improved roads, and inaugurated a land reform programme to prepare the country for further development. so was the Zaibutsus who were once former Daimyos and Samurais who end invested in the use of modern technology both for the country and their interests, others, like in the case of Matsushita, did afford to babble "social justice" as one of its policies behind their industry, as if trying to put morality in managing the entire enterprise.
So was Taiwan or even South Korea that did the same patriotic-driven procedure: It carried out an import substitution policy, taking what was obtained by agriculture to give support to the industrial sector, trading agricultural product exports for foreign currency to import industrial machinery, thus developing the industrial sector. It did raised tariffs, controlled foreign exchange, and restricted imports in order to protect domestic industry. But these came the birth of conglomerates amongst the privileged.

These experiences may sound quite decades if not centuries old, but in developing countries it continues to remain relevant given their resource, labor power, and patriotic desire for full-scale development. In fact, these countries also happened to have their own elites, but in fairness to them it tried much to prioritise national interest, the problem in the Philippines was and is- how these developments which meant for the development of the country been treated half-hearted, if not wholly rhetorical- or bluntly telling that not all of them was carrying the same mindset as Salvador Araneta or Claro M. Recto.

The Oligarchs, regardless of their adaptability to modernity, would rather act Lockean as they tried to retain a good, old-fashioned system of feudalism and slavery in order “that we may avoid erecting a numerous democracy…” It is natural for them to see an unjust order, if not distorting the idea of "noblesse oblige" for their benefit especially in a time of neoliberal-globalist "modernity". On the first place, if the Philippines experience progress, then why agriculture remains less developed than those of its neighbours? Of less inclination if not total disdain towards industrialisation and promotion of science and technology? And rather a massive consumerist base depending on consumer goods? The compradore nature of these oligarchs rather clings to their space despite recognising the need for industrialising a country abundant in resources-but will they do so? They would rather act Lockean if not almost Jeffersonian as they insist the agrarian-commercial nature of the country and hath to be retained while letting some manufacturing be set upon for a trade. In fact, speaking of that former US President, Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn described him "as an Agrarian Romantic who dreamt of a republic governed by an elite of character and intellect".

Perhaps in a desire to have an enlightened elite, very few of these "elites" could ever grasp the enlightenment as what Salvador Araneta or Claro M. Recto has especially if the desire is for the development of the nation and the welfare of its people, or even those of Luis Jalandoni and Jose Maria Sison who transcend their class upbringings as he favours those of the commons a la Frederick Engels whose experiences as a manager made he transcend from his background and instead favours the need for revolutionary change. All imbued with a good character and intellect, these had to go down from the hill as they heed and learn from the common folks which actually constitutes a nation.



Conclusion

Sorry if to look at the past for an example, but that past remains relevant amongst those who wanted to see the country remain contented in its setting as well as those who insist to break away from it. True that the Philippines is a wealthy country. Wealthy country whose majority of its inhabitants wallow in poverty- and everyone still always say with pride that the land is rich in natural resources from the mountain to the sea, but who is to benefit that wealth what more of the development being shown and felt upon? The late Roxas, and so is his successors, would rather say that let the foreigners do the job while his compatriots to the manual task-or as what he said:

"Some Americans are coming―trained engineers, trained technicians and technologists, trained miners, trained lumbermen, who will help us finance and develop our natural resources."

True but the question is, who is to benefit that? The people who invest their brawn or those who profit from it? In fairness, there are good foreigners who seriously and selflessly focus on developing the country, but most rather chose to exploit and gain profit from it even at the expense of those who seriously worked for- besides that, there are good compatriots who wanted to share their expertise just like those foreigners the system looked upon to.

And from these experiences no wonder why there are those who insist a fair share especially those who seriously worked for. The centuries-old unfairness has created a generation wherein people find it natural to depend on the moneylender to fund to the extent of having properties be mortgaged, if not undergoing to an agreement that appears as just when in fact it unveils its contrary- enough to mock the government’s so-called financial experts as narrow-minded misers who justifies borrowing for "various projects" or investments while at the same time giving crumbs to those who seriously and actually worked for its fulfillment, and issuing taxes directly to them.

On the other hand, nothing is wrong in needing foreign investments and foreign loans as a palliative relief to modernize the economy especially if these will “provide the country with the least costly access to needed technology, products and markets”; but at first, instead of prioritising on attracting foreign investments, the government, being a steward on behalf of the nation, should first ensure its control over key local industries, utilities, and services, as well as place national interest and public welfare above local and foreign big business interests.
Also for a country to truly benefit from foreign investments, these should be directed, if not planned in accordance with genuine domestic development, with close government monitoring and regulation, rather than letting those investments leave at the hands of interests, as they themselves sells the country altogether to the moneylenders as what Roxas sr. and his successors adhere for; for such agreements is actually a two-way road one should look on to. Countries like Sri Lanka, and a few from Africa end indebted to the Chinese as the latter provided loans on them in exchange for some agreements, so are other countries who end at the hands of moneylenders like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

With these lessons, perhaps, makes a concerned suggest that to have a productive nation first requires an immense national effort, a community-based perseverance that justifies a nation's survival, development, and maturity over those of total dependency on foreign loans and aid (in a way the late Thomas Sankara saying that "he who feeds you, controls you.") in exchange for selling its own patrimony.

From this lies a renaissance of National Dignity.





Wednesday, 23 May 2018

"Benevolent" Dictatorship: a daydream for the Fanatic

"Benevolent" Dictatorship: a daydream for the Fanatic

(or how Duterte's fans positively sees their idol as a dictator who "cares")




It's been a daydream for a fanatic to see orderism under a benevolent dictatorship. Expecting terms to describe such as "constitutional authoritarianism", or simplest ones like "compassionate paternalism", Duterte's supporters have claimed that the present government will be "benevolent" amidst the fact that his regime been soiled with blood. 

For with all the programs been featured in social media pages, followed by statements babbled by its apologists, the desire to have a benevolent strongman to take place that includes sacrificing civil rights for piecemeal 'reforms' to so called 'sobriety' and 'order'- that in turn leads to development.

For as older citizens, with all their nostalgia overhearing in social media pages, are long for a leadership that is as at once decisive and compassionate—features that they think are sorely lacking past administrations. And the keen interest in a Duterte presidency is, of course, emblematic of that kind of wishfulness.
Why this enduring fantasy that associates authoritarianism with benevolence? Is it because of the feudal views people accustomed to? Of 'father figure'-style patronage politics? For sure many would believe that his statements was just one of his Freudian slips (slip of the tongue) considering that the president has a “gift of tongue”.- and from it one would find out what is the explanation of his propaganda team be it from Harry Roque to those of Mocha Uson.
And for sure both of these apologists may agree, disagree, come up with a “potable explanation” or may confirm that their boss was just exercising his “sense of humor”, none withstanding his incorrectness.
Contradicting himself 
But on the other hand, Duterte himself, who insist "he will step down after his tenure ends" or "urging the military to oust him if he to become a dictator" admitted that his dictator-style governance will make things happen in the country, that again, apologists would expand or downplay that statement of his as any other sentiment enough to appease those who disagreed in that tendency. 
And perhaps some if not most would even think that the President might use federalism Filipino-style, or the earlier idea of having a "revolutionary government" (when in fact it isn't) to support his intention of becoming an authoritarian figure the way everyone remembers how the late Ferdinand Marcos claiming that Democracy was in full swing, complete with elections, "reforms", anything enough to appear that the Philippines as "normal" as any other democratic states; and at the same time describing his martial rule as necessary "to save the republic" and to create a "new society" under his "Constitutional Authoritarianism". 

Yet there is more than what Duterte's apologists to describe the features of that idealised paternal rule just like his predecessor- for according to an article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer made last 2016, Vicente Rafael describes about some people wished for a strongman-like figure to impose both fear and mercy, of order and stability to its subject-constituents, leaving a generation either thinking of it as orderly as the quiet roads at night or chaotic as the nighttime arrests, so, what are some of the features of this discourse of benevolent dictatorship?

First, there is the notion of the sovereign as savior who comes to redeem the country and qapunish the evildoers. He—for the dictator is invariably a patriarchal figure—will then return the nation to a state of grace. He will restore laws and, just as important, suspend them when he thinks it necessary. His sovereignty is thus premised upon his ability to take exception to the law—especially in a coup d’etat—in the name of restoring order and preserving his rule.

Second, the actions of a benevolent dictator are seen to be unfailingly just, combining brutality and compassion. He does not hesitate to use whatever means are necessary to pursue justice, including the most unjust measures, so long as these are aimed at criminals, who, to begin with, are already considered to be enemies from within, and thus bereft of any rights.

Third, the benevolent dictator is invested with magical powers. He rules as if he knows everything about everybody, deciding without delay or hesitation. Results are instantaneous, progress is always already at hand. Furthermore, his magical powers are seen to be contagious, infusing officials and citizens alike with virtue, bringing them to dwell in a moral community.

Finally, such dreams always turn into nightmares. The fantasy of benevolent dictatorship is exactly that—a fantasy. Those who indulge in this dream often think that the solution to the nation’s problems can only come from a heroic figure willing to risk everything for them. In exchange, he asks only for their unquestioning obedience.


Following the Pangulo principle
Revisiting Agpalo's "Pangulo"
(and how Duterte acts as an example)

Other than Rafael's statement, are more descriptions stated above to chat down in this post, but to sum it all, the idea of a benevolent despot isn't new-  for the Filipino term "Pangulo" itself isn't just presiding but more of overseeing and leading the community.

Literally meant "Headman", and acting as "vicar" or "steward" on behalf of "God" (the word "Pamahalaan" derives from the word "Bathala"), the "Pangulo" as people idealised has to be a paramount figure, an enlightened despot whose word is law if not personifying both fear and justice. It's advocator, the late UP Professor Remigio Escalona Agpalo once described the “Pangulo” regime as the “remedial version of both the American presidential and the British parliamentary forms of government.” And that concept also favored a strong but caring president, likening the chief executive to a stern and strict but loving father to a family. From this the late professor said this was the type of leader that could be most effective here, considering Philippine culture.

And judging by what Duterte is been doing, it appears that he has trying to apply some aspects what that “developmental dictatorship” which has been widespread in Asia decades ago in a form of a "Pangulo". Positioning himself as a strong executive who is ready to do what needs to be done, and be held accountable for his actions, that model he favours about implies a combination of a strong authoritarian, repressive state which does not tolerate political opposition, with a market-oriented economic policy that benefits those of a particular sector.
With programs like "Build Build Build", "Biyaya ng Pagbabago", and his anti-corruption campaigns seemed trying to appease the people even after witnessing his bloodied campaign if not his vent against the opposition. He also claims to be unburdened by corruption allegations nor affected much by his statements, and instead points to his “success” in instilling discipline and paving the way for peace and order basing from his experience as the Mayor of Davao City- enough for a blueprint in a nationwide scale which is approved by those who supported him.

Past leaders as benevolent despots
(And how people chose to believe towards them)
Of past leaders as benevolent despots
(and how people chose to believe towards them)

Outside the Philippines that "benevolent" move was also pioneered by its neighbouring Asian countries especially during the post-war period.

Those countries, whose societies are rather traditionally hierarchical in nature, looked at the example of leaders, that in turn inspired from the benevolent despots who were ready to do what needs to be done, and be held accountable for their actions- which mostly "did benefit" even at the expense of civil rights, if not trying to conserve some of the liberties and mechanisms of democracy.

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, who ruled thirty-one years from 1959 until 1990, is often called a 'benevolent dictator', who implemented some laws that were deemed to be autocratic, and attempted to dismantle political opposition- while at the same time creating "sound" economic and social policies that made the country one of the developed. South Koreans did experience "development" during the era of Park Chung-Hee, which involves the engaging of trading companies in manufacturing (such as in the case of Samsung and Hyundai), leading to Korea's industrialisation boom during the mid-to-late 20th century. And so was Taiwan under Chiang Kai-Shek whose intent was to create "another China" which was "non-Communistic", "orderly", and the "good China" different from the other which described  as "chaotic" and "tyrannical".

On the other hand, there were also corrupt amongst these despots. Thailand's Sarit Thanarat for example, he did afford to create immense development, for aside urging the late King Bhumibol to take part in development projects, Thanarat's "revolutionary council" ordered the lowering of electric rates and food prices, getting rid of drugs and prostitution, and even provided better health care programs. However, his regime has it's repressive aspect: parliament was abolished, newspapers were strictly censured, political parties were prohibited, and people who were suspected of colluding with communists were imprisoned. He was even deemed corrupt- for after his death scandals such as a massive extent of his wealth, which totaled over US$100 million, was revealed after an inheritance battle amongst family members.
But in fairness for Thanarat, he bluntly disagreed with Democratic processes, preferring Authoritarianism under a benevolent dictatorship since it was compatible with the Thai tradition and culture. For as according to Wikipedia, Likhit Dhiravegin stresses that the notion of "phokho" (patriarchal rule) from the Sukhothai Kingdom and "devaraja" (god–king) and "sakdina" (dignity marks) from the Ayutthaya Kingdom are important in understanding modern Thai politics. Likhit's analysis, as well as those of Thak Chaloemtiarana, shows how Thanarat combines paternalistic rule using the examples of Sukothai and Ayutthaya to create his personal political style, which can also be understood as the modern phokhun style of leadership, wherein the benevolent leader would intervene to help his people whenever deemed necessary.

But regardless of the nature of those despots, that policy also appears to be "favorable" to American interests, redescribing it as a necessary if not a pragmatic move, a lesser evil enough in underdeveloped and developing countries to counter against communism with an emphasis on economic growth and some cases, a series of welfare programs enough to appease the people- an iron fist well hidden in a snow white glove. To quote Ko Song-guk in describing Park Chung Hee's regime:

"It is no exaggeration to say that developmental dictatorship is a core concept integrating the Korean experience of modernization in the era of extremes, as well as a key notion characterizing the Jung-Hee Park regime. The conventional definition of developmental dictatorship is that it is “a system used to justify a dictatorship that restricts the people’s participation in politics based on the reason that political security is a prerequisite to economic growth”.


Again, Duterte's fanatics would still afforded to babble his regime as "making immense changes" when again in fact it was but a consolidation of interests. From this it costs support from his allies for the change he offered to them turned out to be a continuity of unjust policies. TRAIN may sound good to fund most projects, but by retaining the Extended Value Added Tax on various products, a deregulated oil pricing that keeps prices increase, and even wanting to remove suggested retail prices on commodities, what more of keeping wages low to satisfy profits for compradores and its foreign counterparts, will people remain "hopeful" that the regime seriously address their problems? 

Perhaps in this so-called "continuing past" there will be those who disagree. True that the regime tries to be developmentalist, but given the leader's character and history, as well as sworn an oath to defend the status quo, will his populism thrive well and strong? Will his allies support him and his endeavors despite controversies? For sure everyone benefited from the late Marcos's programs as well as those of his successors, and this time seeing some "optimism" in Duterte regardless of all the bullshits, but this doesn't mean cannot deny that those regimes has its bad eggs ranging from corrupt officials to bloodied and soiled hands just to maintain order and steer their conception of development.

From this no wonder why there are protests in the streets, effigies burning, if not a concerned innocently asking:

"In which direction is the Philippine society going?"

That's all for now.


Tuesday, 15 May 2018

"A premature, 'Pinoy' Thermidor"

"A premature, 'Pinoy' Thermidor"


As the system continues to consolidate its position in today's society, it seems that it unveils the contrary to what people expected from them. With reforms leaning to a particular sector to those of its bloodied campaigns, the so-called revolution (supposedly) being babbled by apologists isn't revolutionary at all- but instead a counterreactionary kind of "Thermidor".

Sounds strange at first, especially in using an word that's archaic, for that word "Thermidor" was used during the French Revolution in referring to the era from Robespierre's ouster and its desire to reverse the effects of the revolution- trying to restore some semblance of normalcy as possible, and one characteristic of that scenario was the fact that the government was formally controlled by the members of the same party. "Part of the Jacobins, or quasi-Jacobins, destroyed the other part, the true Jacobins, by an appeal to open civil war." as what Trotsky said. (sorry)
However, in the Philippine setting it turned out to be "adjusted" if not "different" (despite the fact that it is controlled by the same order). Earlier attempts for a post-EDSA thermidor was confronted by opposition, be it because in the name of democracy and human rights; but pre-EDSA economic policies remain at large, what more of the statutes which were then superseded with new names whose spirit be as same as in the past. 


For the opposition, it seemed pleasing into the ears that word called revolution if not reform- and some if not most of them critically supported his measures especially if that meant 'good' for the country: For Duterte's promises years ago gained the hearts and minds of every people- particularly those of the commoners who wished to uplift from their sordid existence.
But despite all those statements reality shows that not all promises are worth realising. Some are rather meant to shut people up from complaining, if not leaving those at the backburner to prioritise its initial campaigns. Programs like "build build build", the newly-passed "tax reform law" tried much to appease the folk, but this didn't diminish the fact that the present administration is prioritising its bloodied campaigns if not making fuss towards an increasingly critical populace. 

Quite usual isn't it to see Duterte and his clique following the same direction as his predecessors, but of course it has to be adjusted according to his whims such as his "Biyaya ng Pagbabago" which is in fact a reformulated welfare program of past administrations, or the "build build build" which in fact a continuity of the past administration's infrastructure building programs. 
And of course, they will negate its predecessors the more it assumes as theirs those programs-carrying new names but same intentions such as maintaining the status quo while creating an atmosphere called 'development'. 

But one familiar feature what makes the administration as trying to do a "Thermidor" is to negate the opposition of its significance if not its relevance. For as the latter criticises its bloodied programs, the administration sees them as a stumbling block to achieve its goals. Its propaganda machine would of course churn its false reportage if not its personalist slant in maligning groups or individuals criticising their idol and his actions. 
What more that it has also been supported by those who actually disagreed with them. Personages like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Marcoses, and other conservatives- tuned-'self-proclaimed reformists' rallied themselves towards Duterte as the latter babbles its angst towards the opposition if not threatening them with legal and extralegal acts; and actions like the recent burial of the late dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the approval of extending martial rule by the courts, and the recent quo warranto towards Chief Justice Sereno shows how the present Duterte administration as trying to retreat from its radical goals in favour of returning to normalcy supplanted by piecemeal reforms enough to sustain stability.

After all, Duterte's supposed revolutionary goals is replaced by a conservative objectives. Apologists may insist "not" the way they cry for "revolutionary government", but reality shows that their supposed 'revolutionaries' have been replaced by opportunists especially those who joined with him despite its corrupted character like what stated above.

Perhaps the bottomline at the height of those scenarios is that the administration creates an atmosphere enough to rally towards theirs in an eve of discontent. Aside from his "Diehard Duterte Supporters", rabid Marcos loyalists afforded to support Duterte after the latter gave signal to bury their idol at the heroes cemetery, although some of them end disagreeing with that same Duterte for not pushing through the recount of ballots in its quest to unseat Leni Robredo in favour of their bet; The administration's propaganda machine led by Uson, et al. continues to churn their distorted messages and half-truths pointing against the opposition if not having a smattering of legalese trying to justify their bloodied actions if not continuing martial rule in Mindanao; and justices who accused chief justice Sereno, what more of issuing quo warranto, refused to inhibit from judging, what more that they themselves are the accusers whose intent is to oust someone who isn't belong to their circle. Everyone is expected how president Duterte as not satisfied that the Supreme Court has consistently voted in his favor and demands the Chief Justice to be fully compliant. He was even incensed that Sereno had openly spoken against maneuvers to gain absolute power.
And this time, by having forced Sereno’s ouster by these same justices, it hath obviously done a thermidor on behalf of Duterte, the way they hath cleared Arroyo from accusations, given a clear signal to bury the late dictator, declared martial law in Mindanao as just, and others that makes the Duterte administration having a legal basis to tolerate their brand of bloodied nonsense.

However, that same Duterte has further isolated himself and has generated a potentially fatal political crisis.  His 'revolution' has deprived of its character, and despite all threats issued this doesn't stop the people from asserting what is just. For as Duterte's fanatics redescribing all these "Dutertic moves" as necessary for change, it had to slay judicial independence or subvert laws using their justices or its lawmakers in order to uphold their decisions; it had to threaten people's rights by shutting down Dissent even in its traditional forms in order to maintain their interests using laws and its attack dogs; it made democracy in peril as the order tries to monopolise its power at all levels; These recent events which the administration did provoke disgust if not ridicule as the law been distorted to upheld their interests.

And fanatics, again, justifying that as necessarily to prevent its enemies to return to power if not to quell subversion. Is this the change been babbled about throughout the years in social media sites and in mainstream media? Actually, it has far reaching effects affecting not just the bureaucracy but the affairs of the state. But regardless of its significance for sure these fanatics would rather evade that kind of  question as they emphasise instead the 'good side' such as that goddamn "build build build" to those of "take home pay" for the lowest paid.  

Anyway, this person is ought to say that the more the system is stubbornly trying to subvert power in favour of theirs, then no matter how fanatics and self-proclaimed sobreitists insist the goodness or lawfulness of that goddamn regime, the growing mass of the concerned will continue to assert what is just.

By all means necessary- even at the expense of their lives. 





Saturday, 5 May 2018

"MARX - Still Relevant regardless of all the slander"

"MARX
-Still Relevant regardless of all the slander"


A message for the 200 birth anniversary of Karl Marx
(and how the specter continues to haunt the existing rotten order)




At first, it is undeniable the fact that Karl Marx has made the world realise that as society progresses so is the struggle of its inhabitants.

With statements such as "All history is consists of class struggles" (from the Communist Manifesto), or the familiar quote from "Theses on Feurbach" telling that "The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it",  it seems that as people noticed that societies divided unjustly, what more of forcing to get used in that unjustness, it became necessary for the have-nots who toiled for hours to realise an inconvenient truth, as well as to stand up and fight for a society they think as "just"- even at the expense of their lives.

Quite chaos-provoking isn't it? But Marx, as any other thinker who hath witnessed the scenarios of those times, sought the inevitability of social change regardless of those who stubbornly maintain the order people detested for its interest-driven unjustness.  And events like the Peasants War in Germany, the French Revolution, up to today's mass actions, the oppressed masses cannot just get content in its sordid existence as the elites been churning off profits from their hardships. 
And from them it is argued that a class is formed when its members achieve class consciousness and solidarity- and this largely happens when the members of a class become aware of their exploitation and the conflict with another class. A class will then realize their shared interest, identity, and destiny. For as struggles around the globe has showed how these folks not just aim to satisfy their needs, but to realise a future that cannot be done simply by an act of kindness.
And from this no wonder why Mao Zedong, in reading the experiences of past struggles, and the drivels that pished the masses to revolt against corrupted orders, afforded to say that:  

"The aim of every revolutionary struggle in the world is the seizure and consolidation of political power."

Sounds usual as well as  annoying to some in seeing direct actions- and usually reduced their sentiments into meaningless noises worth  mockingble. At one time they would mock the poor for rallying in the streets, if not blaming them for the traffic jams and the trash being left after protests; for sure they would insist that let the legislators do their work  if not the usual mantra that "hard work and good character is enough"- but did it stop the crisis? 
Anyway, despite all the scorn pointing against these laboring folks as well as from the view that brought them their will to resist, today's world setting continues to be marred by recurrently worsening crises, social turmoil, and various forms of conflicts- and it cannot be resolved by just conscience-provocation, but rather through an organised and direct social action.
And to think that Capitalists and its apologists insisting Marxism as an "invalid" kind of idea or Marx himself as an unnecessary figure, for the laboring masses, the existing conflicts and corresponding actions has proven the relevance if Marxism and its further advances in history and in the current circumstances- and from there lies the most resolute and militant thinkers and leaders amongst their ranks in various struggling countries- contributing to Marxism and to the Revolution.

And like the powers of old Europe according to the Communist Manifesto, today's upholders of capitalism are still "struggling" to exorcise this spectre by preaching their brand of 'democracy' and 'freedom' when in fact it meant upholding their interests. At one time the United States hath spread the notion that capitalism as a continuing economic line as it pushed further both its neoliberal economic policy and its neoconservative policy of aggressive wars, wasting trillions of dollars on unnecessary conflicts; while China, whom supposed to be the examplar if not the forebearer of Socialist revolution, treated Marxism-Leninism-Maoism like a doormat as they emphasise capitalist agendas throughout due to their revisionism. In fairness, Xi Jinping called Marx a "teacher of revolution for the proletariat and workers all over the world" and "the greatest thinker of modern times" while his continuity of Dengism and its actually-existing unjustness (such as those of suicides in processing zones) makes Mao Zedong's warning likely:

"If our children’s generation go in for revisionism and move towards their opposite, so that although they still nominally have socialism it is in fact capitalism, then our grandsons will certainly rise up in revolt and overthrow their fathers, because the masses will not be satisfied."




Anyway, bluntly speaking, like the powers of old Europe according to the Communist Manifesto, today's upholders of capitalism are still "struggling" to exorcise this spectre by preaching their brand of  'democracy' and 'freedom' when in fact it meant upholding their interests- and Karl Marx has been 'declared' as their bogeyman that forces capitalists to make some piecemeal changes if not equating him to tyranny and oppression.
From this, makes one would think that in blaming a single person to a tragedy committed in his name is as erroneous as to blame the Philosophers of the Enlightenment for fomenting chaos against well-rooted orders such as monarchies, if not Jesus Christ for using his teachings for colonialist ventures. There are also groups whose reactionary leanings insist that radical thoughts, including those of Social Justice, was bluntly based on nothing more than envy on the part of the masses for the privileged position and economic advantages of the elites- if not telling that the "natural order of things" (which is unjust and unfair according to their view) hath been disrupted by the philosophies leading skepticism towards established views, that all inequality as an injustice, authority as danger, and freedom as supreme good.

And if people detested views which are against the system thinking that it created chaos and instability, that change-provoking views aren't limited to Marx himself; for actually, there are those who expressed radically before him- Robespierre, Gracchus Babeuf, or even Thomas Paine. They insisted Justice and Freedom in its radical form- enough to "stir flames" on those willing to resist against orders whom perceived as oppressive and tyrannical. In fact, Babeuf, who was described by many as the "first Revolutionary Communist", expressed that:

"Ancient habits, antique fears, would again like to pose an obstacle to the establishment of the Republic of Equals. The organisation of real equality, the only one that responds to all needs, without causing any victims, without costing any sacrifice, will not at first please everyone. The selfish, the ambitious, will tremble with rage. Those who possess unjustly will cry out about injustice. The loss of the enjoyments of the few, of solitary pleasures, of personal ease will cause lively regret to those heedless of the pain of others. The lovers of absolute power, the henchmen of arbitrary authority, will with difficulty bow their superb heads before the level of real equality. Their shortsightedness will penetrate with difficulty the imminent future of common happiness; but what can a few thousand malcontents do against a mass of happy men, surprised to have sought so long a happiness that they had right at hand."

So was Marx himself, in his letter to J. Weydemeyer in New York, affirmed that long before him (like Babeuf) there were those who recognise the unjustness of a stratified society based on wealth and power, its antagonisms between the haves and the have-nots, and the drivel of the oppressed class to overturn the ruling and to set the foundations of the new order:

"...And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove:

(1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production,
(2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat,
(3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society.

Ignorant louts like Heinzen, who deny not merely the class struggle but even the existence of classes, only prove that, despite all their blood-curdling yelps and the humanitarian airs they give themselves, they regard the social conditions under which the bourgeoisie rules as the final product, the non plus ultra [highest point attainable] of history, and that they are only the servants of the bourgeoisie. And the less these louts realize the greatness and transient necessity of the bourgeois regime itself the more disgusting is their servitude."


From this, no wonder why Marx, Engels, and his successors desired that ideal- and from their works lies the most compelling framework for analyzing how the conflicting tendencies in today's society contain the seeds of a just, humane future.




Friday, 4 May 2018

"Still, it doesn't end the issue."

"Still,  it doesn't end the issue."


It is undeniable that the working class condemn the regime for mocking their plight.

For as the labouring maases converged in Mendiola in Manila as well as on other protest centers around the country, the desire for just, dignified labour and employment has been its main call- especially in a time a government whose leader promises to put an end only to end seeing him reluctant.

Only to find him and his clique affording to create an "Executive Order" that according to theirs "can end" that unjust practise- when in fact it made fools out of those who yearn.

For no matter how it tries to appear just in the eyes of the labourers, the newly-signed "Executive Order" no.51 ignores the just demands, as well as misleads as it assumes that "it will end " schemes like "Endo" and "Contractualization" when in fact further entrenches those anti-worker practices.

Firstly, the directive shows lack of genuine commitment to end contractualisation, but instead, it further legalises the practise. For it merely reiterates anti-labour provisions in the labour code, it shows that it tolerates schemes regardless of its populist appeal.


Second, it worsens the existing loopholes in labor law such as the Labour Department's Order 174. Prior to the issuance of the directive, "D.O. 174" sets out policies as to which forms are illegal, but does not ban contractualization altogether. And with the Directive currently in force, it further establishes labor contracting through agencies as the standard of employment in the country; as well as making way for massive retrenchments, re-alignment, and re-hiring of regular workers as contractuals under third party contracting agencies.


And third, the directive's implementation, particularly those of regularisation orders now lie on the president's hand. True that there are orders brought by the Labour Department calling for regularising contractuals in various companies and institutions, some of which are even shown in papers and in social media; but amidst all these show-offs, not all orders for regularisation are been taken seriously as the majority of those remain unimplemented. Worse, those order from DOLE regional offices, especially those involving big multinational companies, were even reversed by Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III himself.

It even removes the provision which sets out a budget for the order's implementation! Isn't it that clear how the regime showing lack of commitment in enacting? Or is the regime, despite babbling messages of change, is obviously supporting the interests of the few and not of the have-not?


All in all, that directive is a total rejection of Filipino workers’ demand for regular, just, and dignified jobs. To cite Lenin, It hath made the working class draws into revolutionary action the masses of the working and exploited people, who are deprived of basic rights and driven to despair. No matter how the president and his clique insist that signed piece as making way for major changes, Duterte, who still kowtows to the oligarchs, has again killed the hopes of millions of contractuals of being regularised. Thus, that E.O. 51 is nonetheless anti-worker, pro-contractualization, and pro-big business- and therefore should be junked alongside its earlier unjust decrees affecting Labour. 
Furthermore,that directive, no matter how its makers insist, has no power of legislation (therefore cannot be considered as 'law' and thus cannot compel businesses to follow its mandate), making its nature be restricted to the executive branch and can be reversed by the Judiciary, the Legislature, or its succeeding presidents.

From this, in order to really make a difference in ending that scheme, then it requires an enabling act- and it has to go through the legislature in order to become a law (Republic Act); on the first place, the order is far from a presidential decree which everyone accustomed to, and as for the 1987 constitution- the president has no power to issue laws, let alone proclamations and orders which has to be supplanted by an enabling act which again, done by the legislature.

But that's not all. Contractualisation and "Endo" aren't just the main topics workers currently facing. Existing issues like lower wages, high prices of commodities, layoffs, and silencing union leaders and its supporters shows that the regime truly adheres to preserve the status quo while assuming that they are making various changes. And no matter how Duterte and his gang afforded to create an executive order enough to mellow down growing protests, instead it didn't stop the commotion between the present order and its labouring subjects.

This is what everyone sees in this goddamn Philippines: A political crisis is maturing before everyone's eyes- to Cite Lenin: "The bourgeoisie has done everything in its power to back counter-revolution and ensure “peaceful development” on this counter-revolutionary basis."- and these are in a form of military and police operations against the concerned mass, alongside those of paper "reforms" that benefits the haves, with bouts of publicities making the regime appear as "revolutionary."

Source: http://kilusangmayouno.org/signed-eo-51-legalizes-not-ends-contractualization/#.Wuw7F--FOUk

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Workers, Enough of illusions! Struggle for a just society!

Workers, Enough of illusions! Struggle for a just society!

A message for International Workers Day 

1. 5. 2018





At first, this post salutes all struggling workers in this occasion. Known for commemorating their labours and harvesting their fruits of their hardships, International Workers Day was and is itself a day recognising these forgers and tillers of the society as a driving force for change, despite the fact that they are still bounded by the chains led by those who exploit in the name of interest.


Sounds centuries old this so-called exploitation by the profiteers and struggle from the workers; and despite the fact that there are times profiteers obliged or compelled to observe and enact the concessions meant to uplift the have-nots, this doesn't stop the desire for the working class to assert for freedom and  social justice- some if not most are even paid by blood because of this desire to fight for.
And if to look at the experiences such as the Paris Commune of 1871, the Russian Revolution of 1917, or the victory of the Chinese people in 1949, these shows that even blood at its price, the struggle to break the bonds of exploitation and injustice, to reap the fruits of hard work from the interest-driven profiteers, and to forge for a just society, all these will remain fresh in the hearts and minds of every labourer no matter how others will insist that "radical change" is nonsense as they favour mere piecemeal "reforms".

And in the case of the Philippines, laws like TRAIN tries to appear "for the people", with promoses of take home pay for the lowest paid and the taxes collected be allocated to government projects and forms of welfare, but, with the increasing prices of commodities and people still enduring low wages,  will that law truly benefit the labourer? So is contractualisation which profiteers agrees to it because it "saves money" as they increase profits at the expense of the labouring class's hardships followed by disposing afterwards; the government may have disagreed from it, they even created an "executive order", but will it truly stop that goddamn contractualisation or just trying to stop labourers from asserting a call? 

Anyway, as the struggle rages with protests and statements, expect modern-day versions of Samuel Grompers trying to negate the social aspect of this occasion and insist limiting workers' desires to just economic issues, or how the system, playing "for the people" creating proclamations and orders enough to please; but as long as wages remain low and prices high, that unjust contracts remain even substituted with "correct terminologies", and people be silenced because of their beliefs for a just society, then perhaps it is just to say "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum"- if one desires peace, prepare for war. 

That's all for now. Workers will continue to struggle for their rights and to contribute for the redemption of their society from its sordid existence. Time will come that in a society that is free and just, so is the worker.