Biyernes, Hunyo 21, 2013

Ang BMP sa panahon ni Ka Popoy - ni Pohlee Hernandez

Paunawa: Ang artikulong ito'y ambag sa aklat na BMP 20, na alay para sa ika-20 anibersaryo ng BMP sa 14 Setyembre 2013.

ANG BMP SA PANAHON NI KA POPOY
ni Pohlee C. Hernandez

Halos baguhan pa lang ako noon sa pederasyong United Workers of the Philippines o UWP na ngayon ay SUPER na o Solidarity of Union in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reform. Ang aking task ay gawaing edukasyon at paminsan-minsan ay gumagampan ng OD work. Ang narinig ko na isang mabigat na problema noong mga panahong iyon sa pederasyon ay CBA negotiation sa unyon ng Chivalry food sa Malabon. Ayaw na kasi ng management na makipag-negotiate dahil ang gusto niya ay isara ang kompanya at bayaran na lamang ng separation pay ang mga manggagawa. Mayroon din siyang offer sa pederasyon na halagang P300,000.00 para naman kumbinsihin ang pamunuan ng unyon na pumayag na sa gusto ng management.

Si Ginoong Amado Ching ang sugo ng management upang makipag-usap sa mga opisyales ng pederasyon at magpaliwanag na din ng plano ng management. Ang analisis dito ng mga top officers ng UWP ay pansamantala lang ang pagsasara dahil ang talagang layunin ng kapitalista ay mawala ang unyon. Sa puntong ito ay agad na ipinatawag ng National Executive Council ng pederasyon ang mga lider ng unyon upang ilatag ang plano ng management at maibaba ang analisis ng mga officers ng UWP. Nagkaisa ang pamunuan ng unyon at pederasyon na ipaglaban ang karapatan sa trabaho at sa CBA. Ilang beses na negotiation pero matigas ang kompanya sa kanyang stand. 

Sa pagkakataong ito ay inilapit na ng pederasyon sa BMP ang problema at sa pamamagitan ni ka Popoy ay isinalang ang tactics plan ng UWP, BMP at ng unyon. Sa Barrio Fiesta ginanap ang pag-uusap. Ang representante ng kapitalista ay si Mr. Ching at sa pederasyon naman ay ang Pangulo, Vice at si ka Popoy. Nagboluntaryo akong sumama na ang layunin ko ay makapulot ng karanasan sa negosasyon at syempre pa para makakain sa Barrio Fiesta.

Unang inihain ang sopas, sabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi ako nagkamali na sumama kasi totoo nga pala na masarap ang pagkain kasi sopas pa lang, ulam na. Di kaginsaginsa sa pagitan ng mga pag-uusap ay narinig ko na tumaas ang tinig ni ka Popoy. Ang mga binitiwan niyang kataga sa aking pagkakaalala eh ganito. "Subukan ninyo ng amo mo na isara ang pabrika at pati mga mata ninyo ay isasara ko." Naku po! Ito pala ang ka Popoy na naririnig ko. First time ko makadaupangpalad at makasalamuha si ka Popoy. Habang kumakain na ako ng main dish eh parang wala akong malasahan. Nanginginig ang aking daliri at umiikot ang aking mga mata. Ang iniisip ko ng mga sandaling iyon ay kung saan ako tatakbong palabas if ever na magkagulo.

Sinulyapan ko si Mr. Ching, namumutla rin siya at nanginginig din ang mga kamay. Nakita ko si ka Popoy na tumayo na at umalis na ng restawrant. Tinanong ni Mr. Ching sa aming Presidente kung sino si ka Popoy? Ang sagot ng aming Presidente ay lider ng ABB. Mga ilang linggo ang lumipas at ayun hindi na isinara ang kompanya at natuloy ang collective bargaining agreement negotiation sa Chivalry Food. Marami pang mga CBA nego na matagumpay na nairaraos ng mga panahong iyon na kabalikat ng UWP ang pamunuan ng BMP.

Nagkaroon din noon ng internal problem sa loob ng pederasyon. Nagkanya-kanyang grupo ang mga ilang personahe. May hibo ng pag-aagawan ng liderato, may mga character assassination na sa bawat isa. Nang makaabot ito sa kaalaman ng pamunuan ng BMP ay kagyat na ipinatawag ang mga ilang susing lider. Pinagharap-harap. Makalipas ang ilang panahon at bumalik ang dating lakas, tatag at ipinagpatuloy ang pagpapalawak sa hanay ng UWP.

Ang aking obserbasyon ay muli kaming naging inspirado na magpatuloy sa mga gawain sa loob at labas ng UWP. Ang taas ng momentum ng mga manggagawa. Ramdam ang Labor Power. Halos lahat ng ipinutok na welga ay nagtagumpay. Iyon ang aking mga alaala sa panahon ng pamumuno ni ka Popoy sa BMP. 

Noong mag-umpisa na naman na magkaroon ng internal problem sa SUPER, lagi-laging pumapasok sa isip ko na nangyari na ito noon at pareho din ang kahahantungan na maisasaayos din ang lahat. Pero bigo ako, hindi nangyari ang aking inaasahan. Taon pa ang binilang at sa dulo ay ginanap pa ang ispesyal na Kongreso. Hanggang ngayon ay mayroon pa din na mga banta ng pagkawasak sa aming pederasyon. Tanong lang, kung ito kaya ay nangyari noon na ang namumuno sa BMP ay si ka Popoy, maibabalik kaya ang sigla, lakas at katatagan ng SUPER? Mapaparusahan kaya ang mga taong gumagawa ng katampalasanan sa organisasyon para sa kanya-kanyang personal na interes?

Ang lahat ng ito ay mananatili na lamang sigurong mga katanungan na aking aalalahanin tuwing sasapit ang anibersaryo ng BMP. Isang mapagpalayang pagbati sa ika-20 anibersaryo ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino!

06 Hunyo 2013

Lunes, Pebrero 11, 2013

Ka Popoy Remembered - by Merk Maguddayao


KA POPOY REMEMBERED | Inspiring Filipino workers 12 years after his death
By: Merk Maguddayao
February 10, 2013 7:04 AM

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/54713/ka-popoy-remembered--inspiring-filipino-workers-12-years-after-his-death

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

Merk Maguddayao is a cultural activist with the Sanlakas bloc and a founding member of Laya Sining. The views he expresses here are entirely his. 

Mentioning the name Popoy Lagman will draw mixed reactions from people who know him or of him.

To those he led and influenced, he was maverick master of polemics who never minced words in attacking the political follies of his party and comrades. He was fear-inspiring leader of the Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB), the dreaded Manila-based communist militia known for its vigilante operations against “enemies of the masses." He was also the tireless and feisty working-class leader who fought for socialism as an alternative to capitalism.

The man headed the communist movement in Metro Manila during Martial Law and later defected from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) after rejecting its Maoist and Stalinist orientation. He then formed an alternative Marxist movement that put premium on the emancipation of the working class and the formation of a workers-led government. He was felled down by an assassin’s bullet 12 years ago.

A dozen years hence, it is still uncertain who ordered his murder.

But for his close comrades at the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), the labor federation he formed immediately after the split from the CPP in the early 1990s, who killed him does not matter anymore.

“Hindi makakamit ang hustisya para kay Ka Popoy sa simpleng paghahanap sa kung sino-sinong pumatay sa kanya (There will be no justice for Ka Popoy in the simple search for those who killed him),” explained Victor Briz, a long-time leader of BMP from Southern Metro Manila.

“Wala tayong inaasahang pagpupursigi mula sa ating gobyerno para makamit iyan. Ang tunay na hustisya para kay Ka Popoy ay makakamit lamang sa paglaya ng uring manggagawa (We cannot rely on any effort from the government to get that. The real justice for Ka Popoy will only be achieved in the liberation of the working class),” he said.

Here lies the Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman’s indelible legacy in history: He fought for neither his personal nor organizational gains per se. He stood for the class interest of the Filipino workers, and the workers of the world in general. He was not content in merely serving the people, or fighting merely for the liberation of the Philippines from US imperialism, or even in simply toppling a corrupt and incompetent president only to be replaced by other members from the elite class. He pushed for socialism, a system wherein political and economic power lies in the hands of the workers.

Prescience

Despite being “abrasive, harshly polemical, and brutally frank” (as his close companions described him), and much to the chagrin of the Jose Ma. Sison-led CPP, Ka Popoy was a Filipino revolutionary with a profound ideological sharpness and sincerity. At the risk of being “disciplined,” including the penalty of death, he did not shirk from criticizing the dogmatic strategy and tactics of the CPP, and later the adventurist tendencies of the post-split ABB.

He may not have had the biggest number of followers in the Philippine Left, but history has proven that the political line of his bloc has been consistently correct and prescient. These included the participation of the Manila-Rizal unit of the CPP in the 1978 Interim Batasang Pambansa elections, when the CPP central leadership called for boycott; the participation of CPP-led forces in the first EDSA Revolution, when the CPP insisted on its militarist strategy; the campaign against economic globalization in 1990s which resulted in trade liberalization, labor contractualization, and privatization of key industries in the Philippines and which in 2007 resulted in the still-raging global financial crisis; and at the tail end of his life, the “Resign All” call in EDSA II at a time when everybody called for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to replace the beleaguered Joseph Estrada.

Spending more than 30 years in the revolutionary movement, Ka Popoy’s prescience was founded not on whims but was a result of his vigor in mastering scientific socialism and dialectical materialism, his tool of analysis in assessing local, national, and even international situations. He did not parrot or copy-paste abstract dogmas and set them as solutions for all situations.

His ideological wizardry culminated in the publication of the Counter Thesis documents that unmasked the CPP’s dogmatic and unscientific and unrealistic program of protracted people’s war and the struggle for national democracy -- a document that has never been officially answered by the CPP up to this day.

Renewal and redemption

Under Ka Popoy’s leadership, a new batch of activists were recruited to the Left after the split and a renewed call for radical change ushered in what Sonny Melencio, Ka Popoy’s long-time comrade and current chairman of the Partido Lakas ng Masa, termed as the “Second Period” in the Philippine Left.

This new batch, popularly called “Rejectionists” (or RJ, although the RJs would later further divide into more contending blocs), primarily defined themselves as revolutionary socialists, combined various forms of struggles and revolutionary tactics, and opened its doors to various forces in society, thus eschewing the sectarianism of the old.

After Ka Popoy’s death, the Philippine revolutionary movement may still be divided, and people may say that it has weakened, but the worldwide crisis of the capitalist order has worsened. As Ka Popoy predicted in 1999, “Globalization by its very nature transforms the economic turmoil in one nation into a world crisis.”

Despite the political ebb of the Philippine Left under the PNoy administration and the continuous backwardness of Philippine society, Ka Popoy's forecast offers a word of hope for those who desire for systemic change to usher in a humane world: “The first decade of the new millennium will be the eve of the socialist revolution in the era of globalization.”

Currently, the socialist movement is gaining strength in Latin America, with the establishment of socialist-led governments in Venezuela and Bolivia, the popularization of Left politics in other Latin American states, and the increasing protests in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East against the bankruptcy of the rule of the 1 percent.

The struggle for radical change might be far from over, and Ka Popoy would never have the chance to witness what he called “the Armageddon of capitalism,” but for as long as the exploitation of the many by the elite few exists, Ka Popoy’s determination and tenacity for change will continue to inspire the powerless.


Huwebes, Pebrero 7, 2013

The Maverick of the Proletarians - by Erwin R. Puhawan

The Maverick of the Proletarians” 

Today marks the 12th year death anniversary of Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman. Feared by the abusive capitalist class but admired by the working class. As a former student leader turned revolutionary, the works of Ka Popoy inspired many revolutionaries to take the challenge and take the path of the revolution unconditionally.

His idea of a strong and independent workers movement gave the workers an opportunity to lead and be the vanguard class. Under his guidance, the establishment of the Kapatiran ng Mga Pangulo ng Unyon sa Pilipinas (KPUP) Brotherhood of Union Presidents in the Philippines broke the barriers between rival unions. His effort to organize the first Labor Party in the Philippines Partido ng Manggawa (PM) is an attempt to put the working class as a strong political force.

The killing of Ka Popoy shall not stop the working class from continuing the struggle. With the onslaught of Globalization and the continued political circus in the government of “hacienderos” the need for a strong independent working class movement should be the primary trust. 

The issue of poverty, the disintegration of trade unions, and continued political harassment and killings of activist , the demolitions will only prove that the present administration is not for the working class. The issue of PALEA is one indicia that the present Administration cannot and will not defend the interest of the masses.

This is a clear indicia that social injustice exist and continued to exist unless the entire working class will be emancipated and from their chains of slavery and oppression. His killing will clearly show that the perpetrators are nothing but cowards and mindless barbarians. His death should not be the end of a legacy but a start of a strong proletarian movement .

JUSTICE FOR KA POPOY! JUSTICE FOR THE WORKING CLASS!

Erwin R. Puhawan
Former National Chairperson 
KAMPI (Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Manggagawang Pilipino)
(Solidarity of Sons and Daughters of the Working Class)

Sanlakas Sugbo - on Ka Popoy


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