Sunday, February 8, 2009

Labor leader Popoy Lagman remembered

6 February 2009

Leaders of the Partido ng Manggagawa offered flowers to Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman early morning today at the marker inside the UP Bahay ng Alumni where he was assassinated eight years ago.

Lagman was considered a working class hero by leaders and members of the labor unions, urban poor and other marginalized sector. During his late years, Lagman steered the Philippine labor movement away from the maoist and stalinist tradition of the of the Communist Party of the Philippines by setting up a revolutionary working class party, the Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino (PMP).

Lagman was also the head of the the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino. A week after his assassination, labor leaders launched the Partido ng Manggagawa, his latest project before his death.

“The living ideas, the party’s unwavering desire to emancipate the working class – we offer it back as tribute to Ka Popoy who dedicated his entire life to the working class movement,” said Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo, in a statement sent to media.

Popoy saw this capitalist crisis coming

Magtubo recalled that at the onset of the new millennium in year 2000, Ka Popoy ‘s PMP came out with a paid ad in the print media stating its view on the inevitable collapse of the capitalist system.

“The first decade of the first millennium will be the eve of the socialist revolution in the era of globalization,” Ka Popoy declared in that statement.

“Globalization has unleashed not so much the creative power of capital as its destructive forces. The genie of finance capital has been liberated by the liberalization of trade and investment and has left a path of destruction in its wake. Intensified global competition is the anarchy of production multiplied and the crisis of over production internationalized,” the millennium statement of the party said.

Magtubo said such a bold prediction of Ka Popoy is eventually what is happening right now. “Ka Popoy saw it coming and the global financial crisis is merely a jolt for a bigger, much deeper capitalist crisis to come.”

“Globalization has inaugurated not a post industrial society but the unadorned class rule of the international bourgeoisie and the insatiable pursuit of profit by monopoly capital. And the proletariat is inevitably impelled to revolt by the vicious attacks against their living standards and social right,” Magtubo quotes further from the statement.

Magtubo said the massive job loss in the country and around the globe is sending millions of workers into the world of poverty and destitution and that the powerful strike movement that is happening right now in France, Greece and many countries in Europe, as well as the Americans’ resistance against the pro-capital/pro-market system of bailout that the US government is undertaking, are early signs of a looming revolutionary period.

In the Philippines, Magtubo said, the crisis “will herald the revitalization of the working class movement along with the powerful social movement clamoring for fundamental social change.”

On February 14, 2009, the Party will offer another tribute to Lagman during the party’s eight year anniversary to be held at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani. The highlight of the celebration is a forum on the global crisis and its impact on labor and solidarity presentations from the PM chapters. ###

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