Contrary to the false claims of our detractors, Bayan Muna has a lot to offer Filipinos in terms of non-trapo leadership. Since 1999, when the party was established, Bayan Muna has attempted to pursue its general program of government.
Bayan Muna propagated this program in the 2001 and 2004 partylist polls. The party won overwhelmingly and convincingly in both contests – inspite of losing members and leaders to death squads, and despite anti-communist hysterics.
The phrase “New Politics, the Politics of Change” best encapsulizes the content and intent of the Bayan Muna program which I am putting out here in full:
• To establish a democratic, nationalist and popular government by empowering the people, ensuring their representation and participation in all levels of government decision-making.
• To assert national sovereignty and independence and protect the national patrimony from foreign domination and control.
• To promote a self-reliant and sustainable socio-economic development through the integrated programs of genuine land reform, national industrialization and protection of the environment
• To uphold and defend the people’s basic human rights and freedoms and ensure justice for all victims of human rights violations.
• To improve the social and economic welfare of workers, peasants and other marginalized sectors by providing a comprehensive and progressive program in basic social services and livelihood.
• To promote a national culture that is progressive, patriotic, scientific and popular and develop research and development in science and technology.
• To guarantee the right to self-determination of the Bangsa Moro, Cordillera and other indigenous peoples and ensure their participation in all matters that directly affect them.
• To remove all forms of gender oppression and discrimination against women and promote their full involvement in national affairs and other fields of endeavor.
• To advance a national comprehensive policy on peace negotiations to address decisively the root causes of the prolonged armed conflict that has historically beset our country.
• To foster a just policy of international relations that is independent, peace-oriented and mutually beneficial to our integrity, security and prosperity as a nation.
We have pursued this program through the bills, resolutions and campaigns pursued through partylist representatives and the party headquarters and chapters. Sadly, the bigger and more powerful political forces (including rabid anti-communists) refuse to accept or support measures such as wage hikes, price controls, the continuation of the peace process and the like – measures Bayan Muna have long wished to be implemented in order to bring a reprieve to oppressed Filipinos.
We challenge Bayan Muna detractors to debate us on the basis of this general program.