China's Communist Party briefs PDP-Laban on fight vs corruption

By Audrey Morallo

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Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said on Friday that the thematic briefing the PDP-Laban received was about fighting corruption not communism. Facebook/Senate President Koko Pimentel

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said that the briefing PDP-Laban received from the Communist Party of China was about fighting corruption and emphasized that Beijing's ruling party did not have plans to "export" its system to another country such as the Philippines.

According to Pimentel, the members of PDP-Laban were "exposing" themselves to the Communist Party's efforts to fight corruption, stressing that there was even no mention of what communism is about during the thematic briefing about the party's 19th congress in October last year.

"We were exposing ourselves to the policy of the Chinese communist party's all out war against corruption. That was the topic emphasized. There wasn't even a mention of what communism is all about," Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban, said in a text message to Philstar.com.

"It was also emphasized that China has no intention of 'exporting' its system to any other country," he added.

Opposition Rep. Gary Alejano (Magdalo) questioned if efforts by PDP-Laban to engage with China's ruling party would lead to a communist Philippines.

"PDP's engagement with the Communist Party of China is continuing. I heard that there were questions about the real motive of PDP. One politician from the Visayas also asked a question," Alejano said in a Facebook post.

"Ang sagot lamang ay parang wala kayong pakialam. Is the political party of Duterte preparing for a communist Philippines?" the opposition solon asked.

During yesterday's briefing, Pimentel said PDP-Laban would "adopt" ideas from the Communist Party of China that it could put into practice in the country.

Pimentel said that much like their "comrades" in China's Communist Party PDP-Laban members would "usher a new era of politics in the Philippines" and lead a period of change.

"This briefing will give us ideas that we can adopt and put into practice in our own political context," Pimentel said in Thursday's thematic briefing.

Amid efforts to shift to a federal form of government, Pimentel stressed the need to overhaul the country's whole system for change to be sustainable.

"PDP-Laban is bringing change," he said. "The whole party politics of the past which puts emphasis on personal interest above ideology, on convenience above loyalty, on power above service must come to an end."

According to the Senate president, members of President Rodrigo Duterte's party could learn from "one of the largest and most successful political parties in the world" on how to maintain party discipline and ideological cohesion and raise the living standards and quality of life of people.

Pimentel said that the delegation that would go to China this year would learn governance, visit communities that were lifted from poverty and drop by the Communist Party's schools.

"It will not be about communism but style, governance style, strategy," he said.

Pimentel said that PDP-Laban would like to transform the country into a fair, just, scientific, objective, peaceful, democratic, educated and healthy society.

The Philippines and China have enjoyed an improvement of ties as Duterte tries to court Chinese investment and money into the developing nation's economy. Critics, however, have expressed alarm over the detente considering that the two nations have a standing dispute in the West Philippine Sea where they have overlapping claims.

China, a one-party state ruled by its Communist Party, is criticized for its supposed violations of human rights and curtailment of basic freedoms.

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