IN the old days, activists would have praised leaders of the party founded by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III’s father for hobnobbing with their Communist Party of China (CPC) counterparts. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, China was the “model” for socialist construction prior to the establishment of the dreamed-of communist society. And the CPC was seen as being in the forefront of this march to “utopia.”
The “hobnobbing” happened on Tuesday during the celebration of the 36th anniversary of the founding of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) by mainly Mindanao-based politicians led by then human rights lawyer Aquilino Pimentel Jr. (In 1986, the PDP merged with the Lakas ng Bayan or Laban founded by the late former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. to form the now ruling party PDP-Laban.)
Chinese officials also used the PDP-Laban activity to launch a book by CPC General Secretary (also chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission) and China President Xi Jingping, a Mao Zedong--or is it Deng Xiaoping?--wannabe. At the presidential table were Pimentel, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the Chinese officials led by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zao Jianhua.
Pimentel defended the “hobnobbing” by saying his party is open to forging ties not only with the CPC but also with other political parties in other countries, including the United States. The other political parties just haven’t approached them yet while the CPC supposedly did, leading to the visit by Pimentel and other PDP-Laban leaders to Beijing last year.
Among the agreements decided on, according to Chinese officials interviewed by journalists during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China last year, was for PDP-Laban members to go to a CPC party school in China for “policy training” and to familiarize themselves with CPC ideology and its governance style and strategies. Incidentally, the Xi book distributed Tuesday is titled, “The Governance of China.”
The CPC, though, is no longer the vanguard of the Chinese proletariat but is being considered by some Marxists as the engineer of a so-called Chinese state imperialism. The socialist construction started by Mao was taken over by CPC “capitalist roaders,” bringing China not to socialism but to capitalism and imperialism. Chinese seizure of West Philippine Sea territories is proof of this.
That’s why these days are not good times to be learning from the CPC, which has ruled China since 1949 when it seized power and declared the country a “people’s republic.” Surely, we do not want this country to be a one-party dictatorship, or a PDP-Laban dictatorship. As for the CPC ideology, it no longer plays a big part in Chinese governance like it was during Mao’s days.
In the end, though, I am not worried about PDP-Laban officials hobnobbing with their Chinese counterparts. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is truer in the case of the trapos who are dominating the administration party. Besides, most PDP-Laban members are only in the party for political convenience. They can’t be taking seriously what the CPC would teach them if these will have them inconvenienced.