Party constitution and by-laws
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE
REBOLUSYONARYONG PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA – MINDANAO (RPM-M)
Article 1 – NAME
The name of the Party organization shall be the REBOLUSYONARYONG PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA – MINDANAO (Revolutionary Workers’ Party of Mindanao) or RPM-M.
Article 2 – DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
The RPM-M upholds Marxism-Leninism as the guiding theory in advancing the class struggle of the working class and building socialism.
The RPM-M believes that the continuing poverty and exploitation of the people is brought about by the uneven and mal-development of capitalism in the Philippines under the joint rule and control of big foreign monopoly capitalists and the local bourgeoisie including the junker-type landowners.
The RPM-M believes that the intensification of exploitation and the pauperization of the working class is the inevitable result of the intrusion of international competition under the imperialist globalization and its neo-liberal policies in the economy and politics.
The RPM-M believes that only the conscious and organized action of the labouring masses of the working class will put an end to the exploitative and oppressive rule of capital and bring about genuine social progress and social justice of a socialist society that would give dignity to mankind.
The RPM-M believes that the basis of the revolutionary movement to end the system of capitalist exploitation is the class struggle of the working class against the tightening control of the oligopolistic interests of the capitalist class on the local State and the economy.
The RPM-M believes that the working class in the country needs to dismantle the bourgeois State power in order to fight capitalism and build socialism.
The RPM-M believes that the working class in the Philippines needs a political party as its vanguard detachment that will organize the direction and lead the fight of the masses of workers against the bourgeois rule and in building socialism.
The RPM-M believes that the revolutionary struggle for socialism will aim for the socialized utilization of all social wealth and the reorientation of production towards the rational use of all resources for the total welfare of society and mankind.
The RPM-M believes that in advancing the struggle for socialism and in order to ensure its victory, the unified action of the working class worldwide and the solidarity of all revolutionary proletariat is necessary.
Article 3 – AIMS AND TASKS
To organize the struggle of the working class in the country against capitalist exploitation and oppression towards developing political consciousness and organizational capacity of the masses of the proletariat to emancipate themselves from the yoke of capital.
To spearhead the advance of the proletarian revolution that will seek to abolish wage-slavery, capitalist property, overthrow the rule of capital and establish socialism as the system where wealth is socialized for the general well-being of society, that will establish social justice, equality and human dignity.
To forge unity with the international workers movement and join in the effort of the labouring masses in the whole world to fight against the scourge of globalization and all other forms of exploitation and oppression of monopoly capitalism and advance the struggle for socialism to victory.
To uphold and ensure the correct application based on concrete existing conditions of the general theory of Marxism-Leninism as the scientific and guiding theory in advancing the class struggle of the proletariat and performing its historic mission of putting an end to class exploitation and oppression and building socialism.
Article 4 – FLAG AND SYMBOL
The symbol is a hammer and sickle with three stars placed diagonally colored gold in the left part. The symbol shall be positioned in the middle of the red cloth flag.
The red color symbolized militancy and being a progressive movement; gold as the meaningfulness of the revolution, the objectives and revolutionary goals; the three stars symbolized the three peoples in Mindanao and the three big islands of the Philippines; and the hammer and sickle stands that revolution is by the working class and the laboring and oppressed masses.
Article 5 – MEMBERSHIP
Any person, regardless of gender, race and belief who agrees with the RPM-M’s Program, Constitution and By-Laws, and is willing to engage to the best of his/her ability to undertake the duties and responsibilities of a Party member and who has reached the age of eighteen (18), shall be eligible for admission as a member of the Party.
Each applicant for Party membership, upon being recommended by at least two (2) regular Party members and upon being approved by majority vote of the Branch executive committee or by a national party body in the case of at-large applicants will become a provisional or candidate member of the RPM-M.
2.a. His/her candidate membership shall not be less than six (6) months and shall not exceed one year, if his/her class origin is that of the working class, a period of one (1) year and not exceeding two (2) years, if of the pettybourgeois class origin. At the end of this minimum period the general meeting of the proper Party organ will decide on his/her admission for full party membership.
2.b. While the Party is proletarian in its social composition, having its roots in the industrial proletariat, its membership is open to individual from other classes on condition that they are willing to exert efforts to remold and adopt the standpoint and viewpoint of the working class.
2.c. In the case of individuals coming from other classes, the candidate member must have at least three (3) years of continuous practice before he/she will be admitted for full membership.
Candidate members shall be required to fulfill all the obligations of Party membership, including paying of dues. They shall be entitled to participate with voice only in Branch general meetings and in any other meetings of Party bodies to which they assigned or invited. Candidate members shall be required to study and observe the implementation of the RPM-M’s Program, Constitution, norms and methods of work.
Candidate members shall not be entitled to:
a) Move motions or vote in Party meetings;
b) Nominate or be nominated as candidate for election in organs of leadership of the Party;
c) Vote or to be voted upon in organs of leadership of the Party;
d) Submit written contributions to Party internal discussion bulletins.
At the end of the minimum period of candidate membership, the Branch general meeting (or a regional or national party body, in the case of former members and at-large applicants for membership) may take a decision on the applicant’s admission to the Party membership. If no action is taken by the Branch on an application, the applicant’s status as a provisional member shall automatically lapse.
Where applications for membership are dealt with by a regional or national Party body and the applicant is admitted to membership, the regional or national Party body concerned may assign the member to an existing Branch. The applicant may be granted an at-large status by the national or regional Party organ, if conditions or the specific task to which he/she is assigned does not make it possible. The political activity of such members shall be under the guidance of the regional or national Party body.
Applications for readmission to the Party by former members shall be dealt with by a Party body not lower than the regional.
The Party oath which shall be made by the candidate and full-pledged members upon acceptance shall be as follows:
I, (CN) , promise to abide faithfully with the Constitution and By-Laws and Program of the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Mindanao (RPM-M), the Party of the working class of the Philippines, to implement and promote assiduously its aims, decisions and policies among the toiling masses of the people. I shall fulfill to the best of my ability the tasks entrusted to me by the Party, remould myself constantly as proletarian revolutionary in accordance with the Leninist principles of Party life and the standards of Party discipline and ethics, and put the interests of the Party over personal. I shall strive to safeguard the security of the Party and to defend and strengthen its unity and prestige.
I shall work wholeheartedly and selflessly and fight for the fulfillment of the historic mission of the international working class in putting an end to the dehumanization of the toiling masses, and all forms of exploitation and oppression.
Article 6 – RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARTY MEMBERS
The rights of the RPM-M members are as follows:
1.a. To participate in Party discussions and in the formulation and application of Party policy in accordance with the provisions laid down in this Constitution.
1.b. To make comradely criticism in Party meetings of any Party body, officer or member, in order to improve the conduct and implementation of the task of the Party.
1.c. To put forward any proposal, statement, criticism or appeal to any Party body up to and including the National Congress in accordance with the procedures set out in this Constitution and the relevant decisions of the constituted party bodies.
1.d. To participate in all meetings of Party bodies to which they belong, or to which they are elected or assigned, and to freely express their opinions within such meetings as to how best to implement the Party’s political line and work.
1.e. To move motions and vote on all matters that need the decision of the Party bodies to which he/she is a regular member. Candidate Party members and alternate members of a Party committee, however, will not enjoy this right.
1.f. To elect, and be elected to the leadership bodies of the Party in accordance with the provisions laid down in this Constitution.
1.g. To appeal against any decision with which they may disagree to the next higher body, while fulfilling their obligation to abide by that decision.
1.h. To be respected by other Party members and to have the Constitution applied equally to all Party members.
1.i. To air grievances and to be heard.
1.j. To hold differing views and the right to free expression of ideas or to have different tendencies, as provided for in Article 7, Section 4.
The duties of all RPM-M members shall be the following:
2.a. To build, strengthen and extend the Party organization and political influence among the toiling masses of the people by endeavoring to convince them of the correctness of the Party’s program and policies and of the need to become members of the Party. All Party members, candidate and full-pledged members, are expected to set a good example at work, to work persistently for higher productive efficiency in their line of work.
2.b. To abide by the Party’s Constitution and the decision of the Party after having argued and voted for those decisions.
2.c. To be loyal to the Party line, to reject any conflicting political loyalty, to place all of their political activity under the direction of the Party and to engage in the tasks of the Party to the best of their ability.
2.d. To report any violation of the Party’s Constitution and the decisions of the Party by any other member to the appropriate Party body.
2.e. To safeguard the security of the Party and to defend and strengthen its unity and prestige.
2.f. To pay their dues on time and to make additional financial contributions to the Party according to their ability.
2.g. To regularly attend meetings of the Party bodies to which they belong, is assigned or has been elected.
Article 7 – ORGANIZATIONAL PRINCIPLE OF THE PARTY AND INNER PARTY DEMOCRACY
Democratic centralism is the basic Leninist principle that guides Party organizational life and discipline. The dialectical relationship between centralism and democracy means the exercise of full democracy under centralized guidance and the exercise of centralism based on the mandate of the membership and the democratic processes of the Party.
The observance of democratic centralism shall be embodied in the following principles:
a) The individual member is subordinate to the organization;
b) The minority is subordinate to the majority;
c) The lower organ is subordinate to the higher organ; and
d) All organs are subordinate of the Central Committee.
The practice of democratic centralism shall also consist of the following:
2.a. The principle of election: election of the leadership bodies from the lowest to the highest levels and the right of the membership to recall the elected leaders of the Party.
2.b. The autonomy of the local Party organizations: This autonomy takes the form of the right of all Party organizations to particularize and make specific policies and decisions based on concrete conditions and needs of their particular area or line of work in accordance with the general line and policies of the Party. Leninist autonomy is differentiated from independence, federalism and localism.
2.c. The right of the minority to exist in the Party: The minority has the unconditional right to advocate its views and to carry on ideological struggles so long as the disputes and differences do not lead to disorganization, splits or hinder the concerted struggles of the Party.
2.d. The Party committee system: The Party committee system is the embodiment of the democratic centralist principle in the performance of leadership functions of Party committees. All decisions are made through the collective votes of all members of the committee; wherein the majority vote rules over the minority vote and the latter is bound to abide by the majority vote as the official decision of the committee.
The following Rules of Procedure should be followed:
3.a. All decisions shall be made by simple majority vote or 50% plus one, except where otherwise specified in the Constitution. Voting on proposals concerning Party policies and activities shall be done by show of hands. Voting on the membership or elected Party bodies and officers shall be done by secret ballot.
Decisions involving death penalty shall be made by unanimous vote.
3.b. A meeting, conference or congress is considered competent or having quorum if it is attended by 2/3 of total number of members of the Party organization, or of the elected delegates. In all meetings, members shall be free to cast their vote accor-ding to their own convictions. Members may not vote on behalf of anyone, but of themselves. Absentee voting by delegates of the conference or congress shall not be allowed.
3.c. Votes on proposals for action by Party bodies shall be taken after an appropriate period of internal discussion, the purpose of which is to reach the broadest possible agreement on decisions for action. The time, form and limits of discussion within Party bodies shall be determined by those bodies.
3.d. The discussion of disputed questions within Party bodies shall be conducted in a manner that respect the right of the majority to conduct the work of the Party without disruption, and that respects the right of all members of those Party bodies to know and consider all points of view among the members before reaching a decision.
Non-banning of factions. Since no body is in possession of the whole truth, mistakes are unavoidable and mistakes can be corrected in time, with inner Party democracy with free debate and if necessary with the formation of principled factors. There shall be implementing rules and guidelines which must be followed as regards non-banning of factions.
4.a. Democratic centralism and inner Party democracy recognize the right of the minority to exist and to hold differing views, to carry on ideological struggle within the Party;
4.b. Principled factions are internal groupings within the Party based on clear, defined, consistent and integral platforms intended to promote changes in the political line, tactics and activities of the Party;
4.c. The faction shall inform the national or regional Party bodies of its platform, its leaders and members including its structure, the power of their leadership bodies; its time of formation and any changes to these. Secret factions and any unprincipled factions shall not be permitted and shall be declared illegal.
4.d. Principled factions shall be allowed to exist during the preparation period of a Party conference of Congress, i.e., upon the declaration of the Central Committee on the start of the freedom period as preparation for the Congress. After the Congress, factions must be dissolved and declared illegal.
Article 8 – THE LEADING PARTY BODIES AND THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OF THE PARTY
Section 1. The leading RPM-M bodies are the following:
1.a. In the national level, the National Congress, the Central Committee, the Politburo, and its Executive Committee;
1.b. In the regional level, the Regional Conference, the Regional Committee, the Executive Committee;
1.c. All other Party committees and units, including the Party branch, by virtue of extension of leadership or delegation of authority exercise political leadership.
The National Congress, the Central Committee and the Regional Party committees are the Party leadership bodies that wield the Party task to provide political leadership. First, it consists in the formulation of its revolutionary direction expressed in the Party program or platform. Secondly, it consists in setting appropriate tactics in terms of devising different forms of struggles and actions, and forms of organizations, and putting forward calls and slogans necessary for the advancement of the revolutionary struggle.
Article 9 – THE NATIONAL CONGRESS
The highest Party body shall be the RPM-M National Congress. Its decisions shall take precedence over the decisions of the lower Party bodies or conferences.
The National Congress shall be convened once every three (3) years. The Central Committee shall issue a call for the next National Congress at least 30 days before the date of the Congress. Representation to the Party Congress shall be decided upon by the Central Committee. The delegates shall be elected by the regional conference or committee.
The National Congress is considered competent or valid provided that not less than one-half of the total Party membership is present at it. A special Congress can be demanded by more than one half (1/2) of the total numbers of Party members.
The function of the National Congress shall be the following:
3.a. To approve and revise the RPM-M Program, Constitution and By-Laws;
3.b. To hear and approve the report of the Central committee;
3.c. To elect the National Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, the members and the alternate members of the Central Committee after determining its number.
3.d. To determine the Party line in matters of foreign policies;
3.e. To discuss and decide important questions accepted by the majority of the delegates as business for Congress.
The Central Committee shall be composed of regular and alternate members, whose number shall be determined by the National Congress. The method of election of the RPM-M Central Committee shall be as follows:
4.a. First, the National Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General shall be elected by secret ballot if there is more than one nomination.
4.b. In the election of the other members of the Central Committee, each delegate shall enter the rest of the other of his or her choice on a ballot paper. The ballot shall then be handed to the newly elected Secretary General and the National Chairperson who shall count votes and announce the names of the comrades who polled the highest of votes, who shall then constitute the balance of the Central Committee. In case of a tie vote involving two or more comrades for the last slot, the Chairperson shall break the tie.
Article 10 – THE RPM-M CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Seksyon 1. In-between national congresses of RPM-M, the Central Committee stands as the highest polkicy and decission making organ and shall act along the decisions undertaken by the National Congress. Its decision shall be the basis of the decisions of the lower organs and or Party organ conferences.
The power and responsibilities of the Central Committee shall be as follows:
2.a. To ensure the implementation of the Party Program, Constitution and By-Laws and decisions of the National Congress;
2.b. To provide political leadership and to direct the activities, work and administration of Party affairs in-between National Congresses in accordance with the National Congress decisions;
2.c. To set up various bodies, institutions and enterprises, guide their activities and determine their powers and responsibilities;
2.d. To elect the members of the Politburo, its Executive Committee and the secretariat;
2.e. To direct and control the Party press and publication;
2. f. To manage and control all Party properties and finances;
2.g. To represent the Party nationally in its relations with other political parties and organizations.
The Central Committee shall hold a plenary meeting at least every six (6) months. All draft political reports to be considered by the Central Committee shall be circulated to all regional committees and Party units for comments and criticisms.
In-between Party congresses the Central Committee may convene the special national congress, as the need arises in order to discuss Party policies. An extraordinary congress must be called within two months upon the demand of not less than one half of the members of the Central Committee or of the regional committees.
The Central Committee shall create and elect special organs, such as, the Military Commission, the National Party Control Body, the National Auditing Body, the Commission on Political Mass Movement and the Party School.
Article 11 – THE PARTY CONTROL BODY AND THE AUDITING BODY
The RPM-M Central Committee shall organize and elect the National Party Control Body and the National Auditing Body. The number of members to be elected is to be determined by the Central Committee.
The National Party Control Body shall be elected by the Central Committee and shall under the control and direction of the Central Committee. Its function shall be to verify the observance of Party discipline by members of the RPM-M, and take actions against Party members who violate the Program and Constitution and By-Laws of the RPM-M and Party discipline and against violators of Party ethics.
The National Auditing Body shall be elected by the Central Committee and shall function under the direction of the latter. Its function shall be as follows:
3.a. To verify the correctness of the execution of the Party’s budget, including the payment, collection and accounting of Party dues;
3.b. To audit the financial and economic activities of the enterprises and institution of the Central Committee and regional committees; to examine the correctness of the operation of the Party’s financial transactions.
The Regional Party Control Body and Regional Auditing Body may also be created by the Regional Committee in order to attend to all Party disciplinary matters and auditing tasks at the regional level.
Article 12 – THE RPM-M POLITBURO, THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND THE SECRETARIAT
The RPM-M Politburo shall perform the powers and responsibilities of the Central Committee in-between Central Committee plenums. The same shall be the highest Party body between the plenary meetings of the Central Committee. The Politburo shall be elected from the Central committee members, not from the members at-large. Its function are as follows:
1.a. To exercise political leadership in-between meetings of the Central Committee, by ensuring the implementation of the decisions of the Central Committee and making necessary particularization of the said decisions;
1.b. To inform and guide the membership as regards the current and important political developments;
1.c. To make necessary reports to the Central Committee on the implementation of its tasks.
The number of the members of the Politburo shall be determined by the Central Committee which shall elect from among themselves other members who together with the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary General and the Deputy Secretary General shall constitute the Politburo.
The Executive Committee of the Politburo shall implement the policies and decisions of the Politburo. The same shall direct the current work, chiefly the selection of cadres and the verification of the implementation of the Party decisions.
The Secretariat shall administer the day-to-day activities of the Party under the Secretary General. It shall take charge of the official minutes of the Central Committee. It shall function as the workhorse and support structure of the ExeCom. It shall perform specific work for consolidation, give guidance and take charge of the finance, education and organization departments.
Article 13 – THE NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON, THE NATIONAL VICE-CHAIRPERSON, SECRETARY GENERAL AND THE DEPUTY SECRETARY GENERAL
The National Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all Party structures. His or her functions shall be as follows:
1.a. To preside at all meetings of the Central Committee and Politburo, and shall conduct business in conformity with the Constitution and other rules of procedure adopted by these bodies;
1.b. To have a deliberative vote only;
1.c. In his or her absence, to be replaced by the Vice-Chairperson for the purpose of carrying out the Chairperson’s duty at a particular meeting. The Chairperson shall be replaced by the Vice-Chairperson, if he or she is permanently incapacitated or vacates his or her office, or is suspended from office by a unanimous vote of the Politburo, or by two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Central Committee for acts detrimental to the Party. In the event of the Vice-Chairperson taking over, he or she shall hold office until the next plenary session of the Central Committee which shall have full powers to elect a Chairperson to hold office until the next Congress.
The National Vice-Chairperson shall have the same functions as the Chairperson, and shall act in his or her stead, in the absence, vacation or suspension of the latter. The Vice-Chairperson shall be elected as officer-at-large.
The Secretary General shall be an ex-officio member of all Party structures. His or her functions shall be as follows:
3.a. To keep the minutes of all Central Committee and Politburo meetings and such other books, records and archives as may be required;
3.b. To attend to the correspondence of the RPM-M Central Committee and Politburo, maintain regular personal and written contact with all regions and keep the membership informed of the work of the RPM-M Central Committee and Politburo;
3.c. To ensure that members of the RPM-M Central Committee are kept informed of the work of Politburo in-between meetings of the Central Committee;
3.d. To draw up all the reports and documents as may be decided upon by the RPM-M Central Committee or Politburo;
3.e. If between Congress the Secretary General permanently cannot peroformed or leave her/his post or been suspended by the majority vote of the Politbureau or through the two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Central Committee for acts detrimental to the Party, he/she will be replaced by the Deputy Secretary General. DSG will hold the post and perform the duties and functions until the next plenum of the Central Committee to decide to elect for new SG until the next National Congress.
3.f. To direct and supervise the work of the Secretariat in accordance with the tasks set by the ExeCom.
Section 4. Deputy Secretary General
Section 4.a) Shall be elected at large during the National Congress oof the Party and shall assist the Secretary General.
Section 4.b) Performs other functions as designated by the Congress, Central Committee and the Political Bureau.
Article 14 – THE REGIONAL AND TERRITORIAL CONFERENCES AND COMMITTEES
The Regional Party Conference shall be the highest body in the region, and shall be guided by the RPM-M Program and Constitution and By-Laws of the Party. The territorial scope of its region shall be decided upon by the National Congress. All Party units within such an area shall fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional Conference or Regional Committee.
The Central Committee shall call for and organize the Regional Conference whenever there are two or more lower territorial Party committees to guide its territorial scope. The Central Committee shall seek and take into account the recommendations of the outgoing Regional Committee in convening the regional Conference.
The rights and responsibilities of the Regional Party Conference shall be as follows:
2.a. To determine the number and elect the members of the Regional Committee from the roster of regional cadres;
2.b. To make specific regional plans, policies and decisions in accordance with the Party Program, Constitution and By-Laws, decisions and policies of the National Congress and Central Committee;
2.c. To hear and approve the report prepared by the outgoing Regional Committee;
2.d. To create other regional organs, elect needed regional functionaries, and supervise their activities;
2.e. To make recommendations to the Central Committee on matters that need the decision and action of the higher organ.
The representation at the Regional Conference shall be proportionally based on the number of the existing intermediate organs of the region. Delegate representatives should be in good standing for three years.
The Regional Party Committee shall stand as the highest Party body in the region in-between Regional Conferences. It shall convene its plenary meeting at least every six (6) months and shall call for special plenary meetings when deemed necessary. Its basic functions shall be as follows:
4.a. To elect the Regional Executive Committee which shall stand as the highest body in-between plenary meetings of the Regional Party Committee;
4.b. To ensure the implementation of the decisions and policies of the Regional Conference and to make necessary implementing policies and guidelines;
4.c. To organize ideological work, the propagation of Marxism-Leninism, promotion of socialist awareness among the working people;
4.d. To implement the personnel policy, educate the personnel in the spirit of communist ideology, fostering moral integrity and a high sense of responsibility to the Party and to the working class;
4.e. To establish various Party institutions and enterprises within the region and guide their activities;
4.f. To distribute the Party funds by defining the financial budget for the regional Party organization;
4.g. To make regular reports to the Central Committee and to prepare a political report to the Regional Conference.
The Provincial, District and Section Party Conferences shall also be convened and organized by the next immediate higher organ whenever there is the need and basis for effective Party leadership in the specific levels of work.
These shall perform the same functions and responsibilities as the Regional Conference. The Committees and Executive Committees that will be created by these conferences shall also perform the same functions as that of the regional level on the level of its scope of work.
Article 15 – THE BASIC PARTY ORGANIZATION
The basic Party organization shall be the Party Branch. The Party Branch shall be chartered on place of work, on an occupational, territorial basis, or other basis by the next higher Party body. It shall be form at the workplace (factories, farms, offices, schools), at local residences and military units.
The governing body of the Party Branch shall be the general meeting, whose decisions shall be binding upon all members of the Branch. The Branch general meetings shall be open to all members of the Branch, who shall have the right to vote in the general meeting.
The Party Branch shall exercise political leadership over the activities of the working class and direct the work of the Party in non-Party organizations and movements.
The tasks and responsibilities of the Party Branch shall be as follows:
3.a. To implement the line, policies, programs and decisions of the next higher Party body;
3.b. To particularize and make specific policies and decisions based on concrete conditions and needs of their areas of work in accordance with the program, policies and decisions of the next higher organ;
3.c. To recruit new members to the Party from the ranks of the working class, the rural poor and the intelligentsia;
3.d. To educate and train the Party members along the Party Program, Constitution and By-Laws, policies, methods and norms of functioning;
3.e. To create, administer, supervise the Self-Defense Corps or insurrectionary force;
3.f. To distribute the Party publications;
3.g. To be responsible for the budget and finances, the budget and finances of the Branches shall be under the control and direction of the next higher body.
The Party Branch may be formed where there are at least three (3) members in the workplace and localities. If there are more than eleven (11) members in the Branch, Branch groups may be formed in the divisions of the said places. Party groups may be formed in the mass organizations in the said localities. All members of the Branch groups and Party groups are members of the Party Branch.
The Branch general meeting shall elect the Branch Secretary, his or her deputy and the Branch Executive Committee for the term of one (1) year. The Branch Secretary, Deputy and members of the Branch Executive Committee should be in good standing of one (1) year.
The governing Party body in-between Branch general meetings shall be the Branch Executive Committee. The Branch Secretary shall be responsible for implementing the decisions of the higher Party body during the Branch general meeting.
Branch members who fail to attend at least three (3) Branch general meetings successively without approved apology shall cease to be in good standing and shall be notified in writing. Members who cease to be in good standing shall lose their voting rights and their rights to be elected, or serve on the leading bodies of the Party.
Article 16 – GENERAL PROVISIONS ON SPECIAL PARTY GROUPS OR UNIT
On matters concerning the legal organizations and institutions which are created by the Party, concerning special sectors like Student Youth, Women, Socio-Economic Work, International Solidarity Work, Finance and others, the Party shall formulate specific orientation and policies. Appropriate Party groups or units shall be formed for the purpose of ensuring the attainment of the Party’s tasks and objectives for these organizations and institutions, sectors and lines of work, guiding and leading the Party members working in these.
Decisions of meetings of the Party groups or units shall be binding upon all Party members upon the approval of the Party body that has organized the group or unit, or when the Party body that has created these groups or units has delegated to the group or unit the authority to make decisions on specific questions involved.
Section 3. The Party shall respect the dynamisms of the machineries and formations in the open.
Article 17 – THE PARTY DISCIPLINE
Any member violating this Constitution and By-Laws shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Party body having jurisdiction over that member.
The following disciplinary actions may be imposed on those who committed violations:
1.a. Education and criticism;
1.b. Censure and warning against the repetition of the violation;
1.c. Removal from the position to which one is elected;
1.d. Demotion from current position;
1.e. Suspension of Party membership from six (6) months to a maximum period of four (4) years;
1.f. Expulsion from the Party.
The Central Committee and the Regional Committee may make specific policies concerning various violations of revolutionary tasks that need censure and disciplinary action.
The process of disciplinary action must be in accordance with the following provisions:
3.a. Disciplinary procedure shall be initiated through the presentation of written charges against the accused member of the Party body of which the initiator of the charges is a member. Where the accused member belongs to the same Party body as the initiator of the charges, that Party body shall deal with the matter. Where the accused member does not belong to the same Party body, the matter shall be dealt with by the next higher body that has the jurisdiction over both the initiator and the accused. Charges shall also be filed and heard in a higher Party body that decides to act directly in a disciplinary case.
3.b. The Party body dealing with disciplinary case shall furnish a copy of the charges to the accused member at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the disciplinary hearing as well as notifying the accused of the date when that body will consider the charges.
3.c. The Party body dealing with the disciplinary case shall enjoin the Party Control Body to investigate the charges and make necessary recommendation to be acted upon by the Party body. Every member under the jurisdiction of the Party body dealing with the charges shall be obliged to furnish the Party Control Body with any information it may request.
3.d. The accused member shall have the right to submit oral or written statements to the Party Control Body in response to the charges.
3.e. Once a decision on a disciplinary case has been made by a Party body, it shall notify the initiator of the charges, the accused member, and the next highest Party body of its decision within fifteen (15) days after the decision was made. Disciplinary action deemed improper by a higher Party body may be changed by direct intervention of that higher body.
3.f. Disciplinary charges against members of the Regional Committee shall be dealt with only by the Central Committee through the National Party Control Body. Members of the Regional Committee may be expelled from the Committee and Party only after a ballot of the National Party Control Body in which two-thirds (2/3) of the Body members have voted for the expulsion.
3.g. In the event of a threat to the security or property of the Party, the Central Committee through the National Party Control Body may bypass the provisions set down in Article 17, letters (a) to (d) of this Constitution and take immediate disciplinary action to protect the security of the Party or its property. When disciplinary action is taken against any member under this provision, the National or the Regional Party Control Body shall make a report on its decision to the Central Committee or Regional Committee.
3.h. Any member subject to disciplinary action shall have the right to appeal against such action to the next higher Party body up to and including the National Congress, provided such appeal is submitted to the Party body within thirty (30) days of the date on which the disciplinary action took effect. Pending action on the appeal, the disciplinary action imposed by the lower Party body shall remain in full force and effect.
3.i. In general, the principle of due process shall be upheld, which includes among others, establishing prima facie evidence before imposing disciplinary action, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to counsel, the right to counter-charge against one’s accuser, respect for rights of the accused during preventive arrests in emergency cases. Specific guidelines regarding these matters shall be laid down by the Central Committee.
Article 18 – THE RPM-M AND THE WORKERS’ ARMY
The Party through the Military Commission under the Central Committee shall lead and guide the workers’ Army at every military formation. The Workers’ Army may form guerilla units with CO concept, the partisan units and the militia units. The Military Commission shall ensure that the Party bodies within it study and practice Marxism and Leninism.
The Rules of the Workers’ Army shall recognize the absolute of the Party leadership and its Military Commission.
The Workers’ Army is one of the instruments of the working class and its Party in the democratic struggle as well as in the transition to socialism and in the socialist construction.
The Party through its machineries, both legal and underground, shall extend full support for its Army through whatever form available, such as political propaganda, financial and material resources.
Section 5. Task and duty of all Party members integral in the military works to consolidate politically, ideologically and organizationally its ranks and what disposition he/she may have and to include the whole revolutionary framework.
Article 19 – FINANCES
The Party shall generate the necessary finance in order to carry out its political and organizational tasks. Such finances will come from dues coming from its members, pledges and contributions from allies and friends and productive endeavors of the Party.
The Party dues which shall be given monthly by all Party members shall be two point five percent (2.5%) of the monthly net income. A P100.00 membership fee shall also be collected from the same.
The Central Committee and the Regional Committee shall organize a Finance Committee to take charge of the Party financial concerns at their level. The Finance Committees shall be subject to auditing by the National or Regional Auditing Body, as laid down in Article 11, Section 3.
The Finance Committee shall:
4.a. Implement plans and decisions on financial matters made by its higher Party committee and undertake all necessary measures to ensure that the Party is provided with sufficient means to carry out its political and organizational tasks;
4.b. Disburse funds and allocate resources according to the decisions or upon authorization of its higher Party committee;
4.c. Be responsible for the safe-keeping and administration of all the properties and finances of the Party;
4.d. Keep the book of accounts as will clearly record and reflect the financial status of the Party and submit statements of income and expenditures to respective leading bodies.
4.e. Prepare and present financial reports to the plenary session of its higher Party committee.
4.f. Formulate and recommend specific orientation and policies, and submit these to its higher Party committee for approval.
Article 20 – AMENDMENTS
Any Article or provision of this Constitution and By-Laws shall be amended only by the decision of two-thirds majority of the delegates to the RPM-M Congress.