The Philippine Democratic Socialist Party (Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas) is a political party in the Philippines. It was one of the member parties that composed the United Nationalist Democratic Organization that supported the candidacy of Corazon Aquino and Salvador Laurel in the 1986 Snap Elections against President Ferdinand Marcos.


Established on May 1, 1973, the PDSP played a leading role in the difficult task of establishing and expanding a progressive and democratic alternative to the Marcos dictatorship and to Marxism-Leninism. It made an important contribution to the mass campaigns which eventually led to the People Power revolution in 1986.

The PDSP then helped much to consolidate the newly restored democracy, especially through education and mobilization among the small farmers and fisherfolk, workers, urban poor, women, youth, Bangsa Moro, and the indigenous peoples of Luzon and of Mindanao.

Finally, the PDSP, mainly through its members in people’s organizations and non-government organizations, has helped much to draft laws and government regulations, especially in relation to issues and concerns of farmers, fishermen, workers, urban poor, women, and other proletarian sectors of Philippine society.

The Party was accredited by the Commission on Elections as a legitimate political party in 1989. The Party has always been looked upon with suspicion by the rest of the movements and organizations in the Philippine Left as it is the only member of the Left (a long-time member of the Socialist International) that does not trace its roots to the Communist Party of the Philippines or to the ideology of Jose Ma. Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP); although many of its leaders had been incarcerated, driven underground in an armed struggle, or lived in exile in Spain during the dictatorship.

PDSP believes that the communist insurgency and any armed struggle against the Philippine democracy has lost its moral justification after the toppling of the dictator. During the toppling of the communist regimes in Europe and Asia in 1989, PDSP held a conference with democracies of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Norway and others, meeting with new leaders of these countries.[1] While the Sison's Communist Party of the Philippines cited alternatively China, Russia, and recently North Korea, as their model countries, the PDSP looked to Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands as closer to ideal.

Included among those persecuted by the Marcos Regime is Romeo J. Intengan, S.J. who became the highest official of the Society of Jesus as the Philippine Provincial from 1998–2004, and is known in the academe as the confessor of the unpopular incumbent president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Intengan insists that he was more than a confessor but was also consulted on matters of state, yet he could intervene limitedly. The PDSP has been in Arroyo's coalition from the time she was elected Vice-President, even as she was catapulted to power during Edsa II. PDSP was at the 2004 elections member of the Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (K-4, Coalition of Truth and Experience for Tomorrow), the coalition that supported president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who won the 2004 presidential elections. PDSP bolted out of her coalition in 2009. [2]

Intengan and Gonzales have been suspected of being architects of an extension plan for Arroyo's presidency, which they unequivocally deny. Gonzales had wanted to propose a 9-month program during Arroyo's term to stabilize democracy after Arroyo. But opponents on the Left and Right maliciously publicized alleged plots to extend Arroyo's term.[3]

The Party Chairman Norberto Gonzales has served as National Security Adviser to Arroyo for about 6 years. Although as Adviser he has no direct command over the army or the police, the CPP-rooted Left has much maligned him as evidence by news reports with malicious references the PDSP even when party-affiliation is irrelevant to the reportage; as opposed to traditional politicians whose parties are never mentioned in the disposal of their duties. Gonzales also gained notoriety during the infamous Senate hearing on the Venable contract which was said to have cost Filipino taxpayers millions for lobbying the US Congress. As a matter of national security, Gonzales revealed as little as possible on Venable and this raised more suspicions. Gonzales was cited for contempt in Senate hearings, but had to be confined in the Philippine Heart Center for chest pains. While in the hospital, PDSP members held a vigil demonstration for weeks exposing the Senate's exorbitant budget costing taxpayers 330 Million Pesos per legislation. While the Senate grandstanding cost taxpayers more money, it produced more media mileage for the Senators who produced nothing out of the inquiry.

The PDSP Secretary-General, Danny Yang, a human rights defender and Provincial Board Member in Laguna, was assassinated by a suspected squad of the Extreme Left last June 2009 without outrage from other members of the Left.[4]

The PDSP is the only legal political party ran and led by sectoral representatives from the farmers, women, youth, urban poor, and other marginalized sector.

Contrary to news reports, Gonzales and Intengan are against transforming Congress into a Constituent Assembly or "Con-Ass". The Party is pushing for a Constitutional Convention. However, splinter groups from the PDSP have been engaging in black propaganda against party leaders, promoting falsehoods such as Intengan condoning the death penalty and the abduction of Jonas Burgos.

In the 14 May 2007 election, the party won 3 seats in Congress. In 2004, it was ranked 6th largest party in the Philippines with more than 60 officials elected in local elections.[5] The Party has strongly opposed the electoral participation of party list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela, who, he they alleged, are under direct orders from Jose Ma. Sison to fund the New People's Army. The PDSP issued statements that the armed struggle distorts the democratic process by extorting permit-to-campaign fees from candidates and bans campaigns of certain candidates in their areas of control. Unscrupulous traditional politicians have supported the armed struggle through payment of these fees and have been supported in local elections by CPP-supported party-list groups.

The Party also holds that human rights advocacy, once led by the National Democratic Front, an arm of the CPP, to topple the State during the time of the dictatorship, continues its plan to topple democratically-led State leadership; thus, it had also been instrumental in the anti-government propaganda rhetoric of th Extreme Left. The PDSP has never found merit in the arguments of Karl Marx, as espoused by the CPP. Instead, its principles were laid down by Intengan to be Authentic Humanism and Critical Realism which values human choice over determinism. Its social theories on the origin and destiny of society more closely hews with The Structuration Theory of Anthony Giddens, and Xavier Zubiri.

The Party is also against the Extreme Right such as fascist organizations and non-state armed groups like the Magdalo, RAM, and private armies. The Party calls for the immediate dismantling of non-state armed groups. The PDSP was also an active member of the Kilusan Laban sa Kudeta, or Movements Against Coup d' Etats, a broad coalition of Leftists and Liberal Party organizations, against non-democratic regime changes.


The Party holds 13 Principles:

Principle 1. The Human Being as an Embodied Spirit or a Psychocorporeal Being.

Principle 2. The Human Being's Normal Capacity for Personhood, Entailing Moral Responsibility, Rights, and Duties.

Principle 3. The Essential Equality of Human Beings.

Principle 4. The Social Nature of Human Beings and the State as a Natural Institution.

Principle 5. The Principle of Subsidiarity

Principle 6. Preferential Option for the Poor.

Principle 7. Work as a Right and a Duty of Human Beings.

Principle 8. The Obligation to Patriotism.

Principle 9. The Rights of Nations.

Principle 10. The Universal Purpose of Property or Custodianship for the Common Good.

Principle 11. The Transcendent Moral Responsibility of Human Beings and the Primacy of Moral Law.

Principle 12. The Moral Ambivalence of Human Persons --- the capacity for both good and evil which requires checks and balance in human systems and power structures.

Principle 13. The Abuse of Power in All Fields of Human Activity as the Real Structural Origin of Alienation. This is opposed to Marx's roots of alienation which is economic. Alienation is the result of arrogation of egregious power at the expense of others.

Notable members


External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.