CPP: NPA can ‘stage offensives’ while mourning for Sison | Inquirer News

CPP: NPA can ‘stage offensives’ while mourning for Sison

NPA fighters raising rifles. STORY: CPP: NPA can ‘stage offensives’ while mourning for Sison


MANILA, Philippines — The central committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has set a 10-day mourning period in honor of its founding chair, Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, during which its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), can “stage tactical offensives against the rampaging fascist forces to defend the people.”

But the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it did not see threats coming from the rebels with Sison’s death.


“In fact, the number of their members and supporters continues to decrease,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in an interview with dzBB on Sunday.


Based on the military’s latest estimates, there are “more or less” 2,100 active NPA fighters from as many as about 25,000 at the twilight of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s dictatorship in the 1980s.

The CPP scoffed at the Department of National Defense’s (DND) claim that Sison’s death symbolized the demise of his movement.

“Through his leadership, Ka Joma produced countless cadres and leaders capable of leading the party and carrying forward the revolutionary cause far into the future,” said CPP public information officer Marco Valbuena.

The CPP also ordered all NPA units to perform a 21-gun salute on Dec. 26, the day of the party’s 54th anniversary and the end of the mourning period, “by way of giving the highest tribute and bidding farewell to our beloved leader.”

Saying it would forever be “guided and inspired by Ka Joma’s immortal revolutionary spirit,” the CPP central committee urged members to “forever keep red his memory and legacy and strengthen our determination to continue and bring forward the revolution….”

No ‘homecoming’ yet

Sison died on Friday after two weeks in a hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where he had been living in self-exile since 1987 after peace talks with the government bogged down. He was 83.


Valbuena said there has been no decision yet on the return of Sison’s remains to the country.

“I think we have to first give private time to Ka Julie (Sison’s wife) and the Sison family before settling the matter of Ka Joma’s ‘homecoming,’” he said in an online interview.

In an earlier press release on Sunday, the CPP announced the arrangements made for Sison’s wake and interment in Utrecht from Dec. 18 to 23.

Public vigil, interment

During that period, his family and comrades—Luis Jalandoni and his spouse, Coni Ledesma, both officials of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines—will receive guests and sympathizers in a public vigil and viewing of his remains at Barbara Uitvaartverzorging Vleuten, a funeral home in Utrecht.

There will also be poetry and article readings, viewing of videos, and singing of his favorite songs.

According to a source, Sison will be cremated at the Crematorium Daelwijck in Floridadreef on Dec. 27. Valbuena said various groups and individuals wanted his remains or ashes to be returned to the country “in accordance [with] his wishes as a Filipino and for them (groups and individuals) to give their last respect and farewell to the man they consider their teacher and inspiration in the revolution.”

Jose Maria Sison —AFP

Jose Maria Sison (File photo from Agence France-Presse)

Sison founded the Marxist-Lennist-Maoist CPP on Dec. 26, 1968, a breakaway party from the pro-Soviet Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas.

On March 29, 1969, the CPP formed the NPA, its armed wing, in a village in Tarlac province. The first ragtag Maoist-inspired guerrillas were armed with automatic rifles, single-shot rifles and handguns.

Since then, the NPA has been waging what many observers have described as the longest communist rebellion in the world.


Among the tributes for Sison, chair Edre Olalia of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers said in a statement: “While you are evidently a genius of sharp mind and eidetic memory, a master of language, a speed reader, an arduous singer, a bad joke teller, and a Facebook addict, we must accept you are also not immortal. You are human as you are humane.”

“But your ideas, thoughts and writings, your burning desire for freedom and liberation, and your unflinching passion to always uphold and defend the people’s interests that I saw and felt up close are everlasting and incomparable,” Olalia also said.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, who was defense secretary at the height of the communist rebellion led by Sison, said: “No one is immune from death, there’s an end [to everything], so it’s no surprise that Sison, with all the havoc that he had done to this country, has to contend with mortality.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“He died, [and] in spite of the fact that I did battle with him as secretary of national defense, I pray for his peaceful death and may God forgive him,” Enrile said.



Jose Maria Sison, ‘teacher, guiding light’ of insurgency; 83

CPP: Founder’s death not the end of rebellion

DND on Joma Sison’s death: ‘Greatest stumbling block to PH peace is gone’


© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.