By RAYMUND B. VILLANUEVA
MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on its members and supporters to dedicate their upcoming 54th anniversary celebrations to the memory of its founding chairperson Jose Maria Sison who died last Friday in The Netherlands.
In a statement, the CPP’s Central Committee said it will dedicate its anniversary celebrations to their leader’s memory, “to celebrate his life and all the victories that we have achieved under his leadership and guidance.”
The CPP also declared the 10 days since Sison’s passing to their founding anniversary on December 26 as a period of mourning for the entire Party in order to give the “highest possible tribute” to him.
In a statement Saturday, the CPP declared Sison as the “greatest hero of the Filipino people in their past century of resistance against imperialism.”
“His immense contributions to shaping the patriotic and revolutionary consciousness of the Filipino people and breaking open the path towards national and social liberation will never be erased,” the group said.
The revolutionary party likewise ordered all units of the New People’s Army (NPA) to stand in formation at the break of dawn of December 26 and silently perform a 21-gun salute for Sison, “by way of giving the highest tribute and bidding farewell to our beloved leader.”
The group added that the NPA can stage tactical offensives against the military as part of the celebrations.
The CPP announced Sison’s death last Saturday, saying the 83-year old founding chairperson had been confined in a Dutch hospital before his passing.
‘Highest possible tribute’
The revolutionary group said it grieves the loss of a great leader who masterfully and creatively applied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in launching and leading the national democratic revolution in the Philippines, one of the oldest armed revolutions in the world.
Sison gave the Filipino people the strength to carve the country’s future and attain their aspirations for national freedom and democracy, it added.
“The Central Committee and the entire Party will forever be guided and inspired by Ka Joma’s immortal revolutionary spirit,” it said.
An English professor in various Philippine universities and a labor union organizer before leading the re-establishment of the CPP in 1968, Sison authored more than 30 volumes of essays and poetry the CPP describes as a “rich and deep Marxist-Leninist-Maoist treasure trove.”
He was awarded the South East Asia WRITE Award for his poetry in 1986.
Under the name Amado Guerrero, Sison authored Philippine Society and Revolution that generations of Filipino activists and revolutionaries regard as one the greatest Filipino books ever written.
“We affirm as well the important role that Ka Joma played as a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist torch bearer who helped inspire the proletariat across the world and keep the embers of the international communist movement as it enters a new phase of resurgence,” the CPP said. Reposted by