Statement of COMPATRIOTS-NDF on Ka Joma’s Death, December 18, 2022
COMPATRIOTS-NDF, the revolutionary organization of Filipinos overseas and a member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), mourns the death of Professor Jose Maria (Joma) Sison. We offer our highest salute to Ka Joma – a Filipino patriot, organizer, poet, anti-imperialist, and revolutionary unlike any other. His lifelong dedication to the people’s democratic revolution of the Philippines and the international anti-imperialist and democratic struggles are a shining beacon to all who yearn for the liberation of the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world.
Through his prolific writings, his speeches and poetry, and most importantly, his actions, Ka Joma taught us that Filipinos could bloom wherever they are planted. Forced to live in exile for over 30 years, Ka Joma wrote of how Filipinos abroad are an integral part of the Philippine nation and revolution. He wrote of the limitless ways that Filipino migrant workers contribute to the movement for freedom and democracy of our homeland and to the worldwide struggle against imperialism and all reaction. He showed us how through his own actions: through his integration with compatriot workers and as a consistent advocate for the rights and welfare of Filipinos and other migrants in the Netherlands where he made his home for 34 years; as a convener and participant in numerous social and political organizations, seminars and conferences internationally; as chair of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle from 2004 to 2019; through his contributions as Chief Political Consultant to the Peace Negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the reactionary Philippine government.
After the government of then Pres. Cory Aquino cancelled his Philippine passport and exiled him, every regime hence up to Marcos Jr. waged attacks on Ka Joma. They lobbed false charges against him and lobbied the European Commission, US and Dutch governments to designate him a “terrorist” and strip him of the meager support he received as a political asylee. Ka Joma never backed down from any of these fierce assaults and overcome them.
In his poem Sometimes, the Heart Yearns for Mangoes, Ka Joma captured the feelings of loneliness and isolation that beset the millions of Filipinos living abroad, and then emboldens them when,
“The well-purposed exile continues
To fight for his motherland
Against those who banished him,
The unwelcomed exploiters of his people,
And is certain that he is at home
In his own country and the world.”
Moreover, Ka Joma emphasized that revolutionary work is a mass undertaking, including the important contribution of overseas compatriot workers and their families back home. He tirelessly took up the daily economic struggles of compatriot migrants and refugees, targeted the systematic neglect of compatriot hardship by the corrupt Philippine state, opposed the regime’s labor export policy and schemes, and called on compatriots to join the people’s democratic revolution of the Philippines. He stressed the need for revolutionary forces to learn from compatriot workers their conditions, needs, demands, and aspirations through integration activities — including, for instance, joining in karaoke sing-a-longs that Ka Joma relished in participating — and through social investigation and class analysis. He also emphasized that learning from the compatriot workers improves the practice of revolutionary forces to arouse, organize, and mobilize compatriots to rise up, garner many revolutionary victories, overthrow the enemy state, and build a socialist Philippines that directly benefits compatriots, their families, and the Filipino people.
KaJomaLives on, in the seeds of the revolutionary struggle he planted at home and abroad, in his own country and the world.
Red Salute to our beloved revolutionary hero and comrade!
Long live the legacy of Ka Jose Maria Sison!
Long Live the CPP-NPA-NDF!
Onward with the People’s War! Advance the People’s Democratic Revolution!
Defeat Imperialism! Long Live Proletarian Internationalism!