Since the passing of Filipino leader, comrade Jose Maria “Ka Joma” Sison, in the Netherlands on 16 December 2022, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network had the honor of participating in tributes and events celebrating the life of the co-founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines and one of the greatest revolutionaries of the past century.
On 23 December a Samidoun delegation from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands joined the Day of Tribute including international guests, comrades and representatives of political parties and groups in Utrecht. Together with over 150 comrades, we celebrated the life of Ka Joma and reiterated our commitment to the struggle for the liberation of the Filipino people and all struggling people of the world.
Samidoun Europe coordinator Mohammed Khatib delivered the following message:
Good evening comrades,
Thank you for inviting us and thank you for being here. On behalf of myself, on behalf of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, also on behalf of the Masar Badil – the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, we salute you. We salute Julie de Lima, we salute the Filipino migrant community in exile, we salute Louie Jalandoni, Coni Ledesma, and all the families of the Filipino comrades who live here in the Netherlands. We salute the Filipino people with this great loss of comrade Joma Sison.
For us it is an honor and privilege to be close to comrade Joma, to his contributions and to his work. It was an honor for us as a Palestinian community also in exile to be close to comrade Joma. To arrange together with him the solidarity work and to build bridges between Palestine and the Philippines.
Me myself, I had the privilege at the age of 22 to meet comrade Joma for the first time in Utrecht. This was the main reason why I visited this city for the first time. And from there I found myself one year later in the Philippines, and two years after we founded the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association. And until today we are still struggling and working together.
We did not lose comrade Joma. I think all of us here, we are all comrade Joma. Comrade Joma has been a rock in this revolutionary path for the struggle of the Filipino people. We will keep hearing his voice with every bullet fired by the NPA red freedom fighters in the mountains of Mindanao. We will hear comrade Joma, we will see him when we see the people of the slums in the Philippines marching against exploitation and against colonialism.
Comrade Joma will always be alive in our struggle. Not only in the Philippines, but in Palestine and in Lebanon, and in the Netherlands and the United States – against hegemony, against imperialism and capitalism.
We salute comrade Joma again. We salute everyone here. We reaffirm our commitment to comrade Joma that we will continue on the path of resistance. We will continue on the path of struggle. Not only in the Philippines and Palestine but also we will follow our enemy everywhere.
Thank you so much.
The cremation ceremony of Jose Maria Sison on 27 December in Utrecht was similarly attended by many family members, friends and comrades. It was an emotional image to see Joma’s coffin surrounded by his closest comrades and the flags of the CPP, NPA, NDF and its allied organizations.
On behalf of the Patriotic Youth, Kabataang Makabayan Europe, Mila Esperanza said:
Every bullet fired by the New Peoples Army, every red flag flown ever higher; our victory will be in his name. And this victory will come. This victory will be our legacy. This victory will be the legacy of Tito Jo. We challenge the youth and the migrants to follow the steps of Ka Joma and other brave revolutionaries. We call on the youth and migrants to go to the Philippines, live with the masses, and join the armed revolution in the countryside. Kabataan at migrante, tumungo sa kanayunan! Paglingkuran ang sambayanan! (Youth and migrants, head to the countryside! Serve the people!).
Julie de Lima, lifelong partner and comrade-in-arms of Ka Joma, and chairperson of the NDFP Peace Negotiation Panel, gave a moving speech:
Love bound us on the day we got to know each other. It is love that binds us, and us to our four children and two grandchildren. To our comrades and friends, and the people we have served all our lives. I shall always love you. I shall always feel your presence with every breath I take, in the air that I breathe in the sunlight that sheds on me, in the water that I drink, on the ground on which I thread, and in all the things I do. I love you as you loved me, your children and your grandchildren. The Filipino people that you served with determination until your very last breath.
Since the foundation of Samidoun we have had the pleasure of working closely together with the Filipino revolutionary movement and learning from them. We continuously study the history and developments of the Filipino revolutionary movement in order to practice its lessons in the struggle for Palestine. And we encourage all Palestinian revolutionaries and their supporters to deepen their knowledge and connection to the Filipino liberation movement.
We understand and feel the loss of Ka Joma as the loss of one of our own. Ka Joma was a Filipino revolutionary but his struggle reached far beyond the archipelago. He was always open to intensify the collaboration between Palestine and the Philippines and played a crucial role in the establishment of the Philippines-Palestine Friendship Association.
As Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network we salute Ka Joma and the Philippine revolutionary movement. We reaffirm that Ka Joma lives on through the struggle of millions of Filipinos, Palestinians and people from all countries of the world. We will continue to draw inspiration from Ka Joma’s work and learn from his inspiring revolutionary optimism, selfless work ethic, and firm belief in the victory of the people.
Mabuhay si Ka Joma!
Ka Joma Lives!