Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), died on December 17, 2022, after being hospitalized in his exile in Utrecht, Netherlands.
His death could lead to the resumption of peace talks in the Philippines “and the implementation of genuine socioeconomic and political reforms so that the Philippines may attain a just and lasting peace,” said the progressive bloc Makabayan in Congress. The executive director of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Secretariat, Emmanuel Salamat, also thinks that a new chapter is ahead with regards to the peace negotiations with the communist insurgency. The Department of National Defense called Sison the “biggest stumbling block to peace in the Philippines.” President Ferdinand Marcos has already directed the military to focus on supporting the peace process to end armed conflict in the country.
Sison’s death came 10 days before the party’s 54th anniversary on December 26, 2022. The communist insurgency in the Philippines is Asia’s longest-running communist rebellion.
Photo © Raffy Lerma