Hundreds of messages of tributes, solidarity and condolences poured in from progressive groups and political parties around the world including the Royal Norwegian Government, on the passing of Prof. Jose Maria “Ka Joma” Sison, Founding Chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and Chief Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The week-long wake and public viewing lasted from 18 to 23 December followed by cremation ceremonies on 27 December 2022 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

“Joma had a life-long impact on the peace process in the Philippines. He searched tirelessly for solutions in order to bring lasting peace to the Filipino people, even build common ground with adversaries. He will be remembered for his personal commitment and dedication to pursuing dialogue, drawing on his extensive knowledge and experience,” said Kristina Lie Revheim, head of the Third Party Facilitator Team to the GRP-NDFP peace process on behalf of the Royal Norwegian Government.

In a separate message, former Special Envoy to the GRP-NDFP peace talks Elisabeth Slattum recalled, “He was a visionary that spent his life fighting for his people and the history of the Philippines is richer for it… I’m sad that we didn’t succeed in creating peace during his lifetime, but he leaves an important and ever-lasting legacy.”

“We mourn because we lost a peace warrior among the revolutionaries. Manong Jo was an ardent revolutionary, the Andres Bonifacio of our modern times,” said Silvestre Bello III, Chair of the GRP Negotiating Panel.

Political parties from various countries in Europe also delivered messages of tribute to celebrate Ka Joma’s legacy. “Joma Sison is one of the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our times,” Roland Meister declared representing the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany.

“We are grateful to the people of the Philippines for sharing Joma with us,” stressed Wim de Ceukelaire from INTAL, a solidarity group in Belgium. Ka Joma, he said, has been a source of inspiration for European progressives and activists. 

“His revolutionary optimism and perseverance will echo for a long time not only in the Philippines but also in Europe,” he added.

“It is a loss of a true internationalist fighter,” said Hamdam Al Hamiri, an activist from the Palestinian left and coordinator of the Palestinian community in Belgium.

“I feel deeply the grief and I know you feel that grief too. But let us turn that grief into revolutionary courage so that the working class representing humanity can proceed to socialism,” concluded Sison’s wife and NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Julie De Lima.