The 85th birthday of the late Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Founding Chairperson, was celebrated by the revolutionary movement, allies and local and international friends last 8 February. Ka “Joma” passed away last December 16, 2022 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

In a statement, the CPP paid tribute to the continuing relevance of Ka “Joma” and the validity of the struggle for national democracy.

“We remember his invaluable contributions to the revolutionary resistance of the Filipino proletariat and people, both as an ideological leader and a practical organizer of their struggle for national and social liberation and socialism,” the CPP stated.

The CPP said: The continuing relevance of Ka Joma’s ideas and analysis and validity of the struggle for national democracy stem from the historical fact that the country remains dominated and oppressed by US imperialism—the singular force that has condemned the Philippines to its present backward, agrarian, non-industrial state, and mere supplier of cheap raw materials and cheap labor.

“The relevance of Jose Ma. Sison’s writings and the validity of the struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective becomes even more stark amid the deteriorating conditions of the semicolonial and semifeudal system under the US-Marcos regime, the aggravating socioeconomic conditions of the broad masses of the Filipino people, intensifying fascist repression, and worsening national oppression amid the protracted crisis of the global capitalist system and rising inter-imperialist contradictions leading to wars. This is now being proven by the steady accumulation of strength of the people’s revolutionary mass struggles across the country, and resurgence of armed resistance in the countryside, the CPP concluded.

“Revolutionary dedication and optimism remain alive and ablaze among the workers, peasants, urban poor, youth, women and the middle forces and indigenous communities in the province of Rizal. They are fully steeled with the highest commitment to move forward the rectification movement and advance the people’s democratic revolution until victory,” the NDF-Southern Tagalog said in a statement on Ka “Joma’s” birthday.

Kabataang Makabayan (KM, Patriotic Youth)- Rizal province, south of the capital Manila, meanwhile, launched an “OP-OD” (operation paint/operation paste). They put up a large portrait of Ka “Joma” in a crowded area near the public market. They also painted several revolutionary slogans, such as “Viva CPP-NPA-NDF!” and “Join the New People’s Army!” on several public walls.

In a statement, the KM-Rizal said the reactionary forces cannot stop the revolutionary youth from advancing the people’s democratic revolution. They draw their deep inspiration, they added, from the lofty examples of Ka “Joma” as a teacher, writer and patriot.

In the Netherlands, members of different NDFP allied organizations mounted an inspirational cultural tribute to Ka “Joma” in a community center in Utrecht, where Ka “Joma” lived with his comrade-wife Ka Julie since 1987.

Carrying the CPP’s call for rectification and resurgence, the cultural tribute tackled through various performances the topics of basic revolutionary attitude, mass line, organizing work, and revolutionary sacrifice. Short video-interviews of Ka “Joma”, on his reflections about the revolutionary movement and the practical day-to-day application of revolutionary theories, were shown. Comrades shared their reflections on Ka “Joma”, particularly his affection for Filipino migrants.

Friends, allies and admirers alike sent their moving birthday greetings to Ka “Joma” via Facebook and several other social media. “Your (Joma’s) life and inspiration will always remain alive among all patriotic Filipinos”, the messages said.