Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said the decision to return the remains of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairperson Jose Maria “Joma” Sison to the country will be up to his immediate family
“We cannot speculate yet on what the decision of the immediate family…Maybe we should ask them first where they want to bury the remains of Professor Sison,” Aguilar, quoted by a GMA News report, said.
Meanwhile, the CPP said Monday it will not be declaring a ceasefire during the holiday season this year, GMA News also reported.
In a statement, the CPP central committee said there is “absolutely no reason to declare a ceasefire” to mark the holidays, its upcoming 54th anniversary, and mourn the death of Sison.
Last week, the AFP said it ruled out declaring a ceasefire with the CPP-NPA for the Christmas season.
“Ceasefire is ruled out because of leadership vacuum within the CPP after the neutralization of many of its top leaders,” Aguilar told GMA News Online.
Senator Ronald dela Rosa has earlier expressed belief that the death of Sison will lead to the communist rebel’s extinction.
“Prior to the death of Joma Sison, CPP-NPA-NDF, yung insurgency [sa] ating bansa brought about by the CPP-NPA-NDF was already dying and the more it will going to its extinction kapag namatay na si Joma Sison,” Dela Rosa said in an ANC interview.
“Whoever will be designated by the Communist Party to succeed Joma Sison will face extreme difficulty in reviving a fake cause. Mahirapan na sila dahil the people have awaken. Mahirapan silang manloloko ng tao. Ganon ang mangyayari doon,” he added.
Although he is a staunch supporter of government’s bid to end insurgency in the country, Dela Rosa sees no problem with the return Sison’s remains in the Philippines.
“I have no problem with that because) first of all let us admit it and let’s set the record straight, he was not exiled by the government. He was self-exiled [and] that led him to the Netherlands,” Dela Rosa, quoted by GMA News, said.
“If they will return his remains to the Philippines, for humanitarian reasons—because he is also a human, a Filipino, and he has a family waiting for him here— then we should allow it so his loved ones can give him a proper burial,” he said.
Dela Rosa said the successor of Sison will find it “difficult” to revive the movement.