Christians for National Liberation (CNL), December 17, 2022
The Christians for National Liberation (CNL), the revolutionary political organization of Christians and allied member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), pays its highest salute to Prof. Jose Maria “Ka Joma” Sison, founding Chair of the re-established Communist Party of the Philippines, revolutionary patriot, poet, writer, educator and proletarian internationalist who passed away on December 16, 2022, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was 83.
CNL honors Comrade Joma for his tireless and unwavering commitment to the Filipino people’s just struggle against US imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, and his invaluable contribution to proletarian internationalism, against modern revisionism, reformism and all forms of imperialist onslaught spanning over six decades of his life.
We salute him for his enduring commitment to the pursuit of just and lasting peace in the Philippines, always resolute in addressing the roots of the armed conflict and firm in adhering to previously signed agreements such as the Hague Joint Declaration, Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), and Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The same held true for upholding the Geneva Conventions which form the core of International Humanitarian Law. As with the rest of the NDFP peace panel, he was steadfast in never allowing the NDFP to be placed in a position of capitulation and resisted the all-out war policy of US-backed reactionary regimes then and now.
Comrade Joma is among the greatest Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thinkers of the century. His contribution to the Philippine national democratic revolution and to the worldwide struggle of all oppressed and exploited people of the world against US imperialism and all reaction will live on. His sharp analyses on national and international issues, always from the lens of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, serve as a beacon in waging the national democratic revolution and paving the socialist future. His works on religion demonstrate the breadth of how these lens are applied.
In his opus, “Ideology and Religion in the Philippines” (2005), Ka Joma wrote that history has shown how Christians, liberals, and Marxists can live together, dialogue, and cooperate with each other for the common good of the people. In the Philippines, Christianity has had its positive and negative manifestations, and Marxists acclaim the secularization movement and Gomburza martyrdom, the partisanship of the Filipino secular priests to the Philippine revolution, the CNL, and the outstanding resistance of church people against the Marcos fascist dictatorship.
He always emphasized that “even as Christians and Marxists differ in belief and thought, they can complement one another and cooperate in the building of human societies where truth, justice, peace, love, equality, and liberation would exist for the economic, political, cultural and comprehensive development of the toiling masses of peasants, workers, and national minorities. We have seen the cooperation of Christians and Marxists in the people’s war as well as in the process of peace negotiations in promoting social, economic, and political reforms needed to lay the foundations of a just and lasting peace.”
Ka Joma has always recognized the key role that the Catholic Church has played in social change in the Philippines, despite its being a tool of Spanish colonialism 500 years ago. He cited leaders of the church like Father Burgos who “inspired patriotic sentiments as they demanded respect for the rights of native secular priests and suffered injustice.” He also cited Father Aglipay who took an active part in the Philippine revolution as vicar general of the Philippine revolutionary army and active guerilla leader against the US war of aggression. “There is more than enough basis in Philippine history for Filipino priests to formulate and espouse a theology of liberation,” he wrote in 1986.
We take heed of his words, “Social revolution will never occur through wishful thinking, praying or declaiming for the Christian humanism of every person. Neither can social revolution be achieved by solely or mainly restricting oneself or one’s party or movement to peaceful change within the exploiting society through such measures as “communitarianism” and “cooperativism” which merely, reinforce the political and economic power of the foreign monopolies, compradors and landlords.”
Clearly, the path to genuine social transformation – where the proletarian class, in alliance with the peasant class, seizes the means of production and establishes their dictatorship – can only be attained through waging people’s war until victory to forge the socialist path.
Long live the revolutionary legacy and memory of Comrade Jose Maria Sison!
Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!
Long live the National Democratic Revolution!
Join the New People’s Army! Advance the phase of the struggle to strategic stalemate!
Onward with the People’s War!