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ROUGH CUTS | Ambivalent opinion on Joma’s’ death

LAST Friday a young man was reported to have died after he allegedly jumped from the higher level of the building used as a parking area of a popular business establishment in Davao City.

     From our recollection, it was not the first time that such incident happened in the same establishment.  Why cannot the management of the same business entity come up with some measures to prevent another similar incident in the future? Say, why not put a grill on the open sides of the building’s parking floors? This way at least a deterrent in place will most likely lead persons with suicidal nature to have some second thoughts of executing what is in his or her mind?

     We were at that particular establishment last week to do some little shopping for the holiday season and we parked our vehicle in the top floor. And we could only imagine how mangled the body of any one who will jump to the ground.

     We were friends with the departed owner of the establishment years back and in one of our visits to his office and having coffee we brought out the idea that the open side sans any bar could be a potential area for accident or even intentional fall.

     Somehow, nothing has been done about it. We hope that the next generation management will consider the idea if only to prevent a repeat of such incident in the future – near or far.


     Jose Ma. Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that has been waging a revolution against the democratic government in the country for over half a century already, is now dead.

     His death is met with diverse reactions from people who know his role in the protracted war against the government. And this leads to the question whether it is morally correct and right if the person’s death be considered a welcome development or a great loss to the country.

     There is no denying the fact that the Sison-led struggle that has morphed from simple and later violent campus activism, to a bloody armed conflict that is over half a century already, has resulted to the deaths of over 50 thousand people that included government troopers, members of the armed elements of the revolution – the New People’s Army (NPA), the officiala and members of its political wing, the National Democratic Front (NDF), sympathizers, and plain civilians who have been considered the collateral damage of the insurgency.

     It is clear though that the objective of Sison’s struggle is very much the same as what is being aimed at by the duly constituted authorities – the development of the Filipino nation. The two entities however defer in the approaches that are being taken in order to attain such goal. The established government uses the democratic processes while Sison’s way uses the communist ideology as basis of governance.

     The most vocal in his thoughts about the similarities in intentions of Sidon to that of government is former President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte who was once a student of the CPP chair in his college days, agrees that Sison, using the communist ideology as his vehicle, is really sincere in his intention to bring the Philippines into the people’s desired level of development. Only that the former President said he is not agreeable to the scheme used by the deceased revolution leader. If read or deciphered between the lines, Duterte’s statement on Sison’s death could easily be interpreted as calling for everyone to accord respect to the CPP chairman.

     Of course the departed CPP chair’s believers especially those who started the movement with him and remain in the struggle until now, will definitely extoll the exiled chairman to high heavens; that he is worthy of being considered a hero by the Filipinos, and that is why they are in deep mourning of his death.  

     There are in fact speculations that the top hierarchy of Sison’s party, some sympathizers to his cause, and even political opposition would be pushing for the return of the CPP chair’s body or ashes to the Philippines. 

     But such move if pursued is immediately questioned by some sectors in the government especially the military and the police, some segments of the Church and those who lost members of families and relatives as consequence of the revolution.

     Of course it is only natural that the Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies will have negative reactions to such possibility. After all, their members are the direct nemesis of the armed wing of Sison’s CPP.  They are the ones in the battle front; they are the subjects of deadly ambushes perpetrated by the rebels. 

     Then there are these segments of the Church that we have no idea whether Catholic or not. They claim to belong to such organizations as the Strong and Active Movement Sustaining Opposition of the Communist Terrorist Group’s (CTG) Church Infiltration or SAMSON, and the Kalihukan sa Katawhan, Simbahan ug Kagamhanan (Kasambahanan) Batok Terrorismo. They have expressed ambivalent feeling toward celebrating or not the death of Joma. They even likened Sison to Osama bin Laden, the evil man leader of the Islamist militant group that was responsible for the World Trade Center attack that killed some 3,000 innocent people.

     These Church sectors question whether it is morally  “correct” or “wrong” to celebrate an “evil” man’s death.

     They claim that “technically speaking, Joma’s life is not worth more than that of the tens of thousands of Filipinos whose death Sison had presided over.” The groups’ leaders claim that they assume that most Filipinos find him (Sison) an evil person like Bin Laden.

     The group leaders said “they are not agreeable that Joma’s followers saw him as a ‘great Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thinker, patriot, internationalist and revolutionary leader’,” and “the greatest Filipino of the past century.”

     These same Church sectors believe that “as peace-loving Filipinos, we are both proud and relieved to hear about Joma’s death. They are positive that Sison’s demise may serve as the final nail to the CPP-NPA-NDF’s coffin.

     Personally though, it is our take that the Sison death could go both ways. That is as the SAMSON and Kassambahanan hopefully believe as the end of the armed struggle; or it could be the birth of a new leader with more modern and sophisticated ideas on how the struggle be pursued and with a much hardline position on their cause.

    But of course we would rather that whoever succeeds Sison, will give peace talk a chance to progress for the good of the Filipinos for whom the departed CPP chair claim are the reasons of his embracing the Communist ideology.





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