(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — The death of Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), gives the government a chance to intensify its efforts to end the communist armed struggle, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said in a statement issued on Monday.
Estrada noted that Sison’s death would not be the end of the CPP and the New People’s Army, but it could still weaken them.
“The government must take this opportunity to intensify the collaboration of different agencies, stakeholders, local government units, and even the general public in crushing the communist idea that drives the armed struggle,” Estrada said.
“It is the responsibility of each of us to safeguard the future of future generations and ensure that we achieve the elusive lasting peace,” he added in Filipino.
Estrada also pointed out that “efforts to establish a communist state have been nil” as communist numbers continue to decline.
Sison died at the age of 83 in a hospital in Utrecht in the Netherlands on Friday, at 8:40 p.m., Philippine time.
The greatest Filipino of the past century bereaved us peacefully last night,” the second Congress of the CPP said.
Sison had been living in self-imposed exile in Europe ever since peace talks with the government bogged down in 1987.