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Joma Sison to be cremated in The Netherlands on December 27

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

IT looks like even in death, Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, will not be able to return to his homeland.

Sison, who died last Friday, will be cremated in The Netherlands on December 27, his widow Julie de Lima-Sison told republicasia.

READ the story on Joma Sison’s death

The cremation date is the day after the CPP anniversary.

The CPP had called for a 10-day mourning period in memory of the 83-year old party founder. The 10th day of mourning falls on December 26, the 54th founding anniversary of the CPP.

The party also ordered all New People’s Army (NPA) units to stand in formation at the break of dawn of December 26 and silently perform a 21-gun salute, as “highest tribute and bidding farewell” to Sison.

The viewing of Joma’s remains started December 17 at Barbara Uitvaartverzorging Vleuten, a funeral home in Utrecht. Public viewing will continue until December 24. Then, for two days starting Christmas Day, viewing will only be for family members and friends.

On December 27, the cremation, scheduled around 10:30am-230pm, will be opened to the public.

Why keep Joma’s ashes in The Netherlands?

De Lima-Sison said she decided to stay in The Netherlands because “we have lived most of our lives here.”

The CPP founder had been in self-exile in Utrecht since 1988.

Although the Dutch government only gave political asylum to Sison, his wife and children were granted residency status.

But according to sources, Sison’s widow, Julie De Lima-Sison has a standing warrant of arrest in connection with the massacre of NPA members in 1985. A Manila court issued the warrant on De Lima-Sion in 2006.

De Lima-Sison said they will only bring her husband’s ashes in the Philippines “when things get better.”

At the moment, she is swamped with a lot of work that Sison left behind, including his writings which remained unpublished.

Since his exile, Sison was able to write and publish more than 30 books, De Lima-Sison said.

“I think we will put up a museum here (in The Netherlands). We will include selections of his work,” she added.

Norway ‘sad’ over Joma’s passing

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Norway has expressed condolences to the family of Sison.

“Saddened by the passing of Joma Sison,” the Norwegian foreign ministry said in a statement on Twitter.

Oslo has been bridging the peace talks between Philippine government and the CPP-NPA-NDF to end the communist insurgency in the Philippines.

The Norwegian foreign ministry credited Sison for welcoming “dialogue in pursuit of finding a peaceful solution” to the armed conflict in the Philippines.

“Hope the pursuit to find lasting peace for the Philippine people will continue,” Oslo said. with reports from Froi Garces.

Banner photo credit AP



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