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DFA offers repatriation of Joma’s remains

by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

IF requested by the family of Jose Maria Sison, the Philippine government may help in the repatriation of the remains of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chairman from The Netherlands.

Sison died Friday night Manila time after being rushed in a hospital in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

A senior official of the Philippine Embassy in The Hague told republicasia that as mandated by the Migrant Workers Act, the Department of Foreign Affairs should provide assistance to bereaved families of nationals overseas, such as repatriation of remains.

“As a Filipino citizen, Mr Sison is entitled to consular assistance and services, including in the processing of mortuary certificate, and the Embassy is open and ready to assist when called upon,” the official said.

The Embassy also extended its deep condolences to the wife of Sison, Mrs. Juliet Sison, the bereaved family members, colleagues and friends of Sison.

In 1998, Sison sought asylum in The Netherlands, citing fear of his life being former head of the CPP and its armed wing New People’s Army and legal front, National Democratic Front. The Philippine Embassy in The Netherlands and Sison have coordinated during peace negotiations.

Father and daughter Duterte reaction

Vice President Sara Duterte made a one-line terse and cold statement on the demise of Sison. “May God have mercy on his soul.”

Former President Duterte Rodrigo Duterte meanwhile shared a longer piece on Sison whom he earlier called as “mentor.”

“While Mr. Sison and I have had many disagreements—especially in the ways in which he chose to pursue and effect change in the country—I would like to believe that, at the end of the day, we shared the same dream of creating a better future for every Filipino,” he said.

“His death certainly marks the end of an era, and it is my hope that, with it, the end of insurgencies in the Philippines and the revolutionary movement that he has founded as well,” the former President added.

Both Dutertes, as former mayors of Davao City, have love-hate relationship with the communist rebels.

Mayor Digong was even filmed, calling out “Mabuhay ang NPA” after the rebels released to him two hostage soldiers in Compostela Valley in 2015. Later, as a presidential candidate, he promised to resume talks with Sison and the NDF.

screenshot from GMA News’ 24Oras newscast showing then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte raising the arms of NPA rebels

Mayor Sara, on one hand, had opposed peace talks with Sison’s group. Instead, she extended peace offering to the NPA rebels operating in Davao City. But when the rebels attacked the city, she took it as a “personal insult.”

banner photo courtesy CPP website

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