On behalf of the national council and membership of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines), we give our highest tribute and accolade to Prof. Jose Maria Sison, a great Filipino proletarian and revolutionary, a hero of the toiling masses.
To Ka Julieta de Lima-Sison, their children and grandchildren, and to all those who are in mourning, we convey our most heartfelt condolences and sympathies. Let us turn our grief into further resolve and determination to practice and put into action the valuable lessons imparted to us by Prof. Sison.
Prof. Sison, or Ka Joma, as he is fondly called, was definitive in the foundation of the KMP in 1985 and throughout its existence up to this day. In his message titled “Land Reform and the Peasant Movement: A Message to the National Founding Congress of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas,” Prof. Sison recognized the historical importance of the formation of a national peasant alliance to uphold, defend and promote the democratic rights and interests of the Filipino peasantry in the face of worsening feudal and semifeudal exploitation, imperialist incursions in Philippine agriculture and the brutal campaigns of terror in the countryside. This stands valid up to this day and beyond.
A vast body of Prof. Sison’s work and writings dealt with issues related to the pursuit of land reform, justice, and peace. From the time of Marcos Sr. dictatorship up to the present regime of Marcos Jr-Duterte, Ka Joma always underscored the need to do what is possible and necessary — as much as we can, to achieve a just peace for the benefit of the people. This is a formidable task that we will carry to the end.
His analyses of the situation and social context of the Philippine society, always sharp and timely, highlighted that the peasantry is the majority class in the semicolonial and semifeudal society, and solving the perennial land problem is the main content of the national democratic revolution. His firm grasp and understanding of Philippine history and national situation have always guided KMP and the progressive peasant movement in its formulations of economic and political programs of action throughout the years.
Prof. Sison always reminded us that peasants, ,indigenous people, and farm workers need to wage various forms of struggle in order to demand and work for genuine land reform, free land distribution, and thereby strive for the peace and justice that they have long fought and died for.
He rightfully said that wherever possible, peasants can carry out land reform by themselves; combat exploitation by landlords and merchant usurers; engage in various forms of cooperation, and raise production in agriculture and sideline occupations. Peasants can also fight corporate land grabbers, break up the land monopoly and assist farm workers in obtaining higher wages, and the small contract growers in getting better payments.
Prof. Sison affirmed with resolve that land reform and national industrialization are the substantial bonds of the basic worker-peasant alliance and the entire urban petty bourgeois and middle-bourgeois alliance. He consistently underscored the need to assert and achieve basic social, economic, and political reforms to improve the situation and lives of the Filipino people and lead to the goal of a just and lasting peace in the Philippines that is independent, democratic, socially just, developing in an all-round way, prosperous and in solidarity with the people of the world against imperialism and all reactions.
The long life and revolutionary struggle of Prof. Jose Maria Sison will live on. Ka Joma lives!
December 20, 2022