Death of CPP-NPA leader Joma Sison

END OF THE COMMUNIST ERA? With the death of the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), Army execs expect the end of the insurgency in the Philippines, including in Eastern Visayas where the rebels attacked soldiers just two days after his Dec. 16 passing.
(Jose Maria Sison Facebook)

TACLOBAN CITY-The death of the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Jose Maria Sison, could signal the end of the insurgency problem in the region and the rest of the country.

Thus said the spokesperson of the 8th Infantry Division, whose base is in Catbalogan City, and the primary organ of the government fighting against members of the armed wing of the CPP in the region.

Capt. Jefferson Mariano said that they expect, at least in the region, that the remaining members of the New People’s Army (NPA) will surrender and stop their fights against the government.

“They have lost their leader whose ideology they have been following. Joma Sison died without succeeding in his ideology, fighting against the government. So how much more, these rebels (succeeding),” he said in a phone interview.

“Definitely, his death is a big setback to them and will demoralize them. It’s about time for them to realize that their ideology does not work and for them to come down to join the mainstream society instead and help us in nation-building,” Mariano added.

Sison, 83, died on Friday (Dec.16) night in a hospital in the Netherlands where he went into exile, as confirmed by his party.

Still, he said, they are not letting their guards down especially since the CPP will be marking the anniversary of the NPA founding on Dec. 26.

“Definitely, we will continue our security operations in the region, especially in Northern Samar,” Mariano said.

Northern Samar province has been tagged by the military where four of the five guerilla fronts are still in operation.

Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, the commanding general of the 8th ID, has earlier said that they see the end of the insurgency in the region in the first quarter of next year.

On Dec.11, a battalion of Scout Rangers arrived in the region where they were deployed to Northern Samar to fight against the rebels.

Meantime, just two days after the death of their founding leader, NPA rebels staged an ambush involving soldiers in Las Navas town, Northern Samar.

The attack, marked with the use of the anti-personnel mines, resulted in the injury of six soldiers, the 8th ID said in a statement.

The soldiers, belonging to the mobile community support and sustainable program team of the 20th Infantry Battalion, were attacked by the rebels in Barangay Quirino in the said town at about 5 am.

The government troops were in the village to provide security on the ongoing water system project funded under the barangay development program.

Lt. Col. Joemar Buban, the commanding officer of the 20th IB, said that the rebels used anti-personnel mine in their attack on his soldiers which resulted in their injuries.
He called on the Commission of Human Rights to investigate on the continuous use and violation of the rebels in the use of anti-personnel mines which is in violation of the international humanitarian law.