Philippine communist guerrillas have expressed sadness over the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and predicted his country will go on to achieve progress and modernity under a socialist system.

The Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement Thursday that Kim left behind a "shining tradition of patriotism and anti-imperialism."

North Korea has been suspected in the past of providing training and funds to the Filipino rebels.

The Philippine government, which established diplomatic ties with North Korea in July 2000, also expressed its condolences after Kim's death was announced Monday.