A Tribute to Makoto Oda

By LUIS G. JALANDONIImage
NDFP Chief International Representative
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders the highest honor to Makoto Oda, renowned novelist and writer, internationalist anti-war and peace activist and esteemed friend of the Filipino people. The NDFP joins the family and friends of Makoto Oda in mourning his death, even as we render the highest honor to him for his great and inspiring life. 

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
NDFP Chief International Representative
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) renders the highest honor to Makoto Oda, renowned novelist and writer, internationalist anti-war and peace activist and esteemed friend of the Filipino people.Image

Makoto Oda first gave significant support to the Filipino people when he served as a Jury member of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal First Session on the Philippines. This was held in 1980 at Antwerp, Belgium. This Tribunal Session found Ferdinand Marcos and the US guilty of grave crimes against the Filipino people, declared the NDFP legitimate representative of the Filipino people and the armed conflict between the Marcos regime and the Filipino people as a condition of belligerency requiring the application of the international laws of war. This verdict served to isolate the Marcos dictatorship internationally and fostered international solidarity for the Filipino people.

We had the opportunity to refresh our links with him at the PPT Second Session on the Philippines at which he again served as a Juror, despite his serious illness. Suffering from stomach cancer, Makoto Oda made no mention of his serious illness as he actively participated in a grueling 5-day session. He listened intently to the testimonies of the families of the victims of the grave human rights violations of regimes of Gloria Arroyo and George W. Bush. After the reading of the PPT verdict declaring Ms. Arroyo, Mr. Bush, and the state security forces of Arroyo guilty of crimes against humanity, Makoto Oda spoke on how he had not been aware of the gravity of the suffering inflicted with impunity against the Filipino people.

He declared, “I was at the First PPT Session in 1980. Now I am here at the Second Session. Next time, I will go to the Philippines, to celebrate with the Filipino people, their victory, their independence!”

In his letter to his friends in April 2007, after he was told by his doctors that he had terminal cancer, he wrote, “I said to the Filipino people that at least I would like to organize an investigation group and go to the Philippines to find out the facts just like the Hong Kong citizens did. But it is no longer possible to do so in my health condition. I shall be more than grateful if somebody could do so.” He sent the PPT verdict to his friends “concerning the present dreadful situation in the Philippines.” He humbly stated that at the Tribunal in March at The Hague, he found out that he knew almost nothing about the situation in the Philippines and this may be the same for other people in the world. That is why he was sending out the PPT verdict.

Makoto Oda was invited by Italian Senator Lelio Basso, also a renowned internationalist, to be one of the founders of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal in 1978. This was in recognition of his outstanding record as a famous novelist, a fierce social critic and a political activist. He strongly condemned the US war of aggression against Vietnam and was a firm advocate for disaster victims neglected by the Japanese government. After 9/11 and the US wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, he denounced the “war on terror” unleashed by US President George W. Bush.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines conveys its deepest heartfelt condolences to his wife Soon-Hye Hyun and their daughter, Nara Oda, and other relatives, his friends and colleagues, including those in the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal. The NDFP joins the family and friends of Makoto Oda in mourning his death, even as we render the highest honor to him for his great and inspiring life.

Long live the noble memory and great example of Makoto Oda!

Long live the friendship and solidarity between the Japanese people and the Filipino people!

Long live the international solidarity of peoples struggling against imperialism and all reaction!

 

On behalf of the National Council of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines:

LUIS G. JALANDONI
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee
NDFP Chief International Representative

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