After living a militant and honest life, Johannes Jacobus Beentjes or Jan, as he was fondly called, had left us on the 8th of February. Yet, he lives on in our memories.
In loving memory of Jan, a warm tribute to a fighter against injustice.
Jan was a striking man who had left a lot of memories. I would like to pay my respects to his work and to his tireless efforts to fight for justice and for a just society. Above all, he dedicated himself to the struggle for freedom of the Filipino people in the Philippines and of the Filipino political refugees in the Netherlands.
Through his work with Nederlands – Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging (NFS) from 2003 to 2007, Jan, a wonderful human being, gave meaning to solidarity with the democratic forces in the Philippines, who have been fighting for a just society. These forces are rooted in the struggles against landlessness, the lack of democracy, and human rights violations.
The major campaign he spearheaded was the campaign to defend Professor Jose Maria Sison. In 2002, Professor Sison was placed in the terrorist list. Jan resolutely decided to take part in the Defend Sison Campaign, which would continue until the unjust placing of Prof. Sison on the list was withdrawn in 2009. Jan’s efforts were inseparably intertwined with this campaign.
Moreover, Jan and his partner Marie were the creators of the NFS’s website. Through them, all the translated works, petitions and newsletters became accessible to a wider public.
Jan’s other work related to Peace, Freedom and Democracy in the Philippines included the action for the release of Parliamentarians and the support to the Second Session of the Permanent People’s Tribunal for the Philippines. Jan also co-founded Rice and Rights network, an alliance to defend the human rights of Filipino people. For several years, Jan had been the treasurer of International League for People’s Struggle (ILPS). ILPS is a global formation of various organizations that fight against imperialist globalization. Until his death, Jan was a member of ILPS – Netherlands chapter.
To Filipinos, he was called Ka Jan, as he was a doting friend of the Filipino people who had linked up arms with them as they build a society free of domination.
Ka Jan deserves to be highly revered. He had done a lot to fight against injustice. His efforts were priceless. Ka Jan sowed the seeds that contribute to a just and sustainable development where progress does not come at the expense of people’s lives, and a society that is based on equality where everyone lives a decent life.
By dedicating ourselves to achieving a society that is based on equality, Jan’s memories will live on forever.