Family and Friends gathered at the NDFP International Information Office on December 3, 2017 to pay tribute to a great friend of the Filipino people and a proletarian internationalist, Johannes Jacobus Beentjes or “Jan” as he is fondly called.
In his tribute to Jan, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines recalled that an outstanding characteristic of Jan was to be close to people fighting for national and social liberation and to be of service to those who had become refugees in The Netherlands. He welcomed Turkish, Iranian, Yugoslav and other refugees to stay in his home while they sought permanent housing. He co-founded the Anti-War Committee in Leiden and opposed the US wars of aggression in Yugoslavia, Iraq and elsewhere.
He was resolute and militant in pursuing international solidarity work in support of the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution. He drew from his long and rich experience in previous solidarity work for the revolutionary movements of other peoples. Even while he was devoted to solidarity work for the Filipino people, he remained active in international solidarity work through the International League of Peoples´ Struggle and its Netherlands chapter.
Luis Jalandoni, Chief International Representative of the NDFP remembered Comrade Jan studying the revolutionary attitudes that a comrade should have. But more importantly, his concrete practice in boundlessly serving the Filipino people, his comradely help to comrades in need, his attitude towards taking responsibility for his revolutionary work and his proletarian internationalism, has left a lasting imprint among his Filipino comrades.
Jan’s beloved partner for 35 years, Marrie Kardol, said Jan was a very social minded man. He strived for a world in which there is equality, in which all people have the same rights. Yet he was realistic and knew, that this world is still far away and that the way to get there will be long and difficult.
Marrie shared how Jan, enriched her life. “Jan tried to teach me many things. So he explained to me a lot about politics, about philosophy. He taught and stimulated me in using computers, in making music, in cooking, in educating dogs, and so on and so forth. Not all of these seeds fell ion fertile soil, but many of our discussions enriched my life and broadened my horizons.”
Theo Droog, Chairperson of the Netherlands-Philippines Solidarity Committee stated that Comrade Jan deserves respect for he has done a lot of work to fight injustice and his dedication is invaluable.. He contributed for the realization of a just and sustainable development where growth is not at the expense of poverty – a society based on equality where everyone has a decent income.
By committing ourselves to a society based on equality, the memories of Jan remain alive!
Grace Punongbayan of Migrante-Europe recalled how Jan helped Filipino migrants who were in need and how he shared his knowledge on the use of computers and he taught Dutch.
Dan Borjal recalled how Jan’s skill for film making helped in documenting the activities of the Filipino community whether they be political, cultural or social.
The event ended with the showing of a much appreciated short film “Jan Beentjes, Proletarian Internationalist” produced by the NDFP International Information Office.