By Jose Maria Sison, Founding Chairman
Communist Party of the Philippines
December 3, 2017

As the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, I have the honor to reaffirm the high tribute that has been rendered to Comrade Johannes Jacobus ¨Jan¨ by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and to underscore his most exalted role as a communist fighter and proletarian internationalist.

I had the privilege to get to know Comrade Jan Beentjes in an effort of Filipino comrades to reach the elements that had remained steadfast and militant proletarian revolutionaries from the defunct Communist Party of the Netherlands. We admired how he studied hard and tried to impart Marxism-Leninism to others and how he applied the theory to the concrete circumstances of his country and to international solidarity relations.

We appreciated his inquisitive and critical mind and his determination to follow the correct revolutionary road. Thus, we understood how he found his way from his family background as Roman Catholic to the communist cause of the working class and remained loyal to it despite the degeneration and disintegration of the CPN and the phenomenon of modern revisionism.

Jan was frank and straightforward in thinking and talking. Such quality came from being a disciplined worker, a carpenter and a painter with a critical and creative mind and a sharp sense of design and detail even before learning dialectical materialism. When he joined the Dutch Navy to see the world, he observed that the Dutch army was not only for defending the ¨Queen and Homeland¨ but also for fighting for monopoly capitalism against the people´s cause of national and social liberation in distant countries like Vietnam.

While in the Navy, he found time to read widely, study philosophy and other subjects related to the question of social revolution, learn languages and develop his skills as a photographer and learn languages. After nine years, he left the navy and worked as a photographer. He found steady employment in the photography department of the Leiden University Medical Center where he used his creativity in producing posters ad layouts for dissertations. He excelled at the use of computers and the video camera.

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 a member of Juristen voor de Vrede.

It was inevitable for him to come into contact with Filipino refugees and with me personally. He had been aware of my longrunning asylum case and my history of revolutionary struggle in the Philippines. He became more interested in my case when the US, Dutch and the European Union put me in their terrorist lists. He readily agreed to join the International DEFEND Committee in support of Filipino refugees. He played a key role in the committee and took charge of the website of the committee.

He gained a comprehensive and profound interest in the Filipino people´s struggle for national and social liberation. He dedicated himself to this struggle. He avidly studied and publicized how the Philippine revolution developed the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the trade unions, peasant associations, youth league, women´s federation and other types of mass organizations, the people´s army and the organs of political power.

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.

Jan applied his persuasive skills in large and small meetings and campaigns. He made video presentations on the Philippine situation and the struggles of the Filipino people for national independence, democracy, development and cultural progress. He used his personal resources to provide equipment useful in public information and education. He also contributed his musical talent in cultural events in combination with his longstanding partner and soulmate Marie and other progressive musicians.

He was constantly serious when major issues were discussed in study and work meetings because he was driven by his desire to render the best possible and most effective service to the revolutionary cause of the people. But he manifested a vibrant sense of humor after an issue is resolved or in moments of relaxation. He had a high sense of compassion and helped particular comrades solve problems within his capacity.

We miss the comradely warmth of Comrade Jan Beentjes. We are sad that he is no longer with us. But in the most meaningful sense he continues to be with us. His revolutionary spirit and legacy of service to the people are with us. For these we celebrate and wish to perpetuate his memory. He has contributed significantly to the revolutionary struggles of the Filipino people, the Dutch people and other peoples against imperialism and for socialism. ###

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