Home > My Mindanao > Commemorating the 40th Year of the Jabidah Massacre

Commemorating the 40th Year of the Jabidah Massacre

March 15th, 2008

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Everybody knows Corregidor Island as a historic spot. Everybody knows that in this island hundreds of our gallant heroes stood their ground and died defending our country from the invading forces of Japan during World War II. Because of this historical circumstance, Corregidor Island is now a Tourist spot – a place for people to go on a memorial pilgrimage in honor of those who died heroically for our country.

But how many of us remember that on this same island, forty years ago, about two dozen Moro Youth were summarily executed by forces of the Philippine Government? This incident is now known to history as the infamous “Jabidah Massacre.”

In Brief, the Jabidah Massacre was a result of a bungled covert operation. In 1968, then President Marcos made a covert plan, codenamed OPERATION MERDEKA (Freedom), aimed at infiltrating Sabah, Malaysia to sow chaos and organize the locals of the island for an eventual invasion of Philippine forces to reclaim Sabah from Malaysia. Sabah was historically part of the Sultanate of Sulu.

A select unit of AFP officers gathered a number of Moro youth from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to a secret military training in Corregidor. Without them knowing their mission, these Moro youth thought that they were trained for some other purpose. But after learning about their real mission, they protested and refused to follow the mission. They would not want to take part in destroying the lives of people many of whom are their relatives. Marcos and his butchers knew only of one solution that will keep this botched mission from leaking out. Batch after batch, the young Moro trainees were mercilessly slaughtered at Kindley Field , an abandoned airstrip in the island of Corregidor. Had it not for a lone survivor who was able to tell the world about the massacre, the incident would have remained unknown. This single incident sparked the resurgence of the Moro liberation movement in the 70’s. And the rest is history.

We know that it happened but some refuse to recognize it because it has become a sort of a national shame. We seldom hear about it in our history classes, if ever it gets mentioned. There are even those who want to deny it ever happened, because more than the shame, it resurects the age-old question of the Bangsamoro’s right to self-determination, – a question which makes some people nervous. That is why for them, it would be better if this “unfortunate incident” is simply forgotten. But to the Bangsamoro, every March 18 that comes bring back not only the memory of Jabidah but also Bud Dajo, Bud Bagsak and many more massacres. The Jabidah Massacre becomes a symbol and reminder for the Bangsamoro to look back, in order to move forward.

On March 18, 2008, the day marking the 40th year of the Jabidah Massacre, the Office of Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party List Representative, Mujiv Hataman together with the Bangsamoro National Solidarity Movement (BANGSA), the Mindanaw Forum, Inc., Pinay Kilos (PinK), Moro Human Rights Center (MHRC), and other supporting organizations, will make a symbolic journey to Corregidor Island to unveil the first commemorative marker ever erected honoring the memory of those who died in the Jabidah Massacre. This historical marker was made possible through the efforts of Rep. Mujiv Hataman and the cooperation of Corregidor Foundation, Inc. A portion of the marker reads: “This marker serves as remembrance and beacon for us living to continue the struggle for justice…”

This symbolic journey banners the theme,“Lakbay Balik-Kasaysayan para sa Katarungan at Kapayapaan” and will be participated by officers of the National Council of Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party List, leaders of Muslim communities in Metro Manila and members of various Moro and Non-Moro organizations. Also, the Mindanao Peoples’Peace Caravan, who traveled from Mindanao to Manila to campaign for the signing of the Peace agreements between the GRP and the Moro rebels, will join with the journey to Corregidor as part of the culmination of their national caravan.

(This article is taken with permission from AMIN Party List Website)

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  1. March 15th, 2008 at 10:53 | #1

    Thanks for sharing this vital piece of information. The Bangsamoro people deserve the right to justice. Little efforts have been made on the part of the government to address these hard-nailed issues. Even more so, the government has become toothless in the clamor of the Bangsamoros.

  2. March 16th, 2008 at 07:51 | #2

    Thanks for visiting my blog spliceanddice. Indeed, the less we know about the Bangsamoro the more conflict and animosity it creates. The Right of the Bangsamoro to national self-determination is their inherent right. The Bangsamoro society existed long before Philippines became a Nation.

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