The Bangsamoro Consciousness Week draws curiosity and worth to commemorate the bravery, courage and ethical prowess of our Moro heroes. This occasion also necessitates that we look into the tragic experiences our Moro brethren, their families and the entire Muslim communities in the past.
The famed Jabidah Massacre seemed to be the immediate image that most of us imagine when we speak of the oppression of our Moro tribe. However, it must be emphasized that this was only one among the many abuses done. But prior to the happening of this tragic event, the Moros have long been used to going into battle. In fact, in Cotabato, there was Datu Ali, whose struggle was the most significant anti-colonial response in Mindanao during 1903-1906. He was one of the many who sought support from Lanao Muslims for what he thought was the only meaningful answer to American militarism, as cited from a publication of the MSU Research Center. This was an attempt to call for a basic historical unity among Muslim Moros of Mindanao. Sadly, dissensions and rivalries within the tribe greatly affected the advocacy. In the same publication, it mentioned that during the civil regime, the Lanao Muslims were divided into pro-American and pro-Filipino. The former was led by Amai Manabilang of Madaya and Datu Lawi Usongan of Masiu, while the latter was composed mostly of government officials led by Datu Ibra. In Sulu, disunity was portrayed in political disputes and intrigues. Datu Tahil, an escapee of the 1913 Bud Bagsak encounter, revolted due to political grievances and economic problems. In the early thirties, the Sultan was opposed by a powerful combination of Sangkula, Tulawi and Indanan.
It was not long ago when there was a discord between the MNLF and MILF factions, where at one point, there were subgroups who came out in the limelight, advancing their own principles quite contrary to those of the two camps. A presidential term passed with the discussion of the Bangsamoro issue still left unresolved, where concerned groups even pull each other to prove better title over the other. Finally, now comes a new hope with a Bangsamoro Transition Commission accommodating representations from both parties. While we remain optimistic on the realization of the genuine solution to lasting peace and development, confederations of civil society organizations further support the notion that this is the best time to highlight and actuate the noblest sense of unity and harmony in diversity.
Now poses the vital realization, as supported by a foreign writer David Richard, that should we loose good and highly spirited people, examine not only how the affairs were managed by the leader, rather look into how the latter acknowledges the labor and sacrifices of the former. In the pursuit of unity, one must understand selfless service, guided by the veritable postulates of reform, respect and mutual resolution.
Delicate past. Esteemed today. What is for tomorrow?