March 20, 2018
March 20, 2018
Corregidor Island, Cavite: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Anak Mindanao party-list marked the 50th commemoration of the Jabidah Massacre here on Sunday, March 18, with a strong message of hope that the decades-long Bangsamoro struggle will result in the enactment of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
“We see the BBL’s passage as an integral stride in the Bangsamoro struggle,” ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said. The governor reiterated his support to the passage of the BBL and to the establishment of the Bangsamoro Government that would eventually replace the existing ARMM government. “We must do everything in our capacity to ensure that the Bangsamoro Basic Law is enacted,” Gov. Hataman added.
The Corregidor Island activities are part of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace, which is held annually in the second week of March.
Representative Amihilda Sangcopan of the Anak Mindanao Party-list, Fr. Jun Mercado of the Institute of Autonomy and Governance, Atty. Eliseo Parcasio of the Moro National Liberation Front, and Commissioner Hussin Amin of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission also delivered their reflections and messages of support on the Bangsamoro struggle during the Corregidor commemoration rites.
he Jabidah Massacre, along with other atrocities committed against the Moro people, is considered one of the most important events that ignited the Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination.
Bangsamoro men from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi were recruited to an elite group called Jabidah. The recruits were supposed to execute the ‘Operation Merdeka’ – a plan to destabilize and take over Sabah, a Malaysian state. The recruits were brought to Corregidor Island to train in late 1967. They were later killed, shot indiscriminately at the airstrip on the island. The number of those killed ranged from 10 to 200. One trainee, Jibin Arula, survived to tell the story.
The commemoration, and a peace camp here, were part of the celebration of the 2018 Bangsamoro Week of Peace with a theme ‘Hope and Solidarity in Struggle’. The two-day Moro Youth Peace Camp on the island was attended by 35 young Moros from 13 ethno-linguistic groups from the ARMM and other parts of the country.
The Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA)-ARMM organized the event to raise awareness among the youth about the importance of the Jabidah Massacre, and to promote the roles of the youth as positive actors in peace building. “The people should understand first their own history to fully appreciate the need to advocate for peace,” Nizam Pabil, executive director of OBYA-ARMM, said.
“I was among those who discouraged people from supporting the Bangsamoro cause,” youth camp participant Yusuf Eldani, a 23-year old Sama from Tawi-Tawi, said. Learning from the camp, Yusuf highlighted the need for the Moro people, especially the youth, to become aware of the roots and causes of the Bangsamoro struggles. Yusuf raised his concern about the youth’s “ignorance” about these matters. “When I go back to our community, I would gladly share the (lessons) I gained from this camp to my peers,” Yusuf added.
On Monday, March 12, officials and employees of ARMM’s various line agencies and offices participated in a parade in Cotabato City to formally start the celebration of this year’s Bangsamoro Week of Peace. As part of the celebration, the ARMM mounted activities in different areas of the region aimed at raising awareness and consciousness on the Bangsamoro’s narrative. These were:
· Forum on Autonomy and Federalism in Cotabato City (March 12-13);
· Sports Peace in Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi (March 12-17);
· Lakbay Kultura in the region’s five provinces (March 12-18);
· Libreng Sakay and Photo Exhibits at the ports of Lamitan in Basilan, Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-Tawi (March 12-18);
· Peace Concert in Cotabato City (March 13);
· Pagbabalik-Tanaw (Historical Seminar and Workshop) in Quezon City and Valenzuela City (March 14);
· Medical Mission in Metro Manila (March 14-15);
· Bangsamoro Women’s Summit in Cotabato City (March 17-18); and
· Moro Youth Camp on Corregidor Island (March 18).
(Bureau of Public Information)