History speaks

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By Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph

Only a Meranaw

Monday, March 30, 2015

THE Bangsamoro plight is our nation’s plight. In fact, the Bangsamoro history is undeniably our country’s history.

Going back to the history of the country as it was taught in our schools, no one can deny that this country was found by an explorer in the 1500’s and was then at those years was already existing with several islands with several states in it. It was known to be the islands of different Asian races that have been ruled and headed by its Rajas and Datus.

In this historical background, we know from childhood that this country has long been struggling for self-determination. We fought against the conquistadores and in the end found ourselves in this country called Philippines.


Nonetheless, we tried to find our own identity as one even if historically, the Mindanao Island was said to have been excluded from the tagged Philippine country. We have co-existed and have adapted to the reality because we were born in it.

However, March 18, 1968 marked a significant historical struggle for this country. This date became remarkable to every Muslim Mindanaoan because of the Jabidah massacre.

The Jabidah massacre, also known as the Corregidor massacre, refers to an incident when Moro Muslim recruits were said to be massacred by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Corregidor.

The recruits were escaping their covert training Operation Merdeka to reclaim Sabah where people living there were closely aligned ethnically and culturally with Muslims in Mindanao particularly the Tausug and Sama.

Hence, the Jabidah Massacre has become widely regarded as the catalyst for the modern Moro insurgencies in the Southern Philippines until today.

Truly, the Muslims in Mindanao have justly been motivated by so many factors including its historical background. We cannot deny that we are part of this country’s colorful history.

Nonetheless, the many government and nongovernment organizations have come together on March 18, 2015 to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre with the ‘Unveiling of the Historical Marker’ in the Mindanao Garden of Peace on Tailside, Corregidor.

Again, we are made to realize how history can speak for who we are and what we were in the past as a people. Why can’t we then grant peace to reign in our hearts?

Recently, in the news, when a thousand peace advocates, mostly women, commemorated the first year of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) last March 27, 2014, I myself was questioning why this country would not allow continuing the efforts of this government toward peace in Mindanao.

Admittedly, we cannot put to waste a successful alternative toward peace in Mindanao because of a tragic incident like the Mamasapano.

We have to realize that peace in Mindanao is actually Peace in the whole country. War and violence against a part of this country is violence against entire Filipinos.

Sadly, there are still parts of Mindanao today that are suffering in the midst of the warring groups in Maguindanao. Thousands of families are displaced again with no basic needs provided each day.

Where is the noisy barrage of critics and writers in the middle of this reality? Aren’t they aware that attacking rebel camps means displacing hundreds of innocent communities? Aren’t these women and children humans like us?

These are but a few suggestive questions for our esteemed readers to think and write about. Philippine media these days has become a selective mirror of reality. We failed to document the struggles of other Muslim Filipinos who are currently affected by this malady.

If we, the government and its people, are sincerely true to achieving Peace, then let us not be deaf and mute when the affected people are the Mindanaoans. Let us always speak the truth.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 30, 2015.


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