DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The mass killings of the Moro people continues after 49 years of the Jabidah Massacre.
This was the statement issued by Jerome Succor Aba, co-chairperson of Sandugo, as the Moro people commemorate the infamous Jabidah Massacre today, March 18.
Aba blamed the Duterte administration’s all-out war which recently claimed the lives of Nurmayda Abbi, a one year old girl, Hadji Billamin Hassan and Nuruddin Muhlis on March 8 at Brgy. Tum-os Tabuan Lasa, Basilan.
“Our people were massacred to suppress our rebellion against oppression. Instead, these atrocities further sparked and fuelled a more determined Moro people’s struggle for self-determination,” Aba said.
“For centuries, we continuously fight to break free from oppression. First from foreign colonizers and now against big foreign business interests and their local partners – both Moro and non-Moro big landlord and big businesses who drive us away from our lands and plunder our resources,” he added.
He said that Moro people remains to live in abject poverty and are in the margins to the access of social services, deprived of decent jobs and lack of education.
As the government wages war against the Moro rebels groups such as the Abu Sayaf, Aba said that even until these day, “Islamaphobia,” which he called a discrimination against Muslims has intensified due to these terror groups.
“But worst, the continuing mass murder of our people becomes justified under the pretext of the ‘war against terror’, today in the Duterte government’s ‘all-out war’ and Oplan Kapayapaan,” he said.
“The US government also use this pretext to justify its military presence in Mindanao where it has obvious economic interests.”
The Jabidah massacre was the mass murder of Moro soldiers who were being secretly trained as a special commando unit called “Jabidah” in Corregidor, Bataan.
These soldiers were to part of then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos’ Operation Merdeka, a plot to infiltrate, destabilize and take back Sabah from Malaysia. They were murdered by elements by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on March 18, 1968 to cover up the leaked plan.
“But our legitimate struggles are delegitimized by both the US and Philippine governments. Today, our aspirations are being hijacked and distorted by the bandit and terrorist group Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The ASG is reported to have been formed by the US military and even supported by the Philippine military,” Aba said. (davaotoday.com)