Prints and Traces

Today’s View: Of tragedies and treacheries

Mar. 18, 2013

It was tagged as the Jabidah Massacre, where several Muslim youths, mostly Tausog, were recruited and underwent military training.  They were promised a bright tomorrow.  But they were mercilessly murdered by the trainer-soldiers of Marcos.  It was alleged that they were trained for a “secret plan” which later came to be divulged as having to do with the Philippine claim to Sabah. 

By DON J. PAGUSARA
Davao Today

The current happenings relating to the Sabah problem bring us back to that mysterious tragic incident in the Island of Corregidor in the late 1960s under the aegis of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

It was tagged as the Jabidah Massacre, where several Muslim youths, mostly Tausog, were recruited and underwent military training.  They were promised a bright tomorrow.  But they were mercilessly murdered by the trainer-soldiers of Marcos.  It was alleged that they were trained for a “secret plan” which later came to be divulged as having to do with the Philippine claim to Sabah.

With the imposition of Martial Law, the murderers were “saved by the bell” and escaped accountability for the heinous crime against our Muslim brothers.

Now we are faced with another tragedy involving the murders of our Muslim brothers.  This as a consequence of the pursuance of the same Sabah claim.  And this time around the merciless butchering of Muslim people is linked to the unpatriotic act of President Benigno Aquino III.

I cannot help but feel outraged by the treacheries that surround the tragedies relating to the Sabah issue.  And my outrage which underscore my insights I now transform into a poem of 14 lines:

RED RIVER

Beware of the ides of March! Of lips that prattle

Elixer incantations to soothe hearts in vehemence!

Never by genial words of treachery our racial pride,

Integrity and patriotic valor be eroded, nor our eternal

Guard and vigilance diminished with precious blood shed,

Numberless lives sacrificed to the ever-burning flame

Of a dream at the altar forever fueled with Faith.

Today, the dead bodies of our brother Muslims usher

Remembrances of the mysterious Jabidah Massacre,

And we witness the river of history flowing red — oh,

Intensely red!  On the very soil where dawning hopes

Turn into nightmares by day and torments by night!

Old wounds reopen as new lips open with new orders:

Raw orders that revisit the tragic treacheries of the past.

In Cebuano:

PULANG SAPA

Bantaying tunglo sa Marso! Ug mga ngabil nga nagtabiasayg

Engkantohanong yamyam aron hupayon ang mga kasingkasing

Naglabot!  Dili gayod sa lumong mga pulong atong lumadnong garbo,

Integridad ug makiyutawhong gugma mohupa,  ni pagtukaw sa

Gabiing tanan moundang uban sa bililhong dugong miagay,

Ni ang di-maisip nga kinabuhing nakalas makapalong sa

Oling sa damgo nga way-pus nga gipadilab sa altar sa buhing

Tinuhoan.  Karon mga patayng lawas sa mga Moro murag gi-

Rakrak sa mga pusil sa nahitabong Jabidah Massacre, ug

Atong masaksi ang sapa sa kasaysayan nga nag-agos nga pula — ay!

Yawan-ong kapula!  Ning mismong yuta diin ang banagbanag nga

Dan-ag sa paglaom nahimong mga bangungot sa matag adlaw’g gabii!

Ora-oradang mingotngot ang mga karaang samad dungan sa

Rombong mando nga nagpabuhi sa mga budhi sa kagahapon.

Don J. Pagusara is a native of Mindanao, a multi-awarded author and a Palanca-awardee.

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