FACT CHECK: Video alluding the late Ninoy Aquino as ‘traitor’ for exposing Jabidah massacre lacks context, misleading

Aug. 31, 2022

CLAIM: A video uploaded by a Facebook fan page, JVPH Ulat, last August 2 suggested that former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Simeon Aquino, Jr. was a traitor for exposing former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s plan of invading Sabah, Malaysia.

The three-minute video entitled “HERO? ANG TOTOONG NANGYARI SA SABAH PILIPINAS (Hero? What really happened in Sabah Malaysia) explained that the planned invasion was prompted by Marcos Sr.’s strong evidence that the Philippines owned Sabah.

Featured in the post was a spliced video of Filipino historian Xiao Chua saying that until now, there are those who still believe that Aquino Jr. betrayed the country for his exposé of the Jabidah Massacre.

The video furthermore implied that had the exposé not been released, the Philippines would have claimed ownership of Sabah.

The video garnered 43K views, 116 comments, and 2.4K reactions as of August 31. The page created in October 2020 has almost 18K followers.


FACTS: The video missed out important details about the late dictator’s planned invasion of Sabah. Marcos ordered the training of a special commando unit named Jabidah in an operation called Project Merdeka (the Malay word for “freedom”), which entailed infiltration and destabilization of Sabah. Once Filipinos residing in Malaysia are convinced through psychological warfare to secede from Sabah, the said Malaysian state would be invaded.

During their specialized training in Corregidor, the recruits experienced maltreatment, which led them to write a petition to Marcos. While their wish for a better living condition was briefly granted, those who signed the petition were shortly thereafter disarmed and considered resigned. They were taken out of their barracks in batches of twelve. The recruits were then assassinated, leaving only a very few survivors. The assassination is now called the Jabidah Massacre.

It was this incident that prompted Aquino Sr. to expose the massacre in his privilege speech at the Legislative Building and led the senate probe on the issue.

The spliced video of historian Chua was taken from a TV5 television documentary, Crime Klasik. In the original video, Chua narrated the assassination, which was deliberately cut out in the said Facebook post.

Davao Today is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, email info@factsfirst.ph.

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