Text and video by NECA REYES
OFFICIALS of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) remembered the Jabidah Massacre by visiting Corregidor Island in Cavite where some 60 young Muslim men were killed 46 years ago.
ARMM officials also built a Mindanao Garden of Peace in honor of the fallen Muslims, who had been recruited to the Philippine Army and had trained for a secret mission to invade Sabah. The story goes that soldiers killed the recruits when they reportedly refused to fulfill their mission which would have pitted them against fellow Muslims in Sabah.
“We know about Jabidah Massacre and we know that it happened here in Corregidor but we took that one big step forward in commemorating the Jabidah Massacre by coming over here in Corregidor… to properly keep honor to the martyrs of Jabidah,” said Rep. Turabin Hataman, Anak Mindanao partylist representative.
On hand to witness the commemoration were 32 of 39 living founders of the Moro National Liberation Front. The MNLF was formed in reaction to the Jabidah Massacre, and waged a secessionist movement against the government that lasted close to three decades.
A breakaway group of the MNLF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, continued fighting the government but since October 2012 has agreed to a Framework Agreement in which the Bangsamoro will take the reins of the ARMM by 2015.
(Neca Reyes is a videographer and production coordinator for K.A.K. Productions, an independent documentary production outfit.)