Jabidah massacre remembered in BARMM

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY — The 51st anniversary of the Jabidah mas­sacre drew three separate com­memorations on Monday, two of which were held in this city, the official seat now of the Bang­samoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chaired by Murad Ebrahim, now BARMM interim chief minister, led a gathering at the front’s Camp Darapanan headquarters in adjacent Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao, to remember the tragic event, which sparked the formation of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Murad Ebrahim, chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), gestures as he speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) forum in Manila on February 20, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE / MANILA BULLETIN)
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim

“Fifty-one years ago, a group of Moro youth was ruthlessly killed in what is now known in history as the Jabidah Massa­cre, spurring the contemporary Moro rebellion. On this day, we remember the mujaheedin who, since then, have made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the Bangsamoro cause,” Ebrahim said in a statement Monday.

Fatalities in the March 18, 1968 massacre were Moro youths recruited from Sulu archipelago by the Marcos regime purport­edly to invade and retake Sabah from Malaysia. Military trainers slew them in Corregidor for stag­ing a mutiny upon learning that they were to fight fellow Muslims in Sabah, which the Sultanate of Sulu claimed to be its property on lease to Malaysia, according to history.