A legislator from the Southern Philippines on Friday insisted the alleged Jabidah Massacre that triggered the creation of the Moro National Liberation Front really happened.
Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman issued the statement following the statement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Civil Relations Service commander, Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade, the so-called massacre was “fake news” that was exploited by anti-government groups as propaganda to “agitate the young to rise against the government.”
“We Moros have been commemorating this unfortunate incident in our history year after year. The Jabidah Massacre cost dozens upon dozens of young Moro lives. It is an extremely dark occurrence in the Moro history, and is considered by the Bangsamoro people as one of the tipping points of our struggle for justice and self-determination,” Hataman said.
“We should be careful with what we say, as these statements may only fuel radicalism. It comes at a time when we are at a crucial transition for a meaningful and genuine autonomy in the Bangsamoro region following the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law that gave birth to the new Bangsamoro Government,” Hataman, who represents Basilan in the House of Representatives, said.
“This revisionism of history does not help our transitional efforts for justice—one that aims to continue healing the country, especially for the families of casualties in the conflict in Mindanao. The last thing we need right now is the denial and erasure of our history as a people in this country,” he added.
The alleged Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968 was exploited by the political rivals of then President Ferdinand Marcos to ensure that he would lose his reelection bid in the 1969 elections. He won that election against then Senator Sergio Osmeña Jr.
Then Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. exposed the alleged massacre on the Senate floor, provoking a break in the country’s diplomatic relations with Malaysia and the establishment of the MNLF.