“Today, March 18, is the 48th anniversary of the infamous Jabidah massacre, one of the many blood debts of the Marcos dictatorship to the Moro people.”
By DEE AYROSO
MANILA – An interfaith group called on the public not to vote for vice presidential aspirant Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose candidacy, they said, is an insult to the Moro victims of martial law, specially those who died in the Jabidah massacre in 1968.
“Today, March 18, is the 48th anniversary of the infamous Jabidah massacre, one of the many blood debts of the Marcos dictatorship to the Moro people that remains unresolved and cries for justice to this day,” said the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) in a statement.
Antonio Liongson, MCPA spokesperson, called Marcos’s candidacy “an affront to the sensibilities of the Moro people, especially to the families and relatives of the victims of the Jabidah massacre of the Marcos Dictatorship.”
“The families and relatives of the victims of the Jabidah massacre are still crying for justice. But the dictator’s son, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr is determined to perpetuate the legacy of lying, denial and cover ups of the 1968 Jabidah massacre as he refuses to acknowledge the crimes against humanity committed by his father’s tyrannical rule.” Liongson said.
On that fateful day, some 23 to 28 young Moro recruits were gunned down and killed by their military trainers in Corregidor Island in Manila Bay, after they resisted and complained about the harsh training conditions. The Moro youths were recruited by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for Oplan Merdeka, the Marcos dictatorship’s covert operation plan to destabilize and reclaim Sabah in North Borneo, Malaysia, which the Philippines claims to have historical rights as territory.
MCPA said the incident outraged the Moro community and sparked rebellion in Mindanao, leading to “the rebirth of the Moro people’s armed struggle for freedom and independence” and the formation of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1969.
The Marcos dictatorship responded with an iron fist. “Marcos martial rule has murdered thousands of innocent Moros without mercy — men, women, children and elderly — in its campaign to crush the Moro resistance in Mindanao,” Liongson said.
March 18 is now commemorated as Bangsamoro Freedom Day, in accordance with the Muslim Mindanao Act.
“In remembering and honoring the victims of Jabidah massacre, the MCPA calls on the Moro people to resoundingly frustrate Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ attempt to reclaim his family’s political power by becoming vice-president, a step to the presidency,” Liongson said.