By Ellson Quismorio
Deputy Speaker and Basilan lone district Rep. Mujiv Hataman took exception to Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade’s recent remarks brushing off the Jabidah Massacre as the “original fake news” in the decades-long narrative of Moro insurgency in the country.
“I would like to strongly call out Maj. Gen. Antonio Parlade for [this],” Hataman said.
“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,” he underscored.
“We should be careful with what we say, as these statements may only fuel radicalism,” warned the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor.
Hataman was specifically referring to Parlade’s statements that were published on the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) website last August 21.
“Well here is the original fake news which until now you use, again to agitate the young to rise against the government — the Jabidah Massacre,” the report quoted the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) official as saying.
The Jabidah massacre was the reported massacre of young Moro army recruits by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on March 18, 1968. The death toll varied from 11 to 68, depending on the source.
“Jabidah” refered to the secret commando unit that was supposed to launch a mission to destabilize and take over Sabah in Malaysia. Among the alleged masterminds was then-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos.
The killings were acknowledged as a major flashpoint that ignited the Moro insurgency in the Philippines.
Hataman said Parlade’s remarks “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.”
“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,” Hataman said.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has replaced the ARMM.