Philippines: MPC On The 45th Anniversary Of Jabidah Massacre
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2013
A Statement from the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Philippines: MPC Statement On The 45th Anniversary Of The Jabidah Massacre
On the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Jabidah massacre, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus calls upon the Bangsamoro people to unite and close ranks at this most critical stage of their political struggle as a distinct people with a proud history in Mindanao. More than ever, it is time to set aside ideological and political differences and move together in order to establish the Bangsamoro government as agreed in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). This can only be achieved if the Bangsamoro leaders will set aside personal interests and move their people towards a common direction that will usher in the dawn of freedom and sustainable development.
After the brief euphoria on the (FAB), those who stand to lose in the transition period and in the incipient Bangsamoro government lost no time in preventing and derailing the transition period from setting in. It is difficult to comment on the bandwagon of the Sabah issue because their interlocutors in the media already have a template on how to spin the story. Much as we condemn the killings and the backlash against the Tausug diaspora in Sabah, it is hypocritical on the part of some leaders to be so vocal about the human rights violations in this much coveted resource-rich island and yet remain silent on the rampant human rights violations committed against their own people in Sulu. How many of these leaders have questioned the declaration of State of Emergency in Sulu?
How many of them have publicly denounced the private armies, warrantless arrests, warlordism, corruption, violence, gang rapes and ID system perpetrated in Sulu by their despotic leaders? Human rights violations are committed without let up against the Tausug under their very own corrupt and abusive politicians yet we hardly hear the same outrage calling for blood and call to arms from those who are now drumbeating the war against Malaysia. Many of the Tausug have managed to flee to Sabah to escape from the militarization, violence and massacres in Sulu only to be abused and violated again Sabah in a classic double whammy effect. As we condemn the human rights violations in Sabah, let us not forget to condemn the violations happening within the supposedly seat of the Sultanate in Sulu itself.
It is so sad to see some sections of the Moros again becoming willing victims of the classic divide and rule tactic designed precisely to prevent the birth of a Bangsamoro government and thus perpetuate the status quo of control and domination of imperial Manila. Without casting doubt on the legitimacy of the Sabah claim, what is highly suspect is the unholy alliance of strange bedfellows who have all trooped together to support the Kirams not for the sake of the Sabah claim itself but for their own selfish political interests. Foremost of which are the agenda of the local politicians in the Bangsamoro areas who are threatened with the FAB but could not seem to oppose it because they could not openly defy Malacanang. It is also suspect why so-called progressive groups who are fighting against feudalism and imperialism are supporting what is clearly a remnant of an undemocratic, feudal, master-slave structure that perpetuate undue privileges of a royal few at the expense of the masses within the Moro society.
Before we start the bandwagon of claiming Sabah, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus strongly reminds the Moro leaders to protect the gains of the political struggle and the peace process by rallying behind the establishment of a Bangsamoro government in Mindanao. Let us not lose sight of the strategic political opportunity that is being offered in the peace process. Let sobriety and patience build and secure the gains of the Moro martyrs who have offered their previous lives for the Moro struggle. We call on the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to fast-track the negotiation on the Annexes so that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission could already begin its important work. Let us not be swayed by venomous call for blood and war against a neighbouring country, Malaysia. Let us remain steadfast and consistent on the principles of dialogue and active non-violence in resolving conflict as we condemn human rights violations in Sulu, Sabah, Mindanao and anywhere in the world.
We extend our support to President Aquino in his unprecedented gesture of commitment and political will to put a final closure to the armed conflict by addressing the legitimate struggle of the Bangsamoro people for self-governance and self-rule within a recognized and delineated political territory. Let us not allow the MOA-AD debacle from happening again enroute to Sabah.
The Mindanao peace process has been a long, enduring marathon. We are already into the final homestretch of the finishing line. Let not the desperate move of the spoilers side-track us from moving towards the finishing line. The martyrs of the Jabidah massacre sacrificed their young lives and promising future by refusing to fight against fellow Muslims in neighbouring Sabah. In their youth and innocence, they defied the orders of their military superiors in Corregidor guided only by the basic tenet of unity of the Islamic Ummah which include their brothers and sisters in Sabah. Let us remember and honour their martyrdom by delivering genuine Merdeka for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.
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