COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Government’s Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) in partnership with the local government units of Palimbang Municipality in Sultan Kudarat province commemorated the 47th Malisbong Massacre on Friday, Sept. 24, at Masjid Hamsa Tacbil in Malisbong village.
Malisbong Massacre is one of the darkest untoward incidences in the Bangsamoro history wherein more than 1,500 women, men, and children were butchered by the 15th infantry battalion of the Philippine Army on the Sept. 24, 1974, two years after the declaration of Martial Law.
“As a mandate, we commemorate it not to revive the hatred in the past, rather we want to make sure that it will never happen again in future, and to correct the historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro,” said MPOS Director General Atty. Al-Rashid Balt, who represented Minister Hussein Muñoz.
The activity carried the theme: ‘Revisiting the past, Shaping the future’.
In an interview with one of the victims, Hadja Mariam Kanda said she was only 14 years old when naval vessels bombarded the Malisbong village. She recalled male residents were gathered inside the Masjid Hamsa Tacbil, while the women and children were brought into the vessels.
“Nung nasa naval vessel na kami, narinig namin ang maraming putok at (nakitang) sinunog na ang mga bahay. Kaming nasa vessel ay binilad sa araw, ang namatay na mga bata ay itinapon sa dagat, at ang mga dalaga dinala nila sa cabin…ganun ka-brutal,” she recollected.
For Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC) Chairperson Bainon Karon, the commemoration of the massacre is important so that the people will never forget the atrocity committed in the Bangsamoro.
“Ang pagtitipon na ito ay napakahalaga na patunay na hindi natin makakalimutan silang mahigit 1,500 napaslang. Hindi natin titigilan hanggang hindi makamit ang hustiya,” she said.
Also present during Friday’s activity were the ministries of Social Services and Development (MSSD), Health (MOH), Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Office of the Chief Minister’s Project TABANG (Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan), and the non-government organization Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society.
Relief assistance were also distributed to some beneficiaries – 900 sacks of 25-kilo rice from MSSD; 1,200 hygiene kits and 1,000 sacks of 10-kilo rice from Project TABANG; malong, school supplies, and cash aid from BWC; and Php50,000.00 fund from MPOS for the construction of an ablution area in the masjid. (Bangsamoro Information Office)