Fifty-one years ago, a group of Moro youth was ruthlessly killed, in what is now known in history as the Jabidah Massacre, spurring the contemporary Moro rebellion. On this day, we remember the great mujaheedin who, since then, have made the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives for the Bangsamoro cause.
We remember as well those who perished in several other massacres committed in the past such as in Manili, Wao, and Palembang.
We shall take considerable steps towards attaining transitional justice to heal the wounds of the past, initiate reconciliation, and set the stable environment for the non-recurrence of organized violence against the Bangsamoro.
We recognize the formidable challenges – from the bureaucratic transition, normalization of combatants, law enforcement operations, and some groups’ refusal to be on board the new Bangsamoro Government. But all of these we have to face with the same resolve that has kept the spirit of struggle alive in our hearts and minds.
We have been faithful to the ideals spurred by the Jabidah Massacre, and while we cannot help but remember as well the lost opportunities to do the least justice for the sacrifice made in Corregidor Island on that fateful day, we are more hopeful and determined that the collective commemoration shall not be merely ceremonial. Our governance shall give meaning and justice to all who have sacrificed for the Bangsamoro.
As we mark this day, we also express our condemnation against senseless killings of Muslims in New Zealand and in other parts of the world. We hope justice will be given to the victims and that the same crime of hatred and intolerance would not occur again.
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