PH Govt to commemorate Jabidah Massacre for the first time

Today is the 45th anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre, also known as the Corregidor Massacre, and reports say that President Benigno Aquino III himself will lead its commemoration Monday, the first time that the government will acknowledge the incident said to have triggered the Muslim rebellion.

In an online report from ABS-CBN, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manolo Quezon said acknowledging the wrong committed against Muslim citizens is one way of making a lasting peace agreement with the rebels.

"Ito na ang isang mahalagang paraan upang kilalanin na nagkamali ang estado sa kanyang mga Muslim o Moro citizens at ang pagbubuo ng isang peace agreement na magtatagumpay at magtatagal--ang isang bahagi nito ay ang pagtanggap ng kanilang kasaysayan bilang bahagi ng ating kasaysayan," Quezon told reporters while on the way to Corregidor aboard the BRP Ang Pangulo.

Smaller commemorative activities have been held by Muslim groups at the site in recent years but it is only now that the government is organizing one.

The President is expected to lead a groundbreaking ceremony of the "Garden of Peace," deliver a speech, be ushered to the Jabidah marker where the President will place his hand print on the "Hands for Peace Wall."

The commemoration came at a time when the Philippine and Malaysian governments are dealing with a conflict in Sabah with followers of the Sulu sultanate claiming the territory.

Aquino is expected to relate recent events in today's commemoration. Quezon said today’s event is “timely,” although the President would have commemorated the anniversary even if the Sabah incident did not happen.


The Jabidah massacre, also known as the Corregidor massacre, refers to an incident in which members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) massacred a number of Muslim recruits who were escaping their covert training to reclaim Sabah.

The massacre in Corregidor on March 18, 1968 became the bloody end to a top-secret operation of the Philippine military under the Marcos administration to infiltrate and destabilize Sabah with the aim of permanently claiming possession of the territory.

The recruits were supposed to be trained for a guerilla-type operation -- the code-name of which was "Operation Merdeka" (Operation Freedom), with Manuel Syquio as project leader and then Maj. Eduardo Abdul Latif Martelino as operations officer. But, after knowing the true intentions of President Marcos, the recruits revolted in protest, detesting the possibility of having to wage war against fellow Muslims in Sabah, many of whom were their distant relatives.

The secret operation was exposed by then Senator Ninoy Aquino. The controversy subsequently caused deep resentment among Muslims against the Philippine government.

The Jabidah Massacre is widely regarded as having been the catalyst behind the modern Muslim insurgencies in the Southern Philippines.

Despite the court-martial proceedings and a preliminary Supreme Court hearing held in 1970 with Eduardo L. Martelino, Cirilo Oropesa, Teodoro R. Facelo, Ruperto Amisoto, Alberto Soteco, Solferino Titong, et al. as petitioners, the case disappeared into the thickets of the Philippine justice system and no real punishment was ever handed-down to the accused.

PH Govt to commemorate Jabidah Massacre for the first time PH Govt to commemorate Jabidah Massacre for the first time Reviewed by Leun Sotragues on 12:20 AM Rating: 5


  1. My Father was Company Training Commander at the time and part of unit that would bring chaos to Sabah just to extend the term of then Pres. Marcos. luckily he was in Camp Aguinaldo when the gruesome incident took placed. Though he was not there, He was slapped by demotion fr. 2nd Lt. to Private by the Military Court Marshal. He used to talked me about this failed operation when i was a kid, how they will invade sabah and their promising military promotions if they captured the Sabah.


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