Corregidor Island, Cavite (March 20, 2018) – Over 30 Moro youth leaders gathered on this island for the Moro Youth Peace Camp organized by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s (ARMM) Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA) on March 17-18.
The youth camp is in line with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre, which is considered a critical point in the Bangsamoro struggle. The activity is also part of the region’s Bangsamoro Week of Peace that started on March 12.
“We have gathered youth leaders across the region in one place to learn about one important part of the history of the struggle,” said Nizam Pabil, executive director of OBYA. “For you to appreciate, embrace and support the plight of the Moro leaders today – may it be BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law), may it be addressing discrimination –
it is important to look back and understand where it is coming from,” he said.
The camp was held in Corregidor Island where the Jabidah Massacre that resulted in the killing of Moro soldier-recruits occurred in March 1968. “You have to understand something for you to appreciate something. The best avenue to learn is to go to the place,” said the youth affairs director.
The two-day event focused mainly on the history of the Moro struggle and the role of the youth in peace building.
Speakers include Rogelio Braga, author of literary works that tackle the realities of the Bangsamoro struggle, and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, executive director of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, who lectured about the youth’s role in peace building.
Part of the event is a visit to the location of the Jabidah Massacre where the participants met ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman. The governor said he is hopeful that the Jabidah Massacre will be a beacon of hope for the Bangsamoro dream and that in the future, historical injustices committed against the Moros will be solved.
“Ang pagkamit sa mithiing Bangsamoro, kung saan tumitingala tayo sa dahilang hindi lang kumikilala sa kawalang-katarungan, kundi nagsisikap ding maabot ang katarungan sa lahat ng anyo nito; kung saan ang Lupang Hinirang ay hindi lamang umuudyok ng pagkakaisa, kundi ipinagdiriwang din ang samut-saring yaman ng ating karanasan,” said Gov. Hataman
“Before I joined this activity I have little knowledge of the Jabidah Massacre,” said Rauff Pulalon, 21, one of the youth participants. He added that after the site visit, he realized the importance of remembering history to reflect and be reminded of the decades-long Bangsamoro struggle.
“As youth of today, we are reminded that the Jabidah Massacre plays an important role in our struggle. Our role today is to continue what our ancestors have started,” said Pulalon. (Bureau of Public Information)