By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL
|Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. speaks as guest speaker during the commemoration of Bangsamoro Day on March 18, 2019, at the MSU-IPDM. (RSO)
MARAWI CITY: Anak Mindanao Partylist and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) commemorated the Bangsamoro Day in different venues in the Islamic city on Monday with emphasizing the slogan “Bangsamoro Higit sa Sarili.”
The Bangsamoro Day is commemorated on the 18th day of March every year.
At the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) in the Mindanao State University Marawi main campus, Anak Mindanao marked the Bangsamoro Day commemoration led by Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr., former secretary of the Department of Education of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM).
Mitmug, who is also a nominee of Anak Mindanao, said every Bangsamoro youth should not forget his history, especially remembering the Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968.
He said the Jabidah Massacre gave birth to the Bangsamoro struggle which after 51 years of struggle led to the realization of the Bangsamoro aspiration for self-determination which is the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
At the foot of the Banggolo Bridge here which is leading to the once busiest commercial center of the city but now turned into ruins by the Marawi Siege of 2017, some 200 leaders and representatives of civil society organizations (CSO) held a peace rally to mark the Bangsamoro Day.
The Development Assistance Team (DAT), CSO- partner of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), facilitated the commemoration at the foot of the bridge attended by representatives from the professional sector, the youth, the Ulama (religious scholars), the women and foreign observers from the International Monitoring Team (ITM).
Atty. Khaled Ansano, leader of DAT, said the Banggolo activity focused on recollecting the sacrifices and struggles of their parents and elders to attain peace.
Ansano said, “It is important that the Bangsamoro youth is always reminded how our parents and elders had sacrificed to achieve peace without losing our identity and preserve our culture.”
Dr. Akram Latiph, IPDM executive director, related how the Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968, became the rallying point of the Bangsamoro people in asserting their rights to self-determination and freedom.
Latiph said 60 young Bangsamoro military officers were massacred in Corregidor Island on March 18, 1968, when they refused to carry out Marcos government plan of infiltrating Sabah and speed up the Philippine claim for Sabah.
The massacre at Corregidor is now called the Jabidah Massacre.
Civic leader Adel Ditucalan said the Bangsamoro especially women shall put in their heart “what this occasion has given us in our struggle for self-determination as a people who is proud of their own culture and civilization.”
Dr. Nonie Lao, head of Lanao del Sur People’s Council and former commissioner of the Regional Council of Bangsamoro Women-ARMM, asked the women to always remember the significance of the Bangsamoro Day in their lives.
Lao said that as this month of March is an International Women’s Day, the Moro women should be better partners in nation-building.
Aleem Mansawe Dariday Mimbalawag, a renowned religious scholar said, “What happened in Marawi shall unite the Maranao people and unify our prayers that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) be able to return to their homes very soon.”
Muslim participants in the commemoration also prayed that they be able to return to their devastated homes immediately. (RSO/RSP)