2nd of two series
AS THE STRUGGLE GOES ON
Years after years, the struggle improved in terms of armaments, logistics, funding thus, rebel morale had risen sharply. Access to MNLF, and later own MILF camps can easily be done. Though clandestine in manner, Moro revolutionaries can travel or transfer to other camps through the provincial, national roads on vehicles and by watercraft. More young Moros, even old ones also joined the struggle.
TREACHERY BY MARCOS
When then President Marcos ordered the massive bombardment and encirclement of mutually-recognized bivouac areas in 1977, the worst trek in torment transpired. In his book entitled “Bangsamoro: A Nation Endless Tyranny” (1999), Jubair described the tactical-withdrawal made by more than two battalions of MNLF revolutionaries or more from their main camp at Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao this way,
“The base at Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao had been under siege for the whole of September 1977. On the last day, the whole range of the base came under a veritable hail of artillery shelling and machinegun fire. Enemy forces occupied every strategic hill overlooking the base. They also closed all routes and stopped the flow of food supplies to the camp. Consequently, the MNLF failed to bring in war materials for much of the days”.
He continued saying “That given that condition the only alternative was to make a breakthrough”. Among the key officials of the KutawatoRevolutionayCommitttee(KRC) who were inside the camp at that time, were AmelilMalaguiok, KRC Chairman; Al Haj Murad, Military Chairman; GhazaliJaafar, Head of the Political Bureau; and MohaghirIqbal, Chief of the Information Committee”. This writer and Professor AbhoudSayeedLingga, then secretary to Commander Malaguiok and now a member of the MILF Pe
ace Panel were also with the group.
“Until almost midnight there was no final decision as to which route to take. All reconnoitering parties, except one reported back with negative findings on a better way out.” “The last to arrive said that the only choice was a route traversing rocky cliffs, steep slopes and wooded areas”. They proceeded and made a breakthrough without encountering the 40-man ambush party composed of army troopers. Jubair further said “Despite the good fortune, the MNLF suffered untold difficulties. What would have been a two-hour walk took them almost the whole night to negotiate. Much of the slowdown was caused by the number of fighters who had to be carried out on stretchers”.
There was heavy rain that night and the path to safety was very slippery. Along the way, this writer together with some of his comrades devoured a young banana which fell to the ground because of the rain due to hunger and fatigue.
Despite the hegira, the odds and trials, Moro Revolutionaries were not hindered to pursue the struggle. They are determined to fight to the last man no matter how costly it is. Their memory has never lapsed despite the trauma they have undergone. Every struggle entails sacrifices. It needs perseverance and strong determination in order to achieve victory. Those who sacrificed or died in pursuit of freedom for the Moroland and Islam during the relentless fighting did not died in vain.
They were not reciprocated on earth. Allah, the Almighty will reserve for them a special place in paradise (JannatulFirdauz). The famed Moro shall be ready to offer his life for Islam and homeland which was once called by government leaders in Manila as the “The Land of Promise”. The irony is that Mindanao is now “an abused and neglected land”. (October 16, 2012)