Remembering the Jabidah Massacre: A Tragic Chapter in Bangsamoro History


The Jabidah Massacre stands as a haunting reminder of a dark chapter in Bangsamoro, and indeed Philippine, history. This tragic event, which took place on March 18, 1968, at Corregidor Island in Cavite, serves as a painful reminder of the sacrifices made by young Moros and their struggle for self-determination in the Bangsamoro homeland. As we remember this event, it is crucial to reflect on its historical significance and the lessons we can learn from it.

The Jabidah Massacre was the result of a covert operation by the Philippine government aimed at training a special unit known as "Jabidah" to infiltrate Sabah, Malaysia, and support a supposed plan to reclaim the territory. The recruits, mostly young Muslim men from the southern Philippines, were promised training, financial support, and opportunities for a better future. However, their dreams were shattered when they were met with betrayal and violence.

The Massacre

On that fateful day, tensions escalated as the recruits became aware of the true nature of their mission and the government's intentions. They came to the harsh realization that they were being used as pawns in a political game, which shattered their hopes and filled them with despair. The exact number of casualties remains a matter of debate, but at least 68 young men tragically lost their lives, their futures cut short.

Historical Significance

The Jabidah Massacre played a crucial role in shaping the history of the Moro people and their ongoing struggle for self-determination in the southern Philippines. It served as a catalyst for the emergence of several Moro liberation movements, most notably the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and later the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This tragic event brought to light the deep-seated issues of marginalization, discrimination, and the pursuit of genuine autonomy in the region.

Lessons Learned

The Jabidah Massacre serves as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of addressing the grievances and aspirations of marginalized communities. It underscores the urgent need for inclusivity, dialogue, and understanding in resolving conflicts and promoting lasting peace. This tragic event also highlights the utmost significance of upholding human rights, justice, and accountability. It is essential that we learn from the mistakes of the past and actively work towards building a more just, equitable, and harmonious society.

Moving Forward

As we remember the Jabidah Massacre, it is of utmost importance to honor the memory of those who tragically lost their lives and the countless others who were deeply affected by this horrific event. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that their sacrifice was not in vain. We must strive for a society that embraces and celebrates diversity, promotes inclusivity, and upholds the principles of justice and equality. By fostering open dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation, we can actively work towards a future where such atrocities are never repeated, and where peace and harmony prevail."


The Jabidah Massacre stands as a painful reminder of the sacrifices made by young Moros in their pursuit of a better future. It serves as a call to action, urging us to address the root causes of conflict, promote inclusivity, and strive for a society that values the rights and aspirations of all its citizens. As we remember this tragic event, let us work towards a future where justice, peace, and equality prevail, ensuring that the memory of the Jabidah Massacre serves as a catalyst for positive change