Jabidah Massacre remembered

The Badjao is considered a Sama subgroup that is undoubtedly the most marginalized among all of the Moro ethnolinguistic groups.

ZAMBOANGA CITY — On this day marks the 55th anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre and the Bangsamoro Day — a day to honor the Bangsamoro people’s struggle for self-determination and autonomy and on this historic occasion.

Noor Saada, former assistant secretary of the defunct Department of Education-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and member of 1SAMA Coalition of Professionals, said that there are still a few remaining Jabidah recruits that are still alive and as the days go by so “is their story taken into oblivion.”

Saada said correcting the historical injustice of the Bangsamoro will not be complete without the Sama narrative in the Bangsamoro struggle.

He added that the national government and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority must review the exclusion of the Sama people and ensure their equitable access to the fruits of the Bangsamoro struggle that they rightfully deserve.

According to Saada, the healing of the Sama injustices can begin through appropriate recognition of their rightful place in the struggle, the rightful rectification of the Sama voice as well as those of the Badjao, Yakan and Jama Mapun voices, in the halls of governance.

Saada narrated that the Badjao is considered a Sama subgroup that is undoubtedly the most marginalized among all of the Moro ethnolinguistic groups. The Yakan and Jama Mapun, together with the Sama Abaknon of Capul Island, Northern Samar, are considered language siblings of the Sama.

“We call on the government, national and regional, to direct appropriate agencies to undertake documentation and research activities on this matter. We call on fellow civil society organizations to help us amplify the Sama, Badjao, Yakan and Jama Mapun cause for representation and equity,” Saada said.

“Let us work together towards a just and peaceful resolution that upholds the rights and dignity of all the people of the Bangsamoro region. Without the minorities like the Sama, Badjao, and Jama Mapun, there is no inclusion and moral governance to speak of,” he added.

Saada stressed that the Sama warriors and seafarers were integral parts of this tri-sultanate alliance against the colonial power, adding that it was in the royal court of Dungon at Tana’ Mehe (Tawi-Tawi Mainland) that the idea of forging the first Moro alliance and arguably the strongest alliance among the sultanates of Sulu, Maguindanao, and Buayan was forged.

When the Spaniards finally found the real naval strength of the Sulu Sultanate, the Sama Bangingi’ suffered greatly in 1848, when their homeland in Tongkil, Sulu, was destroyed.

Those accosted by the colonial army were brought first to Manila and then to Cagayan Valley in Northern Philippines, thus the “beginning of the diaspora of tears and blood of forgotten Sama” who suffered for their religion and their Moro culture.

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