Is the BBL a ‘Jabidah operation’ in reverse?


A colleague on this page, and another on the Daily Tribune who also hosts a weekly cable TV show on Global News Network have revisited the so-called Jabidah Massacre of 1968, and arrived at the same conclusion as the anthropologist Arnold Molina Azurin did many years ago — that it was all a hoax. The Times’ Rigoberto Tiglao has written a series in four parts, while the Tribune’s Herman Tiu Laurel has done a column and an hour-long oral dissection of the issue on his cable TV talk show, with the same startling result. Both journalists have been most persuasive.

In the myth propagated by anti-Marcos politicians and media for years, 24 young men from the Sulu archipelago were said to have been killed on or off Corregidor Island after they mutinied against the military officers who were training them for Marcos’s proposed “invasion” of Sabah or North Borneo.

Sabah had become part of the Philippine territory by cession of title from its original owners, the Sultan of Sulu, but was incorporated into the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 after a flawed UN ascertainment protested by the Philippine government. Marcos, according to the story, had wanted to “invade” Sabah, but was foiled by more skillful Filipino politicians espousing British and Malaysian interests. The late former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the PNoy’s father, was said to lead this group.

In a speech on the Senate floor on March 28, 1968, without any provocation or justifiable public motive, Ninoy blasted to the four winds Marcos’ secret plan to deploy operatives to Sabah, as an initial step in the Philippines’ long-term goal of recovering the disputed territory. But Aquino rejected stories about the alleged massacre, saying he had seen the 24 Muslim youths in Jolo after they were supposed to have been massacred on or off the island of Corregidor.

Treason: Ninoy Aquino exposes Marcos plan to recover Sabah
So, from the perspective of the President’s foremost critic, there was not a scintilla of evidence that Marcos had ordered the murder of a single Tausug recruit. Indeed, no such crime was committed, contrary to the tale spun by one Jibin Arula, the alleged “lone survivor” who was supposed to have swum in “shark-infested” waters from Corregidor to Cavite after sustaining a leg wound, which miraculously failed to attract the sharks. But for Aquino, Marcos’ act of preparing to deploy Filipino operatives to Sabah was a high crime that had to be exposed, and he exposed it.

In a normal and sane world, even the government’s most rabid political opponent would have recognized the national security import of the Sabah project, and his duty as a citizen and patriot to protect its secret, whatever personal reservations he might have about it. Having gotten wind of the secret project, though doubtful of its merits, Aquino could have demanded to be briefed on it by the appropriate security authorities, if not by the President himself, before talking about it in public. This was his duty and his right. But instead of doing this, Aquino chose to earn sensational headlines by making a big speech about it for the benefit of the British and Malaysian governments.

This was an act of treason, if ever there was one. But in the inverted world of Philippine media and politics, Marcos, the patriot, became the villain, and Aquino, the villain, became the patriot. Thus the Jabidah hoax developed a life of its own, and became the casus belli for the Moro National Liberation Front to wage its well-timed insurgency, which Aquino failed to oppose, and which Malaysia and a number of rich Islamic countries readily and abundantly supported with funds, training and logistics.

Marcos apparently never forgave Aquino for this treacherous breach. Thus when I asked him, in a personal interview in Makiki, Hawaii in 1987, why he had not shown more clemency toward Aquino before his terrible assassination in 1983, Marcos’ reply was cutting and quick: “Ninoy was never a political rival. He was an enemy of the state.” The latest press analyses on Jabidah now confirm this. It is tragic that despite all the evidence that has surfaced, PNoy still had the temerity to have a political clone install a “historical marker” on Corregidor to perpetuate the lie, in support of his diseased father’s view of history against Marcos.

Jabidah hoax used to justify MNLF and MILF insurgency
This reminds us of the stubborn refusal of some of the victims of the bombing of Plaza Miranda to accept the fact that the communists (and not Marcos)—with the possible prior knowledge of Ninoy Aquino, (as claimed by former Senate President Jovito Salonga, the most seriously wounded among the victims) —had ordered the grenade attack on the leadership of the Liberal Party that fateful evening of August 21, 1971. Like the big lie about Plaza Miranda, the big lie about Jabidah must be buried now, and the truth inscribed into our historical records.

This should be done by a politically independent body, and it should be done now, before the nation succumbs to the obscene pressure from Malaysia, its foreign partners and local agents in the Aquino “peace process” to enact the so-called Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would carve out of Mindanao, along religious lines, an autonomous territory with all the characteristics of an independent state for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The Jan. 25, 2015 Mamasapano, Maguindanao massacre, in which 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force commandos were killed while on a lawful mission to capture three international terrorists being sheltered by the MILF, has forced a serious rethinking of the BBL among its previous supporters in Congress. This has prompted many to declare the BBL is dead, and the vice chairman of the MILF central committee (Ghazali Jaafar) to threaten war if the proposed BBL were sidelined or amended.

MILF’s Bangsamoro substate a Malaysian operation against PH govt
It is incendiary speech, but we cannot afford to be provoked or intimidated. We cannot allow anyone to put the BBL above the nation’s constitutional processes. Jaafar’s threat must be instantly rejected. While we remain committed to the principle of autonomy for all the regions, and to harmonious and peaceful relations among the various ethnic communities everywhere, we cannot afford to see a “Jabidah operation” in reverse—that is to say, a Malaysian operation against the Philippine government, using the MILF.

To many people, this is how the present BBL is beginning to look like. To begin with, there was never any discussion, much less a consensus, on what qualified Malaysia to play such a key role in our “peace negotiations” with the MILF. It was never a neutral observer in the insurgency, but was in fact the principal provider for the Muslim rebels fighting the Philippine government. It should have joined the talks as an interested party, not as a purported “honest broker,” which it never was nor pretended to be.

Indeed, it would be the cruelest joke on our people if after Ninoy had sabotaged the prospects of Marcos recovering Sabah for our posterity, his permanently distracted son would now, through the BBL, be the one to bury forever our rights to our own territory, and allow Malaysia and the MILF to write the terms of dismemberment of our country.


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  1. Braulio Santos on

    Mr Tatad and Mr Tiglao, thanks for enlightening the Filipino people about our history. This Jabidah hoax is an insult to the nation. As a former member of the underground movement you should know better about the propaganda of the communist. This hoax, just like the Plaza Miranda bombing (which the NPA admitted to be their own doing) were just a few of them. They were all designed to arouse, organize, and mobilize (AOM) activists to rally against a sitting government. Even today with PNoy as Pres yan pa rin style nila..panloloko, with any issue they can exploit.
    With Hataman of Anak Mindanao (a leftist organization among Muslims under NDF) commemorating the Jabidah hoax in Corregidor, dapat Hindi na tayo magulat. Remember that the MNLF when it was founded under Nur of UP, was a communist organization (Chairman Nur can attest to or debunk this later) created to topple the government (NP -led). Secession was not the agenda of Nur et al., .that’s why the MILF was later born and separated from it. Remember too that the CPP-NPA was also founded around that time with another UP prof Joma. Both organization (MNLF and NPA) were created not for anything but to pull down Marcos administration. And by the way this was years before Martial Law and the Philippine economy was at its best in Asia, next only to Japan. And the nation was enjoying its liberty and democratic freedom.
    With this as a background I hope Mr Tiglao or any of our patriotic Filipinos who have knowledge on the following trivia, can enlighten us further by sharing what they know about this political divide between LP and NP:
    a. Who was the LP stalwart who went to see Premiere Tunku Abdul Rahman of the Malayan federation to seek the latter’s help in providing funds, logistics, firearms, and training to the MNLF fighters that they will recruit, using the Jabidah hoax and Oplan Merdeka of Marcos as a catalyst? (Clue: he was accompanied by Lucman, Alonto, Nur, and some CPP members)
    b. Who was the LP stalwart who went to Libya and talked with Col Muamar Khadafi together with Ernesto Maceda (Maceda even wrote about this in a column at Phil Star in 2011), to seek funding for the NPA? (Yes, the NPA got $50M to topple Marcos administration. It was only later that the MNLF received funding from Khadafi)
    It’s difficult to find literature on this because many were burned during the Cory administration, but those who have first hand knowledge of this part of our history owe it upon themselves to correct history, for the next generation’s sake, guided by the tenets of PNoy’s “daang matuwid”. With these critical information lies the real truth about the BBL and why it is being rammed our throat. If truth about this 2 information we should all seek points to “treason”, then treason it is also for BBL, courtesy of the same Malaysia that almost ripped our country apart. If it was “peace” support that the NP stalwart sought from Malaysia and Libya before, then the fruit that we could be reaping today with this BBL is genuine peace.
    No doubt we are for peace, a lasting one. We don’t want a temporary one, if only for the next generation to wake up one day to fight a bigger and most disastrous war.
    Whatever those truths are will certainly set us free. It will put in context what a real formula for peace should be…BBL or whatever form.
    Mabuhay tayong mga Pilipino na totoong nagmamahal sa bayan.

  2. nagmana nga sa ama itong si pnoy na CONGENITAL LIAR….They mess up our philippine territory and he gave up SABAH to malaysian government..Dapat magkaroon tayo ng batas for unpatriotic tulad sa United States.. Treason to our country must be punishable by death penalty…Hindi ba kayo nakakahalata mga kababayan na binababoy tayo nitong presidenteng ito..ginagawa tayong mangmang ng taong ito…then siya pa ang mananakot na if BBL will not pass, start to count bags of body..Salita ba ito ng matinong tao???

  3. I was in my teens when I read this on the Philippine Free Press. I was inclined then to believe it. It was choreographed trickily. When I migrated to another country Marcos was at his height of Philippine leadership. I predicted then that someday part of his lifetime legacy will be a Philippine hero. One of my older brother mimicked my prediction. I am now in my late sixties my prediction is beginning to have the bright sun shining on it. Also, it was printed on a Philippine tabloid that Ninoy Aquino was incognito leader of the NPA because his house in Tarlac is in the middle of an area infested with NPAs but was never neither vandalized or bothered.

  4. It’s in their bloodline from the Grandfather, his father and Pnoy. Aquino is a family of traitors..

  5. Like grandpa, like papa, like son. This negative trait seems to keep re-asserting itself, in 3 generations. History is definitely a good teacher. So is genetics.
    Speaking of history, we should be re-writing a lot of our history, from the time the first white men came from the west, with their personal interests. It should be written by a Filipino for Filipinos, and should be infused with patriotic fervor. Let us write more about our national heroes, and take inspiration from their heroic deeds and the lessons they wanted to impart. Let us get the people out of their colonial mentality, start calling a spade, a spade. Let us peddle the truth, and nurture sincere pride and love for country and people. We give too much credit to our colonial masters. They came to colonize, not to save us.

  6. Bangsa is nation or state. Moro refers to muslim or islam. Therefore Bangsamoro is state of islam or Islamic State. As simple as that. And this state could separate easily from the country. Time will tell if this state joins the federation of Malaysia. Or it may become ISISB. Islamic State of Iraq, Syria and Bangsamoro. Sanamabbit-sanamagan. Soliven will rise from his grave. We are dealing with a dynasty of rats.

  7. Ngayon, SINO ang mga lahi nang mga Judas na MAKAPILI? Lahi nang mga TREASON-ous expose for personal aggrandizement at the expense of State secret and interests? Lahi nang mapang-Hudas na magpa Stand down sa AFP na huwag saklolohan ang mga naiipit na SAF 44 na nagsanhi nang kanilang kamatayan at PAGTUWID ng mga PAA – sa ngalan nang Yellow mantra na DAANG MATUWID kunoh????

  8. “Marcos apparently never forgave Aquino for this treacherous breach. Thus when I asked him, in a personal interview in Makiki, Hawaii in 1987, why he had not shown more clemency toward Aquino before his terrible assassination in 1983, Marcos’ reply was cutting and quick: “Ninoy was never a political rival. He was an enemy of the state.” ”

    Aha, the elder Aquino collaborated with the Japs Imperial Army during WWII, Ninoy exposed FM’s secret plan for Sabah, and Simeon da3rd is, currently, as we speak – is COLLABORATING with Malaysia on how to exploit the spoils of the rich and abundant land of Sabah – to the dismay of the rightful owners of the land – the Sultans of Sulu. NOT MALAYSIA. Sabah was handed to the newly created Federated States of Malaysia on a silver platter – through the machinations and open power-brokering by a colonial power Great Britain in the early 1960’s. Btw, Singapore broke away from Malaysia in 1965, led by the late founding Father LKY.

    • opinyon ni juan on

      Malaysia expelled Singapore out of the federation because they were afraid that that the economic dominance of Singapore would inevitably shift political power away from Kuala Lumpur.

  9. True, Benigno Aquino was a communist, a liar and a traitor. He is the founder of NPA that started at Hacienda Luisita and appointed Jose Maria Sison,his friend, to lead the group. He was responsible in the Plaza Miranda bombing and, indeed, a traitor of the Philippine Republic. His political ambition to be the next president failed so he made moro-moro that would make him hero in the eyes of the innocent and ignorant electorates.

  10. Of course Jabidah was a hoax. How could you invade Sabah with just 24 men? Ninoy the liar said 24 because it is easier to say that the military killed 24 persons then disposed their bodies compared to saying there were hundreds of Tausug men killed. Ninoy did nothing in the senate except to spin lies against Marcos. Two Aquino presidents did nothing in their terms except change the names of Marcos projects and cause more trouble for the nation. Gising na mga Pilipino! Huwag na tayong magpaka-BOBO!

  11. After reading the articles on the “Jabidah Massacre”, I see that it is just a made up story. The BBL needed to achieve peace is also a made-up story. The BBL bill just proposes handing over land, money and power to the MILF. In the end the MILF will use the BBL to secede from the PH. War will come at that time. Junk the BBL and all agreements with the MILF. No further negotiations with terrorists who threaten war if they do not get their way. Then fix the ARMM while disarming all armed gangs. Peace will arrive then.

  12. God has forsaken this land because of greed by a few family then gradually increasing yearly, new dynasties are invading every provinces and regions. I’ve had the chance to meet Bongget only twice, first as a very excited kid to join the Aerospace Cadets way back in the 60’s, if I’m not mistaken the young Mar Roxas was also there, and the second while working as a young tour coordinator for the Japanese group of REPCOCEN in Malacanang. I would say, the man is quite simple unlike the more sophisticated Imee,

  13. Venerando Desales on

    I wonder why the Aquinos are doing more harm than good to the country. When Cory was President, she placed all agricultiral lands in the country under agrarian land reform (CARP), except hacienda Luisita. Small landowners became victims and lost enthusiasm to develop their farms because these will be taken anyway after ten years and given to tenants. While children of tenants are beneficiaries, the children of landowners who were then minors in 1987 are not eligible to become beneficiaries. President Marcos was careful and prudent, he confined his agrarian reform to rice and corn lands only because he knew the program had built in irreversible repercussions, such as poor agricultural productivity. Now, Pnoy is worst: he gave away the treasury thru his DAP, PDAP schemes, he does not respect the principle of separation of powers, he violates laws, he is a traditional politician, a coddler, then he is giving away Mindanao in a silver platter to the MILF. Their mistakes are structural which affect so many people and institutions.Poor us Filipinos! God help us! Send Moses along with your plagues to the biblical Egyptians in Malacanang and cohorts!

  14. Kung si Ninoy ay hindi traydor sa mga pinaggagawa nya, sya ay isang BOBO! Pero mas masakit nito, mas maraming bobong Pilipino ang nagpaloko sa kanya. Hanggang ngayon…. Kailan tayo magigising sa katotohanan na ang pamilyang Aquino ay hindi maka Pilipino?

    Hindi ko na mahintay ang araw na ang pangalan ni Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos ay malinis ng kasaysayan.

  15. Nagkalokoloko na ang Pinas. Nawala na nga ang Sabah pati Mindanao mawawala pa.
    Ano na ba nag nangyayarisa atin. Si Cayetano na lang ang natititrang makabayan sa mga senador. Ano ang dapat gawin sa mga nangyayari. Kill BBL and strengthen ARMM is the best solution.

  16. Norodin Lucman on

    Jabidah was a hoax, according to Mr. Francisco Tatad, ostensibly to start a vicious MILF and MNLF insurgency in Mindanao and turn the island into a Malaysian sub state? This yarn is ridiculous, a product of insanity and ignorance.In 1968, Nur Misuari was a member of Kabataang Makabayan, a youth wing of the CPP NPA. MNLF surfaced in 1972, thanks to Tun Mustapha and Libyan FM Aly Trekky. Jibin Arula and his fellow trainees who were massacred by their AFP supervisors in Corregidor island was a hoax, a product of Ninoy’s wild imagination. This is a blatant insult to the memory of young Tausog trainees who were slaughtered in Corregidor.

    • What Tatad implied in this column is the truth. Those who can’t accept the truth are doomed.

    • If there were really 24 Tausugs that were slaughtered in Corregidor,then its only but fair to ask those who are trying to perpetuate the hoax to produce their evidence and provide the names of the massacred to justify what they are trying to prove.Because in fairness to the people who did their job and done their homework to prove the Jabidah massacre’s untruthfulness,those who insist that it really happened have,nt produce yet anything that would prove otherwise.So to be fair and for the sake of true and correct history,lay your cards and present evidence that the hoax is after all not a blatant lie.

  17. Ruben V. Calip on

    You are right, Mr. Tatad. “MILF’s Bangsamoro substate (is) a Malaysian operation against PH govt” the reverse of Marcos’ Operation Jabidah which never murdered or massacre any of its Tausug trainees as alleged by rebels and Malaysian propaganda. But President Aquino’s dad Ninoy did betray that patriotic project of Marcos.
    Now the son has contnued to be pro-Malaysia against our Republic.

    Yes, we must have a comprehensive peace agreement in MIndanao–but t must be with all Mindanaoans not just the MILF, the MNLF and other Muslim Filipinos there, but also with the many Lumad tribes and people and of course the Christians!

  18. I am wondering why our so called “nationalists” have not shown any concern on the interference of Malaysia. It is high time to expose this covert operation of Malaysia. No demonstration was staged against the Malaysian embassy so far. Even media is silent about this except for the Manila Times. There could be a slush fund in operation.

    • Don’t worry, hijo, there is a proper time for everything. When that time comes, I hope you will be one in the front lines.

  19. Excellent effort to correct the historical perspective of our citizenry exposing what kind of a man Ninoy was. Hope later on the so called nationalists will open their mind of proclaim that they committed mistakes.

  20. If that is true, then, Noynoy is committing treason by surrendering our claim to Sabah for Malaysia and in return Malaysia will help Noynoy fulfill his dream of a peace pact legacy with the Malaysian backed MILF?

  21. thank you for all this revelation, Mr. Tatad. Imagine, a villain becoming a patriot and a patriot became a villain. All in the inverted world of media and politics.

    Lest we forget, Ninoy supported the CPP-NPA rebels with guns, ammunition, financial support and provided sanctuary, rest and recreation to the rebels at Hacienda Luisita. truly, an enemy of the state, who became a hero and martyr. how strange.

  22. Alejo Rosete on

    Pnoy wanted a Hacienda Luisita in Bangsamoro
    that is why he wanted to pursue it for him to hide/stay
    there after he goes down from Malacanang.

    • he he he, same thing i commented in one of the opinion columns, whether in manila standard or here in manila times. hacienda luisita to be transferred in the bangsa moro where boy sisi will probably get triple the size of the present hacienda in tarlac. they get paid for the hacienda in tarlac and they get thousands of hectares of land in bangsa moro for free. he he he, hula lang ito.
      remember that the bangsa moro will be given 41%, if i remember correctly the computation of tony lopez of manila standard, of the land area of the phil. for the 4Miliion or so muslims in bangsa moro. the 59% land area will be left for the 96 MILLION or so rest of the pinoys. what a deal, don’t you think???

  23. MyrLA bryant on

    Markus Tullies Cicero said A nation can survive it’s fools , and even it’s ambitious.But it cannot survive treason from within.

  24. So it is a true fact that the tendency to lie in a grand scale is an “inherited thing” of the Ninoy Aquino family. In the vernacular, we can exclaim “may pinagmanahan pala” this permanently dysfunctional son to tell grandiose lies. It is true then that Ninoy was a communist. He raided the Hacienda Rodriquez in Tarlac, belonging to the grandson of Amang Rodriguez and former president of the Nacionalista Party, with his communist group..Marcos knew what he was talking about. It is about time that we vindicate him through his son.

    • Di ba nga, binansagan ni Marcos si Ninoy na CONGENITAL LIAR. Abugado si Marcos at para bansagan nya si Ninoy ng ganyan ay may katibayan sya.