‘Jabidah’ was a big hoax


First of three parts

The so-called “Jabidah massacre” has been the biggest hoax foisted on this nation.

It was a yarn spun  in 1968 by treasonous politicians of the Liberal Party at that time as a propaganda weapon intended to deal what they thought would be a fatal blow to  then President Marcos’ bid for reelection the next year.

In another demonstration of the law of unintended consequences, the just organized Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) then used the allegation to rouse Muslim youth’s anger so they would rally to the fledgling organization, which the more powerful Muslim traditional politicians refused to support.

The MNLF (and its breakaway group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front) ably mythicized Jabidah to become, as an academic put it, the “sacral moment invoked from time to time to mobilize the Muslims to the movement’s cause.” Misuari portrayed it as the culmination of genocidal attacks against the Moros; therefore, a Bangsamoro—an independent nation-state of the Moros—is necessary.

The mythicization of Jabidah has been so successful that even President Benigno S. Aquino 3rd and supporters of his Bangsamoro Basic Law have falsely, cruelly compared the Mamasapano massacre of 44 police commandos to the nonexistent “Jabidah massacre.” In their ignorance and stupidity, they are spitting on the graves of our fallen heroes who fought for the Republic.

How stupid can this president get: It was his father, then senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., who actually debunked the allegation of a Jabidah Massacre from the very start. His statements on this are preserved in the annals of the Senate as his privilege speech delivered March 28, 1968:

The so-called “Jabidah massacre” was the purported murder on Corregidor island on March 18, 1968 of 24 Muslim Tausug recruits being trained by the military to infiltrate Sabah and foment there an uprising among their ethnic group against the Malaysian government. According to the plan called Operation Merdeka (Freedom), hatched by Marcos’ armed forces, the uprising would be the excuse for the Philippine military to invade Sabah, which the Philippines had declared to be part of its territory. At that time, our country had a more powerful military than that of the new nation Federation of Malaysia, founded only in 1963.

Aquino on the Senate floor: “No massacre on Corregidor.”

Aquino on the Senate floor: “No massacre on Corregidor.”

Two dozens of the Muslim youths who were recruited for Merdeka were purportedly killed because they decided to resign, complaining of poor food and low salary.

In the MNLF’s myth-making though, the reason was changed into a noble one, that the Muslims refused to fight their brother Muslim Malaysians. It was a clever revision of the fictional story. When the top-secret Merdeka was exposed to the public, Sabah’s first Chief Minister Tun Mustafa was livid, and would fund the MNLF and allow them to use Sabah as their refuge and base. Mustafa even arranged for 201 MNLF cadres, including the present chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Murad Ibrahim, to be trained in Sabah by former British Special Action Service offices, which formed the Muslim organizations’ officers’ corps. The growth of the Muslim insurgency is, therefore, to a very large extent, due to Malaysia’s help.

The allegation of a massacre was made when former Cavite governor Delfin Montano, one of Marcos’ fierce political enemies, had one Jibin Arula, supposedly one of the Muslim recruits, file charges March 28 at the Cavite Court of First Instance against Army major Eduardo Martelino and 10 other officers and soldiers whom he alleged were involved in the purported atrocity.
One single witness to ‘Jabidah’

Arula would be the sole person ever to allege that he witnessed the massacre, and the fact that he was “handled” by Montano — who hated Marcos for having him defeaed in the 1967 gubernatorial elections — would be an important element in piecing together what Jabidah was really about, as I will discuss in the second part of this series.

In his suit, Arula claimed that with 24 other Muslim trainees, he was ordered to line up at the airstrip in Corregidor in the wee hours of March 18, 1968, and then shot by their trainers. He claimed that he was hit in the leg, so he managed to run, roll down a hill, hide in the bushes, and swim for hours as he himself put it in “shark-infested” Manila Bay until he was rescued hours later by fishermen – who promptly brought him to Montano.

Aruba’s account was so fantastic, reminding one of a B-grade action movie, that it was obviously scripted as part of a well-planned plot. How could a poor, illiterate Muslim who was shot (in the leg) on March 18 go through a near-death trauma and five days later file a case against the military in a Cavite court? Even rich victims of crimes take months to file a case against ordinary citizens, and longer against those in power, such as the military.

I am not the first to have investigated “Jabidah” and to arrive at the inescapable conclusion that it was a hoax, which I first wrote about in March 2013.

National artist Nick Joaquin (as Quijano de Manila), then a journalist writing in the most respected magazine at that time, the Philippine Free Press, narrated based on his interview with Ninoy: “Upon interviewing Arula, the sole witness to the alleged massacre, Aquino 2nd realized that for a second-grade dropout, this self-styled survivor of an alleged massacre had an amazing ‘photographic memory’ – he cited a litany of 48 names in full and retraced the elaborate unfolding of events, including the departure of the exact number of men from the camp, batch after batch.”

It was academic Arnold Azurin who was the first writer in recent years to question “Jabidah” in a 1994 Philippine Free Press article, which was expanded into a chapter in his book “Beyond the Cult of Dissidence.”

It is certainly one of the curious features of modern society that myths and so-called urban legends survive for decades.

Four congressional investigations by different committees were undertaken, all of which couldn’t establish that there was a massacre. Note that this was four years before Martial law, when the country’s democratic processes were so vibrant, and the opposition was powerful both in Congress and in media.

Aquino didn’t join the mob

Ninoy though, didn’t join the mob condemning the “massacre.” Like a good journalist, which he was before, he went to Jolo to check the facts, to look for the relatives of the Muslim youths purportedly massacred.

From the facts he gathered himself, Ninoy raised serious, even fatal, doubts on Arula’s claim, in his famous privilege speech at the Senate March 28, 1968, which had the misleading title “Jabidah! Special Forces of Evil?

Ninoy in his speech explained his conclusions:

“This morning, the Manila Times, in its banner headline, quoted me as saying that I believed there was no massacre on Corregidor. And I submit it was not a hasty conclusion, but one borne out by careful deductions.”

“After interviewing the self-asserted massacre survivor, Jibin Arula, doubt nagged me that there had, indeed, been a massacre… In Jolo yesterday, I met the first batch of 24 recruits aboard RP-68. This group was earlier reported missing – or, even worse, believed ‘massacred’ … William Patarasa, 16 years old, one of the (Muslim recruits’ leaders) denied knowledge of any massacre.” (Emphasis supplied)

What were these deductions? According to Aquino:

• “What would have been the motive for the ‘massacre?’ Some quarters have advanced the theory that the trainees were liquidated in order to silence them. But then, 24 boys have already shown up in Jolo safe and healthy. To release 24 men who can spill the beans and liquidate the remaining 24 ‘to seal’ their lips would defy logic.”

• “Arula’s fears, which in his place may be considered valid, may not be supported by the recent turn of events. (The) twenty-four recruits (allegedly massacred) have turned up (alive in their home province.)” (Emphasis supplied.)

There hasn’t been a single victim of the “Jabidah massacre” ever identified. For an ethnic group known for its close yet expanded kinship system, no relative has ever claimed his brother, son, cousin, or husband was killed in Corregidor.

Yet, Ninoy’s son in his speech in 2013 when a commemorative plaque was installed in Corregidor for those killed in the fictional “Jabidah massacre’ said: In March 1968, my father exposed the Jabidah Massacre.

What kind of president is this to claim that his father exposed the massacre, when his father’s speech plainly debunked it? (Google it to read it yourself.)

We don’t have to believe Ninoy’s conclusions, though. Just examine the facts — what happened to Arula, what happened to the military officers charged, and what happened to the Jabidah allegations subsequently? I’ll discuss these on Wednesday, and the very sad reason why the Jabidah allegations were hurled in the first place.
FB: Bobi Tiglao
Archives: www.rigobertotiglao.com


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  1. florante de guzman on

    Pwede po bang isama na rin sa inyong article kung ano po yung “Light-a-Fire Movement” at kung sino-sino po ang mga nag-organized nito.

  2. Hi there, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am too happy to share my know-how here with colleagues.

  3. Gerlyn Gamolo on

    The headline is a haste conclusion. Ninoy’s speech did not categorically state
    that its a hoax. He said that he doubted if these men were massacred for they never returned. Ninoy was able to established that these recruited men were sent to somewhere and never returned. Ninoy then called on for the investigation of the whereabouts of these men and even accused Marcos of many things. To say that Jabidah was a big hoax was a conclusion arrived in haste.

    • It’s easy to find out if its a hoax or not. All you have to do is get the list of the victims and verify. That’s what Mr. Tiglao mentioned, they found out that those victims mentioned by the sole survivor is not really dead.

  4. Sabah is Philippine territory. Malaysia itself acknowledged this fact. It used to pay a yearly rental for its use. (As the Philippines Free Press pointed out, if you know you really own something, you also know that you don’t have to rent it. But Malaysia did pay rent, so it knew that Sabah did not belong to it.)

    In the early 1960s, with the help of the British government, Malaysia stopped paying rent and declared Sabah as part of its territory. Then president Diosdado Macapagal vigorously contested the annexation and tried to take back Sabah through diplomatic means. Unfortunately, his term in Malacanang ended before he could succeed.

    President Ferdinand Marcos had a more forceful plan of action. He authorized a covert operation involving a secret army that would go to Sabah and organize the Filipinos over there to resist their annexation by Malaysia. Unfortunately, his plan was torpedoed when then senator Ninoy Aquino prematurely exposed it. Malaysia was alerted and given time to prepare against the Marcos plan.

    Today, Ninoy’s son Benigno Simeon is giving up not only Sabah. With his BBL, he is also surrendering a huge chunk of Mindanao to the Malaysian surrogates MILF-BIFF terrorists.

    The betrayal, the treachery, the treason goes on.

  5. Red and Black on

    The guy conveniently ignored the reason that MILF and MNLF even had an ideological split was because of their difference of objectives which was of Seperatism and Egalitiarianism respectively.

    First few paragraphs already have historical inconsistency, i highly doubt even an ounce of this story is true.

  6. Rosauro Feliciano on

    But how come when I visited my friend’s parents in Asturia in Jolo, I was told that their son Jaynudin did not come back and missing? However, there was no sign of grief on their faces. Wow, how politics make a turn of event.

  7. Juan Mabayan on

    If you read the BBLcarefully, you will be convinced that Ferrer, Deles, Leonen and PNoy are traitors who want to dismember the Philippines. The BBL will not lead to peace but to a greater war.
    Please read this article that shows why the BBL should be rejected:

    All I can say is that it is an act tantamount to secession.

    – The law categorically describes all inhabitants within the BBL controlled land as Bangsamoro. Not Filipino. Bangsamoro. The law also categorically depicts the Bangsamoro Political Entity as a nation-state, with the eminent right to “self-determination”, or the power to determine whether they want to remain part of the republic or not. (Art. 2 section 1 of the BBL Draft) (BBL preamble)

    – The law requires the republic to guarantee the inclusion of one Bangsamoro representative in each of the critical agencies of the government. While representation is indeed something I will root for, the ability of the Bangsamoro state to undermine the power of the government to determine via qualification the right people for the right agency and bypass that by a mere appointment to represent the Bangsamoro state is highly self-motivated.

    – Contrary to what the government peace panel has been saying, the BBL establishes the core component of a state based government, asceding only coordinating powers to the Republic. Sections 3 and 4 of Article V of the BBL delineates the powers of the Central Government (which in their term is the Republic of the Philippines) and the Bangsamoro Government. What is scary is that majority of the provisions in these sections arbitrarily surrenders control of banking, finance, land registration, police powers, and other powers reserved usually to the state (the republic of the philippines) to the Bangsamoro government. In effect, they have fully functioning mini-nation ready for secession.

    – The Bangsamoro Government gets the power to dissolve and create local government units under Article V section 4 of the BBL. Under item 57 of the said section, the Bangsamoro Parliament can abolish, create, merge, or alter bounderies of the local units under their control. Now this is reserved usually to the Congress of the republic, therefore the BBL parliament has quasi-legislative powers that are almost equivalent to Congress.

    – Article VI section 4 requires the Republic to refer to the Intergovernmental Relations Body to intervene when agencies under the republic have issues with corresponding Bangsamoro agency, or if there are differences between policy among Republic and the Bangsamoro State. This emphasizes that while (for the meantime) the Bangsamoro state is part of the country, the Republic could not act to secure national issues involving the Bangsamoro State without adjudiction of the IRB. Hence, the departments and agencies of the republic have virtually no power in BBL controlled lands. It is also questionable why it would take only the intervention of the republic, and only if acknowledged by the chief minister of the Bangsamoro State, can these agencies exercise their roles on Bangsamoro state.

    – Article VII describes the creation of the Bangsamoro Government, with full legislative and executive powers. Section 2 allows the legislative arm to enact LAWS, not ordinances, LAWS to govern the state. Section 3 establishes the powers of the cabinet within the Bangsamoro, and though there is no direct guideline as to the identity of each ministerial position in this cabinet, I would assume that this will mimic a fully functioning cabinet based on the structure of the republic therefore they will have their own minister for defense, justice, public works, local government and interior, etc.

    – Contrary to what the government peace panel is saying, none of the agencies under the Bangsamoro Government are under the Republic. The operative word used in all associations between the Bangsamoro agencies and the agencies under the republic is “in cooperation with” and not “under the”. Hence, each Bangsamoro agency can (and most probably will) determine department policy of existing government agencies as “non-conforming under the Basic Law” and not follow such order. Imagine the chief of the PNP giving a shoot-to-kill order vs a notorious terrorist hiding in Bangsamoro controlled lands, only to have that order deemed as inappropriate by the Bangsamoro Minister of Interior.

    – Article X establishes the Bangsamoro Shari’ ah courts, whose basis for dispensing justice is based on the Shari’ ah law. The wording in this article relates to the jurisdiction of the Shari’ah courts over the entire Bangsamoro state, without any reference to the Justice system of the republic. Simply put, any decision made by the Shari’ah High Court is final and executory without any deference to the Supreme Court of the Philippines. If you get sentenced there, you cannot appeal to the SC. Another item mentioned in this article is the mandatory place of at least one SC justice, and a number of Court of Appeals justices as coming from the Bangsamoro state. It obviously cuts the presidential priviledge of appointment and undermines the power of the Commision on Appointments.

    – Article XI does emphasize that the Bangsamoro Police Force is under the PNP. However, the Chief minister of the Bangsamoro has, categorically,complete control over the assignment, deployment, and operational and disciplinary control over it. So if you have any qualms over a police officer over there, don’t try and run to Camp Crame for resolution. They practically have no power to sanction police under the Bangsamoro.

    – The Bangsamoro has the power to legislate and impose taxes and fees within the Bangsamoro controlled lands, a right that is organically reserved to the republic. Enough said. Article XII sections 6 to 14 of the BBL.

    – Contrary to what the government peace panel is saying, the Bangsamoro Government has complete fiscal autonomy. Pending the creation of its own internal revenue bureau, the BIR will collect taxes in behalf of the Bangsamoro remitting 75% of the collections directly to the Bangsamoro coffers. The remaining 25% is for the republic, however the Bangsamoro is to retain the amount for 10 years. Congress has no control over the fiscal management of these funds, only those that have been appropriated through the National Budget. In short, while the national government is obligated to provide funding to projects within the Bangsamoro state, the BG is not required to remit any of the government shares in income within their areas for the next 10 years! And to top that, the Bangsamoro retains the right to extend that period beyond 10 years!

    In the 18 articles within the BBL I saw no mention of the word Filipino, the Philippines, nor any reference to the Republic. The entire text consolidates power in the south as if they are separate from the country. I could not, with clear conscience, say that this is a peace treaty, but rather an invitation to secession.


  8. smash buddies on

    Many Muslim people believed of the Jabidah Massacre, we cannot ignored these Truth. As if, Muslim hated the Government because of the massacre. Hopefully, this has to be uncovered and published in a newspaper of nation wide circulation and the social media.

  9. I am more inclined to believed that the Marcoses are more nationalistic than the Aquinos. Marcos wanted to take back Sabah from Malaysia landgrabber and Aquino wants to forget the issue of Sabah. Unfortunately coming events destroyed Marcos reputation. When it come to nationlism Marcos is better than Aquino.

    • Manuel C. Diaz on

      Of course the Ilocanos are more loyal to the Filipinos than the Kapangpangan. Who sold Aguinaldo to the Americans, Kapangpangan mercenaries!

    • Roldan Guerrero on

      Marcos is considered a genius while Aquino is a moron. There is no sort of any comparison between them.

    • one is a certified traitor, deodorized and become a hero. the other, a patriot, but demonized..

      one cannot keep lies forever. the truth will come out eventually..

  10. Very interesting indeed. At last some inteligent transcripts regarding these matters. I look forward to reading the rest of these pertinent issues. One question though….is our current President really the son of Ninoy Aquino? They seem to be unversed apart in terms of brain activity and intelligence.

  11. Hernando Guerrero on

    For your consideration, Mr. Tiglao: I think Mr. Misuari himself has recently belied the massacre in a statement that was largely ignored by the media.

  12. allan dimaapi on

    yes, the jabidah massacre was just a myth. many of those recruited and alleged to have been killed were in fact alive and even served in the constabulary of sulu province

    • smash buddies on

      This hoax brought Muslims hatred to the government and even tv station in Cotabato City aired the anniversary of the Jabidah Massacre. We should not ignored the truth because a wrong information destroys afamily.

  13. I featured your 2013 articles in my blog. I also linked them on the comment thread on a recent Rappler article on the Jabidah marker. Hopefully, it will help kill the myth they are trying to foist on the people.

  14. O, ngayon na lang ninyo napagtanto at napag isip isip na pinagloloko lang ang tao nang mga Aquinos na iyan, ang tagpatanggol at tagapglaigtas daw nang bansa na ito
    Parang talk shows nang bida nilang bunso.

    Subukan ninyong panoorin ang mga talk show ni Kris sa tv, Ako wala akong time, – wala akong time at intensiyon na magpa Mang-mang nang bigtime.

  15. Sir Tiglao, many Pinoys will thank you for enlightening us on that fake part of Ph history.

  16. I believe this phrase alone makes the story a myth!:

    “There hasn’t been a single victim of the “Jabidah massacre” ever identified. For an ethnic group known for his tight, expanded kinship system, no relative has ever claimed his brother, son, cousin, or husband was killed in Corregidor.”

    The relatives would have sought at least blood money from the government. Why did Ninoy lead them to file suit?!!!

  17. Amnata Pundit on

    Wasn’t Col. Dulay’s name dragged into that mess too? The last thing I read about Col. Martelino was that he was kidnapped while loading up in a gasoline station here in Manila. This is a wonderful article. Why don’t you expand it into a book to show this present and future generations what kind of evil confronted the great Marcos during his time?

  18. Here is Ninoy’s 1969 speech verbatim. For a speech on a “massacre” note the light tone he starts of, pointing out that Jabidah means a beautiful woman and referring to James Bond, the hit movie a that time. His conclusion that there wasn’t a massacre is towards the end of his speech.

    By Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr.

    [Delivered at the Legislative Building, Manila, on March 28, 1968]

    Who is Jabidah?
    What is Jabidah?

    Jabidah, Mr. President, is the name of a ravishing, stunning and beautiful woman in Muslim lore and legend.

    As Muslim legend has it, Jabidah turned a countless number of Muslim men.

    As it turns out now, however, her name might well have been Helen — Helen whose matchless beauty launched a thousand ships and laid the great Greek states to siege and waste.

    For as things are, as I found them in my flying spot investigation of the muddled Corregidor Affair at its root, in the Sulu isles, Jabidah is the codename for a sinister design of President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

    It is the codename for a supposedly super-secret, twin-goaled operation of President Marcos to wipe out the opposition — literally, if need be — in 1969 and to set this country on a high foreign adventure.

    It is the codename, Mr. President, for Mr. Marcos’ special operation to insure his continuity in power and achieve territorial gains.

    It is an operation so wrapped in fantasy and in fancy that — pardon the pun, Mr. President — it is not at all funny.

    It is an operation with all the trappings of a James Bond fiction, including the beautiful women and cold-blooded killings, and of a Lawrence of Arabia military romanticism, including the great adversities and vile perfidies, that it jumps out as too fantastic, too unreal and too make-believe, except the facts I and the figures, the personages, are all there.

    And what is the truth?

    But before I unfold here the sorry and sordid tale behind the Corregidor Affair, Mr. President, permit me to explain why I checked out of my scheduled privileged speech last Thursday afternoon, the afternoon after the so-called Corregidor massacres smashed out in the banner headlines of the metropolitan dailies.

    I checked out for three reasons:

    Firstly, after interviewing the self-asserted massacre survivor, Jibin Arula, doubt nagged me that there had indeed been a massacre, many more massacres.

    Secondly, I had to check out the international repercussions. ,

    Thirdly, I wanted to check and verify the story where it started, at its roots.

    I deny, I deplore, and I condemn the talk being peddled by the agents and the image-builders of the President that I had checked out of my scheduled privileged speech after getting into an arrangement of reciprocal accommodation with Mr. Marcos.

    This is a lie, as bald and as blatant as their denial of presidential wire-tapping and bugging in the last elections. And they know it.

    Fantastic Truth

    And now, what is the truth?

    The story weaves itself, a tale of kinetic romance, spy camps, subversion and infiltration, and a special strike force licensed to kill, all in the styles and symbols of the late Ian Fleming.

    The story came to me six weeks ago when some Muslim leaders informed me of clandestine recruitments and trainings going on in the Sulu archipelago.

    And they posed a number of questions to me:

    ■ Why are our boys being recruited?

    ■ Why are they leaving their homes?

    ■ What is their mission in the President’s service?

    ■ Is President Marcos organizing his own private army to strike and seize the country if he senses, as he might be sensing, he will lose the ’69 polls?

    These, and other related questions, popped up in our skull sessions.

    I dismissed it then, however. The pattern it formed was too fiction-like, too James Bondish. It appeared to me, as I have said, too much woven in the plots of Fleming.

    The boss of James Bond, by the way, is a certain “M”. I am sure Fleming’s “M” does not stand for “Marcos.”

    Then, some four weeks ago, a former head of the country’s intelligence service informed me of a plot hatched by President Marcos himself. It was, as I was told, a plot so bold, so daring and so adventurous that, in sum, it boiled down to a calculated gamble.

    It was, as it struck me, a gamble that would violate the Constitution and obtain justification in the flush of its triumph and its success.

    Again, I refused to give it credence. It sounded so bizarre, so fantastic, so imaginative, I told myself. And it could not be.

    Surely, I told myself, a man who had repeatedly professed himself as a man committed to civilized norms and sworn to uphold the law, like President Marcos, could not have hatched such a plot.

    But soon after, I was interviewed by a famed international Journalist, a newspaperman with whom I had chewed the fat in complete undress before. And he called my attention to what he held to be alarming coincidence that built in his analytical mind a web of high-octane adventure.

    With all this, I started piecing the bits together. I started digging up.

    I was on the verge of blowing the lid off the plot, as some columnists correctly reported, Mr. President, when the Corregidor Affair exploded.

    The tale, as it wove itself, had a girl, a girl named Sophia. And there was, as characterization demanded in fiction, a man, a man of some good looks, cunning, daring, ambition and, of course, a strong sense of romance, a certain Major Abdullatif Martelino.

    For plot and setting, there were the secret recruitment, secret orientation, secret training and secret mission — things supposedly known only to a handful of men in the highest authority.

    The girl, by the way, was beautiful, as beautiful as the camp was ugly.

    And they were all — characters, setting and plot — hush-hush, top secret. Or supposed to be.

    The Slip Showed

    As it was, however, I found out they were far from a tightly guarded secret, as far from hidden under the cloak as was their dagger. And if they were a secret at all, they were an open secret in the Sulu islands.

    In fact, as the newsmen who joined me and I found out, they were talked about as freely by the people on the islands as were smuggling and the other nefarious operations in the southern backdoor.

    It all started, our findings went, in September, just before the last elections, when Major Abdullatif Martelino, otherwise known as Major Eddie Martelino of the Philippine Air Force, arrived in Jolo, blended into the Muslim community and started recruiting the cream of the Muslim youth.

    For your background, Major Martelino is the head of the Defense Department’s Civil Affairs Office — and a living legend of sorts. He is a man as much known for his romantic escapades as for his tremendous political staying power, things some may even envy him.

    His unchronicled life’s story shows he worked for President Carlos P. Garcia, then surfaced as an undercover agent of President Diosdado Macapagal after Mr. Garcia lost the presidency in 1961. And so he stayed in the graces of power.

    He was a top man of Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, supplying the Liberals with supposedly “damaging” items against then presidential challenger Ferdinand E. Marcos as Mr. Marcos and Mr. Macapagal battled for the people’s will and votes in the 1965 elections. When it was all over, with Mr. Marcos the victor and Mr. Macapagal toppled, Major Martelino surfaced as Mr. Marcos’ top political double agent.

    And so he has stayed, holding the same post he held under President Macapagal in the defense establishment.

    His name has been linked to many a major scandal personality — from Cavite’s smuggling lords to the Octopus of Cotabato. This, however, has failed to do him damage.

    How he got himself to head the Marcos special forces, it seems, springs from his supposed forte: he is supposedly good in developing the minority groups, like the Ilongots and the Dumagats.

    For reasons which he alone knows, Major Eddie Martelino renounced his Catholic faith, embraced the Muslim religion and took on the name Major Abdullatif Martelino. Soon after, however, he wooed and married the beautiful Sophia.

    All this, of course, scandalized the Christian leaders in Jolo. And they denounced — discreetly, to be sure — with lay leaders in Manila.

    They had a worse scandal to report, however, after they got word that Major Martelino had fled with the wife of a Philippine Navyman, also a Simunul beauty.

    Happily for Major Abdullatif, all the reports failed to make an impression on Manila’s permissive society. Some even thought it was cute.

    All this, Mr. President, you may say, comes up to a man’s romantic adventures over which we, in this chamber, ought not to waste valuable time. I submit, however, they must now be raised — not to vilify the man, but because the Corregidor Affair and all its consequences weave around Major Abdullatif Martelino.

    Our Man, Abdul

    For what transpired, prior to the Corregidor fiasco, are:

    ■ Major Martelino went into massive recruitment of Tausug young men, ages 18 to 30, in Jolo, in Siasi, in Tandubas, in Sanga-Sanga, in Bongao, in Bato-Bato and in Simunul — islands of the Sulu archipelago — in September, October, November and December 1967.

    ■ Major Martelino recruited those with a working knowledge of the Tausug dialect, with experience in smuggling and kumpit sailing, with familiarity of the neighboring islands, with pleasing personality, and preferably with high school or college education. In other words, the cream of the Tausug young men.

    ■ Major Martelino, as come-on and inducement, promised the Tausug young men they would be integrated into the armed forces as paratroopers, as the elite nucleus of a new strike force under the personal command and direction of President Marcos, after a six-month crash training.

    ■ Major Martelino, as a ploy to get the Tausug elders behind him, promised to distribute land to the faithful once his special secret mission had been accomplished and he had proclaimed himself Sultan of the “liberated territory.”

    ■ Major Martelino set up a secret training camp on Simunul island, later another one on Corregidor. The Simunul camp, as I said earlier, he named after his wife Sophia.

    A sneak inspection I made on Simunul, Mr. President, showed the camp deserted, save for a few enlisted men and some basic equipment. Simunul’s special forces group, I was told, had been shipped out aboard a Philippine Navy LSM, the “RPS Oriental Mindoro” — destination unknown, mission undisclosed.

    In my first privileged speech delivered in this august chamber last February, Mr. President, I adverted to the sinister motives behind the civic action centers of President Marcos.

    I said then:

    “An obsession to create impact is behind the presidential project to create armed forces civic action centers in every province. One cannot avoid suspecting the AFP civic action centers are geared to brainwash the barrio leaders into blind acceptance and propagation of the so-called Marcos government achievements.

    “Rapport between central authority is a must, I affirm. But I oppose, as I am sure you, Mr. President, will oppose, converting the barrio units of our government into tools and instruments of central authority.

    “I do hope, sincerely, that I am wrong, that the Chief Executive is minded with aspirations more lofty than merely ensuring his continuity in power. But I fear the object behind the design is far from selfless.

    “I shall be glad to be proved to be fearing out of nothing more than fear, but my fear builds before my eyes a disquieting evolution of our barrio councils — from the democratic simplest units of government they were intended by law to be, into cogs of a unipersonal political machine.

    “As I see it, in the civic action centers run by the military, our barrio captains and councilmen will be herded and told in endless monologues of the greatness of the Great Achiever. Propaganda brochures depicting his life and labors will flood the centers in tons, all designed to condition the mass mind and build up the Marcos Cult.

    “It will not take too much imagination to see how these centers will operate. All barrio leaders will be invited to attend ‘seminars’ in these civic action centers, there to be fed not only food for the body but also for the mind and the spirit. They will be told there of the greatness — false, true, or half-true and half-false — of the Great Provider.

    “To complete the picture, imagine all these civic action centers connected by ribbons of communications and controlled by an operations center in, say, Camp Aguinaldo. Here is the beginning of massive thought control, all done in the name of democracy.

    “In all these, I am reminded of how governments and countries were subverted and taken over by those with the will and the resolve in Eastern Europe, in Latin America, even in our own Asia. Always, it was done very covertly, very subtly.

    “Again, I say, I hope I fear wrongly.”

    Mr. President, my worst fears are being borne out by facts.

    On Simunul Island, I saw the recruiting base for a special forces unit called “Jabidah” and their camp, “Camp Sophia”, named after the beautiful 18-year-old Muslim maiden taken for a wife by the commanding officer of the Jabidahs, Major Abdullatif Martelino. Camp Sophia was the recruiting station for the Jabidahs.

    The Jabidahs are composed of some of the best young men of the Sulu islands. Young men with a good background in smuggling and knowledge of a neighboring country were given priority in enlistment.

    The camp was located inside a coconut plantation off the beaten track, fenced in by some six strands of barbed wire. Watchtowers were built all along the perimeter line.

    I brought with me, Mr. President, pictures showing the camp and all the things that went with it. I will refer back to these pictures as soon as I get through the details.

    The boys were trapped by a bizarre plan and an even more bizarre mission.

    Given unorthodox uniforms and brand-new carbines and thompson submachineguns, the recruits were told that they would form the nucleus of a special force, an elite group within the Armed Forces of the Philippines that would spearhead a mission to end all missions.

    Sign language was the medium of communications, sinister-looking patches and rings with encrusted skull and crossbones were their distinguishing marks, the marks of their esprit de corps.

    This is the badge of the Jabidahs. (Senator Aquino digs into his coat pocket, shows a military badge). It is yellow in background, with a black skull, with a drip of blood on the skull’s forehead, and with black crossbones.

    Bon Voyage — To Where?

    This is their other badge. (He shows another badge). It shows a crescent moon and a star — and it has an Arabic word. The Arabic word says, “Selamat Jalan,” or “Bon Voyage.” I wonder where these bold people are going?

    This is the Ranger patch (he shows the patch) we discovered on the island. And this, Mr. President, is their ring (he shows a ring). It is a solid ring with a skull engraved with the crossbones.

    These, Mr. President, are the distinguishing marks of the Jabidahs in and off uniform. In other words, they were given all the unorthodox uniforms, all the languages of signs, all the emblems and the rings, all that goes into esprit de corps, all the marks of the Gestapo and the SS of Hitler.

    And the recruits went through all the phases of their rigid and rigorous training schedules because they had been led to believe they had a cause worth dying for.

    The entire operation had a cover, of course. All officers were supposedly “Civil Affairs Officers” and the boys were supposedly being trained to man the various civic action centers to be established by President Marcos in every provincial capital of the country.

    The boys were taught how to survive in the jungles without food and clothing. They called this survival training.

    They were taught how to kill in the most bizarre way. In effect, they went through the training of Fleming’s James Bond. And after their training, they were to join an elite presidentialforce, a presidential force licensed to kill.

    Secrecy was supposed to be the hallmark of the organization. And regular PC troopers assigned in Sulu were told to keep off the Jabidah area.

    But this turned out to be a mockery.

    Everyone in the Sulu isles knew exactly what was going on inside Camp Sophia. Major Martelino, after two drinks, spoke freely of his grand plan to “liberate” an area with his Jabidahs. And he always boasted the faithful would be rewarded with free land.

    The Jabidahs were linked directly with Malacañang and the Infrastructure Operation Center at Camp Aguinaldo.

    A look at the sophisticated gadgets in the radio room of Camp Sophia revealed that, aside from the regular radio units of the military establishment that linked laterally with other military units, Camp Sophia was supplied with a costly transceiver set — a Collins single-side band, better known to radio ham operators as a “KMW-2.” This is one of the more expensive transceiver sets available in the market, with a range that can cover half the globe, given a good antenna.

    North vs. South

    The camp was made of makeshift twigs and the bunks were made of ipil-ipil to simulate living conditions in the jungle. The recruits were divided into two groups called the Subangan and the Sadlupan groups. (These are Tausug words for “north” and “south”.)

    Recruitment began in September and ended sometime in the middle of December last year.

    Then on December 30, the recruits, numbering some 135, were told to board a Philippine Navy vessel, the RP-68, or “RPS Mindoro,” and were ferried to their new camp on Corregidor island. The Jabidahs landed on Corregidor on January 3.

    Shortly before the Jabidahs landed on Corregidor, a top-level team of defense officials led by then Defense Undersecretary Manuel Syquio and Brig. Gen. Romeo Espino, commander of the Philippine Army, inspected the campsite. The old Corregidor hospital was cordoned off and declared a restricted area.

    The Jabidahs were to stay inside the bombed-out hospital for the remainder of their training.

    Some of the late recruits were airlifted from Sanga-Sanga to Nichols Air Base and later transferred to Corregidor.

    The early days of the recruits on Corregidor proved thrilling.

    The boys reported to their parents back in Sulu — and I have many letters to prove this — that their training was as exciting as it was exacting. But they all looked forward to the day when they would be inducted as regular Philippine Army troopers.

    Jungle training of the special forces continued.

    The recruits were marched into the Corregidor jungles for weeks on survival training. The boys took every phase of the rigorous work with aplomb.

    But then, towards the fourth week of February, the Muslim boys started becoming restless.

    Since their arrival on Corregidor, they had not been paid their allowances of P50 a month. Some of the married recruits wanted to send money to their folks in Sulu.

    So on February 25 or 26, the recruits, mostly from the Tawi-Tawi area, signed a petition addressed to President Marcos demanding their delayed pay of two months and an improvement in their living quarters, food and clothing. They coupled this petition with a prayer that the President visit them, inasmuch as they were supposed to be his own personal special forces.

    Major M, Not Mr. M

    Instead of Mr. Marcos, Major Abdullatif Martelino showed up sometime on February 27. He told the boys that their pay was forthcoming and that if they would not be paid, they could resign and the government would send them back home.

    Then, on March 3 or 4, Major Martelino called for the four Muslim leaders of the petition and he allegedly told them that they could go home ahead of the other boys who had petitioned President Marcos.

    The four leaders were brought to Manila and never returned to Corregidor.

    The boys became restive. They wanted to know what had happened to their four leaders. But they were simply told that their leaders had gone home ahead.

    Suspicion that the four had been liquidated started to seep in, then gained momentum.

    The petitioning recruits, now numbering 58, were confined to quarters and told to await transportation back to Sulu. As of March 1, all the petitioners were considered resigned from the Special Forces.

    So, out of 135 who came from Simunul, 62 signed the petition. Of the 62, a total of 58 remained in camp as of March 1 — and they were considered resigned.

    Then on March 16, some 24 recruits were told that a Philippine Navy boat was docking early that morning to ferry them back to Sulu. They gathered their personal belongings and shortly before dawn they were brought to the island pier. They boarded the RP-68, the same vessel that had brought them from Simunul earlier in January.

    The remaining recruits, however, started to worry about the fate of their comrades. They doubted the assurances of their officers that the other boys had gone home.

    And with some reason, it seems.

    For, first, their four leaders had disappeared. They had not come back. And the recruits worried about these four, their four leaders.

    Then 24 of their own brothers were taken out. Again, these did not return. Again, the remaining recruits worried. They worried some more.

    Some feared their petitioning companions had been “massacred”.

    Then, on March 18, another 12 recruits were told to prepare for home. At 2 a.m. on March 18, the second batch of 12 recruits left the campsite and was never heard from.

    So now we have 24 recruits leaving on March 18, another group leaving on March 16 or March 17.

    At 4 a.m. that same day, another batch of 12 recruits was transported to the Corregidor airstrip, purportedly for evacuation to Sulu. This batch, too, was never heard of, never heard from.

    Jibin Arula, in his sworn statement, said that upon reaching the airstrip they were told to get off their weapons carrier. They were told to form a line.

    They were now in civilian clothes and unarmed, while their escorts carried Armalites, automatic carbines, and other Special Forces weapons.

    With all the stored-up suspicion in his mind, Jibin Arula must have thought that his time to be killed had come.

    We can only conjecture at this point what happened.

    Arula must have made a dash for his life, thinking that they had been brought to the airstrip for the “slaughter”.

    Told to halt by his escorts, he kept running.

    His escorts shot him in the leg to force him to stop.

    He kept going — and the rest is his story.

    But what happened to his eleven companions?

    Were they really “massacred”?

    Some say that when the firing started with Jibin Arula, his companions ducked. So that Arula was correct when he said that he saw his companions fall to the ground.

    But were they shot? Or did they duck because of the firing?

    The army says that the eleven are alive. As soon as the army authorities produce the other eleven recruits, the sorry mess of Corregidor should find its end.

    However, if the Army cannot produce these men, the question will press: What happened to them? They, the army authorities, will have to stand the accusation of murder and maybe — even mass slaughter.

    Meanwhile, in Jolo yesterday, I met the first batch of 24 recruits aboard RP-68. This group was earlier reported missing — or, even worse, believed “massacred”.

    William Patarasa, 16 years old, one of the leaders of the petitioners, in effect corroborated all the points raised by Jibin Arula. But he denied knowledge of any massacre.

    Like Jibin Arula, up to yesterday he claimed he had no knowledge of what had happened to their four leaders called by Major Martelino last March 3. He confirmed, though, me suspicion among the petitioners that the four had been “liquidated” by Major Martelino’s boys.

    One of the leaders has since presented himself to army authorities.

    This morning, the Manila Times, in its banner headline, quoted me as saying that I believed there was no mass massacre on Corregidor island.

    And I submit it was not a hasty conclusion, but one borne out by careful deductions. What brought me to this conclusion:

    1. Massacre means, to my mind, the wanton killing of men — maybe premeditated, but definitely committed according to a previous plan. I submit that there was no plan to kill the Muslim recruits.

    2. What would have been the motive for the “massacre”? Some quarters have advanced the theory that the trainees were liquidated in order to silence them. But then, 24 boys have already shown up in Jolo safe and healthy. To release 24 men who can spill the beans and liquidate the remaining 24 “to seal” their lips would defy logic.

    3. Jibin Arula has been telling the truth all along. However, his fears, which in his place may be considered valid, may not be supported by the recent turn of events. Twenty-four recruits have turned up.

    Crux of the Story

    I went to Sulu with a sworn statement of Jibin Arula. I checked out everything Jibin Arula had told me — the description of the camp, the names of the boys — and everything that Jibin Arula had told me checked out.

    It must be emphasized here that Jibin Arula never said that the four were murdered. All he said was that they were taken by Major Martelino and they never returned. Jibin Arula said that 24 were called and these never returned. He said that 12 were called and these, too, never returned. He said they were lined up on the airstrip and then they were mowed down.

    Here is the crux of the story. Were they mowed down? Or was the firing made when Jibin Arula, thinking he was going to be killed, dashed for his life?

    This, I believe, ought to be the center of the investigation.

    And if the Army can produce the eleven people with Jibin Arula unharmed and alive, then the Army would escape the burden of being made to account for massacre.

    When the armed forces produces the eleven companions of Arula and the other twelve recruits that left at 2 a.m., March 18, I am sure the whole “massacre” story can find its logical end.

    But the story does not end here.

    I submit that it is only here that the story begins.

    President Marcos must render to the nation a better explanation why the organization has to remain secret and its objectives to be known only to himself and a handful of his confidants.

    This we cannot — and must not — allow to pass.

    And Monkees, Too

    Some questions press, in fact:

    Are the Jabidahs really intended for civic action work? They are under the Civil Affairs Office and directly under the Secretary of National Defense.

    If they are to perform civic action work, why should they be trained like James Bond? Why should they be taught the art of silent killing, the techniques of insurgency, infiltration and sabotage?

    Why were they never listed on the regular roster of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?

    They were never inducted with the regular forces. Their rate of pay violates all established military rules. All forms in the Jabidah camp are mere mimeograph sheets.

    How come some ex-convicts were included among their instructors?

    There were among them, among the Jabidahs, many ex-Huks, otherwise known as “Monkees” in my part of the country and operating in Central Luzon. Some unexplained killings have been taking place regularly in Pampanga and Tarlac and the civilian authorities in the area attribute these killings not to the Huks but to a group of men called “Monkees”, reportedly members of an “irregular force” of the Philippine Constabulary.

    How many “Monkees” have been trained by these Civil Affairs officers?

    An Ilocano ex-convict was among the instructors. Why was this man allowed to join the Jabidahs?

    If the Tausugs were recruited for purposes other than civic action, then for what?

    Where did the funds for the Jabidahs come from? And who financed Major Abdullatif Martelino in his romantic escapades? He reportedly built a house worth P10,000.00 (still to be finished) for beautiful Sophia on Simunul.

    Did the army sanction his behaviour which may aptly be described as “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” in the name of the Jabidah project? In effect, was he allowed to violate the laws of the country with the knowledge and consent of Mr. “M”?

    What future is in store for the civic action centers? Is this the norm of conduct to be followed by our barrio officials under civic action?

    Will barrio officials ever be able to stand up against these Jabidahs, these experts in the silent wars, these shock troops of Mr. “M”?

    Now, about the so-called Corregidor massacre, Mr. President. I would, if there were truth, be among the first to rise and articulate the indignation and revulsion of a nation sickened and shocked by such deliberate, purposeful and wanton killing of helpless and hapless men.

    And I would, if there had been truth, be among those to voice my own nausea, my anger and my disgust.

    I am afraid that many of us had been too quick to anger, too quick to deplore and denounce. For the truth, as I found it in Sulu, is: the probability of a mass massacre is dim.

    I could make big political capital out of all of this. I could pillory, nail on the public cross and damn President Marco and the men who served under him in this operation. I could rouse the people against them, all of them.

    But, Mr. President, I say: Let us pin blame only where the blame is. And, by my findings, a wanton massacre is not among the things that we must hang on Mr. Marcos’ conscience and Mr. Marcos’ soul.

    For the fact is: There must have been or there could have been killings. Maybe, I will even submit, some of the companions of Arula could have been shot. Only a fair investigation will bring out the facts.

    But of the asserted mass massacre of 60, we can now safely say that the figure has been reduced — by 24, who have shown up in Jolo; by 25, adding Jibin Arula; by 26, adding the leader who has shown up: by 29, adding the three who reportedly have reported.

    So that, now, we are looking for 31 men — 31 men of the Jabidahs who have resigned.

    There have been some killings, yes. But these are killings that come under the heading of murder. And, for this, the guilty must be hauled before our justice and made to account and to pay.

    Mr. President, yesterday I was in Simunul, in Sanga-Sanga, in Bongao and in Siasi, and I was met by crying and grieving mothers. Sweethearts and wives came to me, asking me if I knew if — indeed — their brothers, husbands and loved ones had been massacred on Corregidor as reported. I had no answer, Mr. President.

    I merely told them that President Marcos had told me that some of the boys had been sent home. And so, I told them further, I had come to their island to find out if their menfolk had — indeed — returned.

    There is unrest among the Tausugs in Sulu, Mr. President. They want to find out — to find out what had gone wrong with their men, what had become of their men. They want to know whether their men had really been massacred on Corregidor.

    I believe a just, a quick investigation by this Chamber within the next 48 hours will at least alleviate the mass suffering now gripping our people in Sulu. This, we must do.

    And lest we whip up this nation into a fit of disgust and hate, let us set the facts straight — quickly. And let us let the chips fall where they must.

    But, Mr. President, Mr. Marcos is far from lily-white in all this.

    Ploys and Plots

    What I have gathered impels me to rise and denounce him, to call him to account — lest he be further emboldened into thinking the country sleeps and slumbers while he plots, schemes, and conspires.

    And so, Mr. President, I charge President Marcos with building a secret strike force under his personal command — to form the shock troops of his cherished garrison state.

    I charge President Marcos with picking men of dubious backgrounds, men with criminal records even, and the so-called Monkees, the killer ex-Huks, to form the core of this force — to insure they will do as he bids and wipe out the opposition, if needed.

    I charge President Marcos with failure to instill secrecy and cynical use of the intelligence funds for this sinister operation — to advance himself, for personal gains — in violation of the Constitution.

    I charge President Marcos with failure to instill secrecy and discipline in the armed forces, failure amounting to criminal neglect.

    I charge President Marcos with failure to infuse our armed forces trainees with proper orientation, a failure that showed itself in the crack-up and breakdown of the Corregidor trainees, which the general staff itself admitted.

    Why were they not subjected to psychological training? In the regular armies of the world, Special Forces men are picked from the regular forces. And they pick men who have proven themselves in combat.

    But these men, the men of Camp Sophia and Corregidor, were raw recruits. They were young boys. They were boys out of the high schools and colleges of Sulu. And they were immediately pressed into the Special Forces. And, therefore, under the rigors of training, they could — as asserted — have cracked up.

    I charge President Marcos, too, with failure to see to it that the defense funds are properly used. In other words, he is guilty of defense funds misuse.

    And I also charge President Marcos with careless recruitment in the Tawi-Tawi islands group, a carelessness that opened us to infiltration by the counter-insurgency forces of a neighboring country.

    And as a result of all the bunglings and muffings that have attended this so-called Corregidor Affair, President Marcos is as guilty as his Jabidah officers of jeopardizing and damaging Philippine foreign relations, which may take a long time in healing.

  19. Mohammad Jameel on

    Mr Tiglao;

    We are in doubt of your very purpose in talking of the Jabida Massacre. But if you are willing to research several massacres done to Bangsamoros, why not go to them and ask some if not all of the massacres perpetrated by the AFP. I suggest for you to know about the Malisbong Massacre in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. You will know how many thousands of helpless Bangsamoro massacred, the Manili Massacre in Carmen North Cotabato, the Pigkawayan Massacre in Pigkawayan, North Cotabato and many many others. You and the Philippine government attempt to hide the issue will only give nothing in contributing finding solution to the problem. you can’t afford this to erase in the minds of the Moros at the present days to the succeeding days until the day of judgement. the very best solution to my mind is to give way to the present Bangsamoro Basic Law. Unless the problem is properly addressed, it will remain even more bitter. If you will destroy the last confidence building with the Bangsamoro, i don’t know if the succeeding “paikot” will work in the Bangsamoro.

    • Here’ s very good article by a historian on Muslim struggle:The Moro struggle as myth and as historical reality
      ‘A major reason behind the inability to come up with a lasting peace plan for Mindanao has to do with an orthodox explanation that promotes a historical narrative of an unceasing resistance by a unified Muslim minority against the state and the Christian majority’

      Patricio N. Abinales

      Published 8:24 PM, Feb 28, 2015
      Updated 2:42 PM, Mar 04, 2015
      Those involved in the raging public discussion over the fate of Muslim Mindanao post-Mamasapano, might consider it worthwhile to factor in two elements into consideration: first, the Muslim separatist revolt itself, and second, the national government’s scheme to disposess Moros of their lands by flooding Mindanao with northern land-hungry migrants.

      A major reason behind the inability to come up with a lasting peace plan for Mindanao has to do with an orthodox explanation that promotes a historical narrative of an unceasing resistance by a unified Muslim minority against the state and the Christian majority. But this is what the historian Eric Hobsbawm calls an “invented tradition,” as conflict between Moro armed groups and the national government had been intermittent but also localized. During the American colonial period, revolts were even lesser and one-sided battles like the Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak were the exceptions rather than the norm. Moreover, these were never symbols of a grand vision to “liberate” the Moroland or defend it from outside invaders. They were motivated mainly by immediate exigent demands which included taxation, abuses by colonial officials, the end of slave trade, and intra-elite conflict.

      You can actually have an idea of how isolated and insignificant these “revolts” in a listing of historian Samuel K. Tan has in his book The Filipino Muslim Armed Struggle, 1900-1972 (1977), as reproduced below. None of the “revolts” he cited were for “Moro liberation,” and neither were they ever in solidarity with one another. They were all local. There was no umma as asserted by an orthodox explanation that is widely shared, from the University of the Philippines to the NGOs of Moro Mindanao.

      Muslim “revolts” against Americal colonial rule, 1900-1913 (Source: Tan, 1977: 161-67)
      1900 Jolo Sulu Inter-Muslim** n.d. (not determined)
      Tawi-Tawi Sulu Inter-Muslim n.d.
      Basilan Basilan Inter-Muslim n.d.
      1901 Seit Lake Sulu Inter-Muslim n.d.
      1902 Tunggul Lanao US militarism leader killed
      1903 Maciu Lanao US militarism 150-200 killed
      Taraca Lanao US militarism n.d.
      Jolo Sulu US militarism 74 killed
      1903-1904 Jolo Sulu Filipino abuses 250 killed
      Rio Grande Cotabato US militarism several killed
      1904 Lake Lanao Lanao Anti-Christian n.d.
      Luuk Sulu Anti-Christian leader killed
      1904-1905 Jolo Sulu Anti-slavery 320 killed
      1905 Tubig Puta Sulu Inter-Muslim n.d.
      1906 Bud Dajo Sulu Revenge 600-1,000 killed
      1913 Maganui Cotabato Forced labor, tax extraction n.d.
      Buldon Cotabato US militarism n.d.
      Bud Bagsak Sulu Disarmament 450 killed
      Talipao Sulu Toll tax n.d.

      More important but conveniently ignored is the prolonged period of Muslim collaboration with their supposed enemies. The late Maranao scholar Mamitua Saber noted as early as 1973 that Muslim elites did not hesitate to work with the Marcos dictatorship to keep their authority over their constituents. With their longer history, social embeddedness, and ability to make political adjustments, Muslim elites have easily outwitted and outlasted the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). If peace comes to Moro Mindanao and the Bangsamoro entity created, I am sure the MILF will have its hands full competing and controlling these equally armed traditional rivals.

      This brings us to the second issue that this orthodox narrative of an unrelenting Moro resistance has made many of us accept as valid – the role of various government colonization schemes in abetting the conflict.

      What this narrative does not tell us is that these programs failed, victim to limited budgets, corruption, and inefficiency in Manila as well as in the field sites. The US embassy complained in 1952 that the Land Settlement Development Corporation was nothing but “an agency of incompetent political appointees and corrupters” that had made the “fast clearance of land titles next to impossible to accomplish.” Professor Peter Krinks, a social geographer who studied land patterns in Mindanao also found evidence that the Bureau of Lands, which was supposed to oversee the organized distribution of homestead settlements, was “hampered by the wartime destruction of records, the lack of funds and by the illicit intervention of politicians.”

      It was not government settlement schemes that were the culprit but spontaneous migration that filled up the frontier fast (1.2 million by the early-1960s) that led to competition over deforested lands. Yet this did not even immediately led to clashes with Muslims. Settlers and Muslims coexisted peacefully, trading in marketplaces where goods and harvests were traded and sold. “Peace” was ensured by the Muslim elites who saw the settlers as new electoral constituents. But when President Marcos began to intervene aggressively in Moro politics, this glue that kept the peace broke up and Muslim politicians joined the MNLF, albeit only briefly.

      The consequences of this inefficient state delivery system and anarchic autonomous migration were dramatic, with many settler communities suffering from hunger and famine during this period. The rodent pestilence that plagued the Cotabato settler communities aggravated what was already a dire situation, as rats attacked ravenously farmlands and barns where rice were stocked. From this devastation emerged one of the most feared symbols of settler violence against Muslim communities: the dreaded extremely brutal Ilaga militia group headed by the now legendary Feliciano Luces, a.k.a. Kumander Toothpick.

      A few years later, Nur Misuari teamed up with the Alontos of Lanao, Udtog Matalam of Cotabato, and the student group headed by the Islamic scholar Hashim Salamat, to form the MNLF. And war came to Moro Mindanao. – Rappler.com

      Patricio N. Abinales is professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He is from Mindanao.

      *American casualties from these conflicts were not determined
      **Tan does not define the term “Inter-Muslim,” but it presumably means conflict within elements of Muslim societies

  20. apolonio reyes on

    As I wrote last Satuday’s issue of MT, I goggled ” Jabidha Massacre ” and learned that it was a MYTH and even then Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr., Pnoy’s father, did not believed it as not one body, except for lone ranger witness Arula, was ever recovered at Manila Bay and not a single blood at the scene of the crime. Sen. Ninoy went to Sulo to investigate and found out the victims named by Arula was in Sulo farming.
    I could not understand why Pnoy and his PR Men Sik Coloma, Sik Lacierda and USik Valte, wants us to believe this MYTH by recognizing “Jabidha Massacre ” and compare it to the ” Daan na Landas ” patungo sa Mamasapano Massacre, Bakit SirP?

  21. Gerlyn Gamolo on

    Sir, i hope Ninoy’s speech would be published in its entirety for us to read and see for ourselves if Jabidah happened or not. Rather than read portions of the speech followed by one’s interpretation on it giving tendency that the message of the speech to be distorted

  22. Norodin Lucman on

    The ramifications of the Jabidah massacre runs deep in the psyche of a Moro fighter. It is not an urban legend as Manila would like to paint it.. Like Mamasapano, it jolted the Bangsamoro people into unity and action against injustice. There were executions in the style of blood feud, rido, against those who committed the crime – Martelino, Batalla, Abadilla, Olivas, Nepomuceno and others whose names are associated with the massacre.Where were you in 1968 when the incident happened? I was a living witness to the adverse reaction of the LP and Muslim leaders when they were informed about the massacre from JIbin Arula himself. Manila can deny the deaths of our people but we know the perpetrators of the crime. The ghosts of the Jabidah massacre still haunts this country until it is no more. I remember 1968 was the year when Cong. Rashid Lucman sent Nur Misuari and Top 90 for guerilla training in Malaysia, courtesy of Malaysian PM Tun Abdul Rahman and Sabah CM Tun Mustapha. Jabidah could not be a hoax because Malaysia and majority of Muslim leaders in Mindanao and Sulu reacted adversely to the massacre. They did not file charges against the Marcos government. They prepared for war.

    • rigoberto tiglao on

      I will report in detail what happened to the officers allegedly involved in the “Jabidah”. Suffice to say Martelino married a Muslim and lived in Muslim Mindanao, but died in Sabah apparently pursuing his patriotic even Quixotic dream of claiming Sabah. Abadilla and Olivas weren’t tainted at all by the allegations and went on with their normal career paths although Abadilla became a loyal “enforcer” for Marcos that Npa claimed he had blood debts that he was assassinated by the ABB in 1985 I think. If Jiibin was above-board why did MNLF -and MILF abandon him that he settled in Antique and resuscitated in 2007 only when campaign for Bangsamoro escalated. Jibin in his old age had to beg Montano’s son to employ him at a Cavite town. For supposedly the hero who exposed Jabidah he died alone In a Cavite hovel. only three years, when govt organizers for a commemorative plaque in Corregidor did they learn he passed away.

    • Give him money and he will stop. do not gave him money and he will to sing a very out of tune song. part of the disgruntled politician.

  23. I was already reading newspapers when this “Jabidah” thing broke out in the news. Yes, i was surprised why nothing has been written about the relatives or those whose sons were allegedly “massacred” in Corregidor. Arula, i heard ,died years ago in Davao.At one time, i heard he was residing at Campo Islam, Zamboanga City,a free man . I hope Tigbao will relate what happened to Arula after he returned to Mindanao. I have been curious all along about this so called Massacre. What i know is that a big number of males, including ex World War II veterans underwent training in Camp Evangelista Cagayan de Oro for Operation Merdeka. Yes they were to be remobilized when the go signal to go and retake Sabah comes. It is rather surprising that while the MNLF and the MILF were organized allegedly because of this Jabidah Massacre, Arula never played an active role in these rebel movement. The most is that he should have been recruited by Misauri or named a commander or something in the MNLF/MILF. Nada

  24. Thanks for the info, maybe you can also share what you know about EDSA 86 hoax sir, i’ve downloaded a copy of the extortion letter of the trilateral commission being shoved by then US amb. Philip Habibi( not sure about the exact spelling) to Pres. FEM, asking for 63k TONS of gold in exchange for multi billion dollars in loan to restore the failing phil. Economy(daw?). When Marcos refused to give the gold under his custodianship(he doesn’t own it, he’s just the holder/trustee), the CIA and some traitors in the military, politics, civil society and the church went to work to take it from him and to grab the power permanently and the rest of history has been all shit for the next gen. of fooled filipinos. Can you confirm or add some details about edsa 86 sir? I think it’s a much bigger hoax than jabidah..

    • you can search for Executive Intelligence Review by Mike Billington, dated Dec. 4, 2004. it may help you of some info.

  25. Good information. Not about Aquino speaking incorrectly (we know that already) but that there was no Jabidah massacre.

  26. Raquel Silva on

    Sir, i hope Sen. Ninoy’s speech would be published in its entirety for us to read and see for ourselves whether Jabidah happened or not. Rather than quote portions of the article followed by one’s enterpretation on it.

  27. what I’ve always asked is whats the motive in killing the recruits? If it was true…

  28. Thanks for this information. Sana lang may tagalog version para maintindihan ng mga karamihang Pilipino

  29. Just shows how dirty the Liberal Party, noon pa lang puro sinungaling
    Saan pa nagmana si ABNOY?

  30. It is good now that kind of Mr Tiglao to expose the real story of Jabidah munity not massacre. The real story of political machination of treasonous personalities both here and abroad is a real mind opener of what really happened.We have still living military personnel who could shed light on the story of one of the most important events in our nation’s history. You could see how we were manipulated by the politicians and the biased press then. How the AQUINOS put our country in the pedestal of destruction– the untruthful of expose of Ninoy, how Cory resurrected the Muslim insurgency and how Pinoy is trying to ram to our throat that BBL. Seems to be the Aquinos is the “salot” in our beloved country.

  31. Eddie de Leon on

    You are helping the new generations understand and learn the truth..
    Where is “Lawrence of Arabia” burnoose-wearing Col. Eddie Martelino now?

    • Will write on Col Martelino on Wednesday. You wouldn’t believe how he spent the rest of his life.

  32. Samuel Santos on

    “I’ll discuss these on Wednesday,” Sir, it’s quite “unfair.” Bakit ho nyo kami binitin? LOL

  33. Mr. Tiglao should write about this Jabidah incident every year, para wala nang mabobola na young generation, Christians and Muslims alike, about this urban legend.

  34. Verily, President Noynoy read not his father’s speech because he is talking opposite to his father’s declaration on Jabidah Massacre which Ninoy himself proved that it was nothing but a hoax.

  35. What kind of president, you asked? The lowest kind, the unthinking, unfeeling kind who does not care for this country and its people. He is a scum. And you know where scums belong.