PRAYER AND TRIBUTE
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful.
Thirty nine years ago today, around 20,000 Muslim, Christian and Chinese civilian residents of Jolo perished in the wild inferno of the burning of the central commercial town caused by repeated land, sea and air bombardments by the lethal Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) war machine of mass destruction. They were caught in the cross fire between the two-day battle of the colonial AFP occupation soldiers and the freedom fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) right in the town center of Jolo.
Recalling now their anguish, pain and suffering until their final death on the hands of the Filipino invaders, the Muslims of the Bangsamoro homeland of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) under still Philippine colonialism appeal to the Islamic Ummah and to the conscious peaceful community of nations worldwide to pray not only for the departed souls of the Jolo civilians, but also to all innocent death victims of the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao.
May all of them be rewarded eternal bliss in Paradise!
In paying tribute to those who have sacrificed and given up their precious lives for the cause of freedom and independence of the Filipino-colonized territory of Mindanao, may God Almighty grant them mercy and martyrdom.
And may the One Merciful Allah also grant ‘just and lasting peace’ to the Muslim and Lumad natives of Mindanao, including the Christian settlers. Ameen.
PHILIPPINE MILITARY GENOCIDAL CAMPAIGNS IN SULU
The colonial Philippine military occupation forces genocidal campaigns in Sulu have still to end today.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers have had in the past perpetrated series of massacres of Muslim civilians, including the aged, women and children, in Pata island, Patikul, Indanan and Maimbung so as to terrorize the Bangsamoro people of Lupah Sug (Sulu) into submission as beholden colonial slaves of the Manila government. But the Philippine colonial government have not succeeded to diminish the revolutionary fervor of the oppressed Muslims of Sulu archipelago to fight for their freedom, survival and preservation of Islam religion
From the beginning of the freedom struggle of the Bangsamoro people of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan (MINSUPALA) launched by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the closing 1960s, the Moro freedom fighters have had openly engaged in mortal combat the AFP occupation soldiers in Upi, Cotabato, and also right in the heart of Marawie City. This was to prove to the Philippine government that the colonized and exploited Bangsamoro people in Mindanao could not be easily terrorized and Christianized by the Catholic Filipino military invaders right in their own ancestral homeland usurped this time by the Filipinos.
Thus, the genocidal campaigns of the AFP occupation forces became more brutal and tyrannical in magnitude if only to subjugate the Bangsamoro people of Filipino-colonized Mindanao.
The single Filipino-Moro war event that exposed to the whole humanity the penchant for the Philippine colonial government to inflict mass suffering and painful misery on the Muslims and other natives of the occupied territory was the February 7- 8, 1974 burning of the town of Jolo perpetrated by the combined AFP war machine of mass destruction. As described by one independent media, “the worst single atrocity” rendered scores of thousands Muslims, Chinese and Christians homeless and refugees.
Worst of all, the 2-day continued Philippine Navy (PN) battleships bombardments from the sea, and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) jet fighter planes, T-28 ‘Tora-Tora’ warplanes and helicopter gunships bombardments and machine-gun firing from the sky led to the burning of the central Tulay mosque, Chinese Pun Tai Kung temple and the entire commercial town of Jolo, killing more than 20,000 Muslim, Christian and Chinese civilians with countless material losses
The April 1986 Third Week Issue of Philippines DISPATCH reported the tragic incident in the following words:
“The razing of Jolo, it now appears, was the worst single atrocity to be recorded in 16 years of the Mindanao conflict. A little over a dozen years ago, the main town of the Tausugs, Jolo, was burned to the ground during a fierce battle between the Philippine government troops and the Muslim freedom fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front. The death count surpassed the 10,000 mark but these are definitive figures.”
“Only sketchy reports appeared in the papers and even these were mostly the embellished side of the government. Filipinos (and Moros) elsewhere knew there was heavy fighting in Mindanao that time. Although dead soldiers tell no tales, the mere fact of their deaths provided an inkling of what the war in Mindanao was like: the government casualty list included soldiers from almost all parts of the country. Then there were the stories of refugees, Muslims and Christians, who migrated to more peaceful places: theirs were harrowing and heart-rending tales. And there were also stories from soldiers who were in the thick of the Mindanao campaign? theirs were voices mostly drunken but sometimes tinged with regret.”
“This is one story that the Marcos government tried so hard to suppress — and they almost succeeded.”
POST-BATTLE OF JOLO 7 FEBRUARY 1974
Out of the 2-day “Battle of Jolo” between the MNLF freedom fighters of the Lupah Sug State Revolutonary Council (LSSRC) under Chairman Bian Lay Lim (Arnaib Hajal) and Vice-Chairman Bagindah Alih, and the AFP occupation soldiers, leading to the deliberate “pulverization” and burning of the capital town by the Philippine military, the raging Mindanao genocidal war attracted immensely ground coverage by the global mass media. The foreign media even sent their own war correspondents to Mindanao to personally interview the MNLF freedom fighters.
The foreign press exposed the merciless slaughter of defenseless and harmless Bangsamoro civilians and the looting and ransacking of the Moro abandoned houses by the Filipino occupation soldiers.
Thus, soon after, the Bangsamoro people’s armed struggle to regain complete independence and national self-determination from Philippine colonialism arrested international controversy. And the Far Eastern Economic Review tabbed the Filipino-Moro war in Mindanao next to Vietnam, “the bitterest war in Southeast Asia.”
From then on, the MNLF-launched Bangsamoro people’s Jihad Fi-Sabilillah in Filipino-colonized Mindanao always harvested close focusing coverage by the world mass media. Although the Philippine press tried hard to downplay the AFP-MNLF war to domesticize its international repercussions and all the while distorted facts and events to confuse the subservient Filipinos and the urban-domeciled Moros, this nevertheless projected the Moro National Liberation Front and MNLF Chairman Prof. Nur Misuari into becoming the “spokesman and representative” of the Bangsamoro people in the 47-nation Organization of Islamic Conference.
Thus, since 1974 up to date, the “Bangsamoro Question” has always been discussed annually in the OIC Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM) and OIC Summit Heads of State and Government meetings similar to the “Palestine Question.”
Hence, spotlighting on the succeeding events when the 1974 Jolo battle between the MNLF Mujahidin and the AFP colonial troops and the other open battles elsewhere in Mindanao became the toast of controversy of almost all the truth-seeking global mass media, the Manila government’s black propaganda of “Maoists” and “terrorists” name-calling lost its sting. On the other hand, it became the centerpiece of foreign media’s ridicule. No matter how the Philippine government-controlled TV-Radio and printed media skirted the facts about the rooted-in-colonialism Bangsamoro phenomenon, its international impact and magnitude became otherwise inevitable.
All because of the historic “February 7, Battle of Jolo”! -osm/mnlfnet.com