Muslims to commemorate Bangsamoro Day March 18

March 14, 2013 10:39 pm 

MANILA, Mar. 14 — Mindanao Muslims particularly the natives of the Island provinces, will be commemorating Bangsamoro Day on March 18, also the infamous day of the Jabidah Massacre, the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) said Thursday.

Amina Rasul, President of PCID said that the commemoration will highlight the gruesome murder of young Tausug mujahideen by the military in 1968 after the botched attempt of the Marcos regime to send a special assault team to Sabah with the express purpose of creating instability, thus allowing the Philippine military to step in and reclaim Sabah. Bangsamoro Day has become a day of recognition of distinct identity as Bangsamoro people.

She said that the celebration this year is wrought with sorrow. In an eerie coincidence, Sabah has again become the cause of bloodshed.

“It is unfortunate that the escalating hostilities in Lahad Datu have spilled over to other areas such as Sempurna, where thousands of Filipinos have resided for decades. Our fear for the lives of unprotected innocents remains unabated, as we listen to reports of the growing number of casualties,” Rasul said in a statement.

In view of the alarming turn of events, which has become bleaker every minute, Rasul said that they strongly urge Malaysia to cease its excessive use of force against a group of Filipinos, inadequately armed and clearly outnumbered.

“We join the UN Secretary General’s call for the immediate end to the violence in Lahad Datu and other areas in Sabah. For humanitarian reasons, an immediate cessation of hostilities is in order to avert further loss of lives and destruction of property. To enforce the ceasefire, we call on independent parties, such as the UN Peacekeeping Forces, to maintain order in the conflict areas,” she pointed out.

According to Rasul, the highly volatile situation calls for tempered and experienced leaders, knowledgeable about the underlying issues, to diffuse the tensions.

The immediate creation of crisis committee by the Aquino Administration to work on a peaceful and just resolution of the Lahad Datu crisis is their request.

The Crisis Committee should be headed by the Office of the President and should include the National Security Council, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the Commission on Human Rights as well as representatives of the Sultanate and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

It shall endeavor to address the present crisis in Sabah through legal avenues available, within the framework of international, regional and bilateral treaties, accords and other legal instruments binding on Malaysia and the Philippines.

“We echo the call by the Philippine Government for Malaysia to observe maximum tolerance should be pursued in the context of Islamic Brotherhood and ASEAN unity. We also appeal, as one Ummah, to the Muslim countries within the ASEAN to help resolve the situation in Sabah peacefully to avert further loss of lives,” she stressed.

At the same time, they call on all the members of the Royalty and Nobility of the Sulu Sultanate to unite behind the search for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. (PNA)

DSP/SFM/ABB

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