On Edsa People Power and the legacy of the Jabidah massacre

It’s been 27 years since the Edsa People Power, a time when we all hoped for the best. Where has that spirit gone?

Has that “Proud to be a Filipino” tagline, gone beyond lip service?
Has that popular mantra translated to a country where the rights of its citizens is upheld and its citizens know the value of that right.

We celebrate the “freedom” born of the Edsa People Power but the oldest of issues and the nagging question of Sabah has constantly been a grim reminder that such freedom is nothing but skin deep.

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Imperial Manila has long neglected the problem of the South since colonial times and have contributed to the abuse of the ancestral lands that our Muslim brothers and sisters hold sacred.

What has happened since Sultan Esmail Kiram I ceded SOVEREIGNTY RIGHTS to the REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES on September 12, 1962, as well witnessed by President Diosdado Macapagal?

There was “Operation Merdeka” which gave us the Jabidah massacre, where as much as much as 60 Tausug and Badjao AFP recruits were executed by machine gun by their military handlers. Military personnel were court-martialled but no justice was ever meted out.

The legacy of the Jabidah massacre is the volatile situation in Mindanao and Sabah.

Over 60,000 deaths and over Php 76B of taxpayers money has been spent fighting the war in Mindanao since 1970.

Many Tausugs and Badjaos are displaced because of the war in Mindanao, the situation compounded by the EXCLUSION of SOME Filipino Muslims in the ongoing peace agreement.

Compromising the people living in Sabah through the same perpetual problems will be nothing but pure arrogance.

The best option had always been to stress the right over Sabah at international tribunals, the heirs of Sultan Kiram I has given the legal right to pursue claims at international courts but WHY was none pursued after the Macapagal and Marcos administration?

Then again, legalizing the annexation of Sabah at an international tribunal is a two edged sword. With the cost of the peace and standard of living of the inhabitants of Sabah, arises the question whether PH can sustain the $75B biofuel revenue and use that to upgrade mainland PH or will Sabah be just another Tawi-Tawi and Jolo and that billions from the years of R&D will be just another “savings” for our beloved politicians to use according to their whim?

What good will the property be, if it doesn’t uphold our humanity?

Let’s put a face on the Sabah issue.

This is what happens when our people are blind to see the elephant in the room. Proud to be a Filipino, should go beyond lip service and should well translate in a country where the rights of its citizens is upheld and its citizens know the value of that right.

This is what happens when our people are blind to see the elephant in the room. Proud to be a Filipino, should go beyond lip service and should well translate in a country where the rights of its citizens is upheld and its citizens know the value of that right.


Take the time to know this child and others like him in this documentary of News TVs’ Reel Time, “Batang Halau”. Watch the award winning* docu by clicking at this link.

Understand why our Muslim brothers and sisters are leaving and what fate awaits their children in a land that doesn’t know them and a country that doesn’t recognize them as their own.

For the sake of this child and many others like him, the stakeholders should reach a compromise agreement to serve all vested interest.

“Our liberty will not be secured at the sword’s point… We must secure it by MAKING OURSELVES WORTHY OF IT. And when the people reach that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.” Over a 100 hundred years since this was written by Jose Rizal in “El Filibusterismo” and 27 years since the Edsa People Power yet its meaning seldom do we understand.

*Batang Halau won the 2012 Migration Advocacy and Media Award for Best TV Show.

Mula sa Reel Time: Batang Halau:
“Kasalanan nga bang mangarap ng isang maliwanag na hinaharap?

Halau o itinaboy sa salitang Bahasa-Malay. Wala silang anumang dokumentong makapagpapatunay sa kanilang pagkakakilanlan bilang Pilipino o Malaysian man. Sila ang mga musmos na ipinanganak na at nagkamuwang sa Sabah, Malaysia – ang bayang kinagisnan na nilang tahanan.

Pero paano kung ika’y di kilalanin at ipagtabuyan ng bayan mong sinilangan?

Walang pagkakakilanlan. Walang tumutugon sa kanilang karapatan. Lumalaki silang mangmang. Malabo ang kinabukasan.”

“Kamusta na ang mga Batang Halau”, an update on how the children are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_10cWVmEP5Y

9 Replies to “On Edsa People Power and the legacy of the Jabidah massacre”

  1. It’s sad to think that most of countrymen, eventhough they are legally Filipino has no sense of national identity, ask around questions regarding our culture and all the answers you will recieve are either a long “Ahhh?” or a scratch on the head. We trace roots of Filipinos making international names, even though the filipino blood is only a drop on their veins. When an international sensation comes we always qoute “PROUD TO BE PINOY” just because he or she has a filipino roots. We are very boastful about it and even get on arguments on the internet just to to satisfy this qoute. If you truly are a Filipino, be proud of our culture not our people.

    Sadly, we have brothers on the sideline that is abandoned by our country and left stateless, and the excuse that the government says “Kasalanan nila yan at umalis sila ng bansa”
    And now they are happily parading on the streets of EDSA singing “Magkaisa!, May liwanag na natatanaw”, handing out yellow ballers and taking the opportunity to campaign their bets, that they say will help them on the stupid “Daan Matuwid” scheme.

    1. Skin deep patriotism, oh wait, will all that branding even be called patriotism?

      I once was wishful with this reply, if only PH was less fanatic of a Fiesta country and more of a community sustained with a vision for sustainability then that $75B bio fuel revenue generated by Malaysia from those palm trees growing on Sabah could have served our citizens well.

      Imagine all those blue collar OFWs who could have been saved from being abused abroad, imagine the better public schools that could have been built from that money, imagine all the health facilities and services that could have been subsidized, imagine less corruption because people do not have to succumb to hunger. Well, that’s all we can do with the Sabah issue, IMAGINE.

      Until the time, our citizens learn the value of our citizenship, only then can we see a better Philippines. For now, it’s back to fun, fun, fun Philippines. It’s more fun in the Philippines, right?

  2. Edsa was but a brief moment in time which offered hope and which demanded change.
    The promise never translated into real benefits for the people, as power only shifted from one group of oligarchs to another, and the underlying malaise remained, simply repackaged and rebranded, and far from becoming people centred and inclusive, the ensuing years exhibited even greater exclusivity and imperialism. – especially when politicians/oligarchs focussed on the money in manila/luzon, and the south was regarded as another world full of problems and devoid of fun, so perceived to be of no personal/financial or political benefit and avoided at all costs

    27 years later the news is still filled with corruption, scams, massacres, conflicts, extra-judicial killings, and human rights abuses, with poverty and unemployment at completely unacceptable levels, and the filipinos great dream is still to live in america rather than stay in their own country.

    Whilst the rest of the world has moved on and improved, the philippines remains in a time-warp. Those were were given the responsibility and opportunity have failed the country, but still desperately want more and more power for their own benefit and cling on well past their sell by date living in the past and acting like modern day luddites, resisting any change which could alter the status quo and the class ridden structure of society.

    When the richest people in the country are politicians, then you know there is a systemic problem, but one which shows little evidence of changing.

    The quality of politicians has decreased over the years as any pretence of public service is replaced by self service, passion is replaced by greed, and policies/ideologies become subservient to personalities/entertainment.

    Only in a culture where people are so subservient, have a desperate sense to belong to some community/cult, and do not possess inquiring minds would so much be tolerated by so many for so long.

    But they had better get used to it – or keep dreaming of that job overseas.

  3. IMAGINE; Imagination also lacks among many Filipinos, they rather be practical, take for granted anything even if it means decieving others just to survive.

    We lack vision, a vision to see what will we become, we rather look back rather than keep moving forward, we choose to dwell in the past rather than take a single step, we can’t even dream what lies beyond the horizon, we just look down on the grown waiting for something to sprout.

  4. Edsa a failed opportunity for the country – a perpetual PR for brand aquino, as myth overtakes reality.
    Was Cory the only hero!
    I heard she was as scared as a mouse. Like mother -like son.
    Hide when the going gets tough – but be quick to take credit for other people’s efforts/endeavours when the hard work has been done.

  5. EDSA’s only lesson is not really democracy, We were free before it happened, we are DISIPLINED.

    “If you spare the rod, you spoil the child”

    That’s what happen, EDSA only took the rod, a means of disipline, it never gave freedom. Now we are suffering from derange politicians who shares genetics with and amphibious reptile, activist that causes major traffic jams and severe noise pollution and a bald president who thinks like the country is a videogame where you can restart if you made errors.

  6. We should not wallow in the past. The Aquinos want us to wallow in the past of the EDSA myth, to maintain their power. And hold on to their Hacienda Luisita. We are tired to these greedy families of Aquinos and Cojuangcos…to hell with these people…

    1. Cojuangco aquino political and economic influence/network.

      60+ family members in key/executive positions ( the majority unelected posts) in all major sectors – politics (national and local), monopoly businesses/companies, sport, media, entertainment, GOCC’s, NGO’s.
      All working together as one family business ensuring that nothing compromises their wealth and everything increases their power base. With regard to the general populace, the cojuangco aquino view is ‘ let them eat rice’, and if that fails, then just shoot the peasants! Hacienda luisita, baby!
      A view rooted in feudal thinking, and totally alien to any democratic principles.

      They are frustrated that they are not monarchs with a guaranteed line of accession, but try to ensure that this becomes the case in reality. Money begets money, popularity begets power, power begets money. a vicious circle of greed, corruption and self-interest hidden under a hypocitical cloak of honesty and transparency. Nothing could be further from the truth, as they trade favours and work behind the scenes to obtain unaudited budgets/funds, secure lucrative contracts at inflated prices.

      Their philosophy and leadership style is more in line with middle eastern potentates rather than western models which ironically provided the ‘paperwork’ (constitution), and luckily continuing aid from uncle sam.

      It is a complex network stretching from tarlac out to baguio and subic, cherry picking all key financial and business development areas via political and NGO appointments, with the exception of pampanga – Mmm, – which is critical in the scheme to monopolise and create a new commercial, residential and recreational area in tarlac, with clark being the international hub, once arroyo is disposed of. There is actually little interest in visayas or mindanao – too much trouble for too little return. The rich pickings are in luzon and that is where any infrastructure/government money will be spent in support of cojuangco aquino businesses/plan.

      President – the big prize ( and just like cory, timely deaths, and an accidental president is not a tragedy, but a big opportunity) Last time they screwed up, but they have no intention of repeating the mistake – to such an extent that they are now going all out to get bam aquino elected as senator – despite being the runt of the litter, but creating an unchallenged view/myth that he has actually done something in 10 years of ‘working’ (i.e. like p-noy swanned around like a ‘lady who lunches’) – and then position him as vp/president in 2022. ( watch pulse asia surveys in the next 2 months! And comelec is already compromised/committed to deliver the right result through brillantes. It is becoming an open secret, and a national disgrace)

      They now realise that a stupid, weak, and generally honest, front man is perfect to support a public propaganda message of honesty, whilst hiding/deflecting the corruption/business deals under the covers. A win-win for the family. A lose-lose for the country, but to hell with that.
      Mar roxas is the malleable interim measure for 2016, but don’t rule out chiz escudero- kris aquino is working hard on him as plan B. The common denominator – weak individuals who respond to ego massaging and who do as they are told.

      The cojuangcos even stick their greedy and grubby little hands into sport via the philippine olympic committee, and turn it into a political cauldron which has completely failed at providing any sporting benefits

      Kris aquino – personality who uses popularity to exploit political influence to the maximum. No real interest in objectivity or issues, or even quality shows.
      Forget professionalism or conflict of interest when the ‘family business’ is involved. A propaganda machine ably supported and pushed by abs-cbn

      (Teleprompter reader korina sanchez is in the same mould, and so desperate to be first lady that she even accepts/turns a blind eye to mar roxas’ well known mistress – such weak women in the philippines)

      And that is apart from the incompetent and unemployable kkk, who naturally become beholden to their paymaster. Part of the strategy – never employ people cleverer than you – which means p-noy conciously selects from the bottom of the barrel ( they dont yell, they dont tell,and they are as grateful as hell!) – and it sure as hell shows in practice.
      Cabinet members, comms group, sereno, brillantes, torres, morales etc.
      An insult to the people and a treacherous act to the country. Only in the 3rd world would such corruption and incompetence be accepted.

      In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

      Mediocre non achievers who only rise through money and manipulation, not talent, ability or achievement

      Mediocracy not meritocracy

      So much for the legacy of EDSA.
      The united nations now classifies the philippines as a’ flawed democracy’, and in tge past 3 years the country has slipped even further in the world democracy index.
      So much for aquino.

  7. A truly sad state of affairs..another one of those ‘celebrations’. 27 years back, it was s time of hope and a time to truly celebrate the so-called ‘freedom’. 27 years later, everyone was still hoping…and continues to hope. How many more years of hope until we get there?

    All this talk about pag-asa..or pag-ASA is just making me sick to stomach, but that’s just maybe because that was all there is to it to those 27 years that passed by. It was just all a promise and nothing more..a daydream with no execution…is just a plain delusion.

    This country is still politically challenged and unstable, and an economy that is hampered, anemic and is more likely to consume the consumer sooner than later, but I think it is already happening and has been happening ever since…

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