ARMM governor: Enrile's hands stained with Moros' blood
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman rejected the claim of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile that no massacre happened during Martial Law under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
In a statement on Sunday, September 23, Hataman said Enrile is also accountable for the massacres that happened when he was Marcos' defense minister.
"The blood of the people slain in these massacres stains more than just the hands of Marcos," the ARMM governor said.
"The blood of those killed in the Manili massacre also stains the hands of former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile…. As defense secretary he would have known about these massacres – especially the ones where military personnel were involved."
The 1971 Manili massacre saw at least 70 Muslims killed at a mosque in Manili, Carmen, North Cotabato.
In the first part of "JPE: A Witness to History," the former Senate president claimed that there were no massacres under the Marcos regime, unlike "what happened in Mendiola during the supposed democratic government of Cory Aquino."
But Enrile was wrong. At least two massacres happened between 1972 and 1981, during the period of military rule in the Philippines. Both happened in Mindanao and were committed against Muslim communities.
The first was the Palimbang massacre or the Malisbong massacre where 1,500 men were killed in Sultan Kudarat on September 24, 1974. The second one was in Bingcul village on November 12, 1977. Government forces reportedly opened fire and killed at least 42 villagers.
Beyond the 10-year military rule were other massacres of Muslims under Marcos, including the Jabidah massacre on Corregidor Island in 1968.
Hataman hit Enrile's effort to "revise history" as a hindrance to achieving peace in the region.
"We Moros have been struggling to recognize our history as a people with a right to determine our own path, and revising our history will only make this struggle more difficult," the ARMM governor said.
"Hiding the truth in sanitized versions of our history will not help us build peace. At this crucial stage where we will begin implementing the Bangsamoro Organic Law, we need the truth, unvarnished and honest, as our guide. We cannot build peace on lies."
The denial of the existence of massacres during the Marcos dictatorship was just one of the lies mentioned by Enrile in a two-part interview conducted by former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, son of the late strongman. – Rappler.com
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