Posted by: kawagib | March 6, 2009

Kawagib commemorates Bud Dajo massacre, calls an end to US intervention

Cotabato City- A Moro human rights organization here reminds Filipinos not to easily fall for what it calls the duplicitous nature of US interventions in the country.

“The help that we are getting from the US could come at such a steep price or compromise to our people and sovereignty,” Kawagib spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said.

The Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization issued the statement in commemoration of the Bud Dajo Massacre.

At least a thousand Moros, several hundreds of whom women and children, were massacred by US soldiers 103 years ago at Bud Dajo in the island of Sulu.

Indayla said the incident in Bud Dajo is a grim reminder of excessive US intervention and the danger of misreading the true intent of the aid they are extending to the country.

“It should serve as a cautionary tale as the US continues its incursions to some particular parts of the world under the guise of development and advancing its brand of ‘democracy’,” Indayla said.

Kawagib believes that, to this day, the US continues to trample on the sovereignty of the Philippines. “The US maintains strong influence on the policies being imposed in the country. It exerts dominance on the exploits of our resources and economy,” Indayla said.

Further, the group strongly condemns the conduct of Balikatan military exercises and calls on the government to junk the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). “The VFA gives US soldiers the license to violate the human rights of Filipinos and renders our justice system inutile to prosecute the crimes they commit,” Indayla said. She cites the Subic rape case and the massacre in the municipality of Maimbung, Sulu in February 04, 2008, where 6 people were killed including a pregnant woman and 2 children.

Eyewitnesses have reported seeing 4 US soldiers in the company of the perpetrators as they were leaving the scene of the incident onboard a naval boat. As in the case of the Bud Dajo massacre, the pregnant woman was not spared from the atrocities. Moro women go through a great ordeal as they try to cope with years of armed conflicts and emerge out of the dictates of the norms of their society.. Kawagib also marks this day as the observance of the Moro Women’s Day – a day recognizing the struggle of Moro women for freedom and equality.

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