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TRIBUTE TO OUR MARTYRS
Bangsamoro Youth and Students Association (BANGSA)

RAMADHAN is fast approaching, let us take time to commemorate and remember the nameless, countless, faceless and never-ending tribe of our martyrs to the cause for the Liberation of the Bangsamoro people. They who have followed unhesitatingly the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in fighting for the rights of the Muslim people.

It is fitting and appropriate now to reflect deeply on their contributions and sacrifices made in order that the light of freedom and justice may shine ever brightly in our homeland. Indeed, had it not been for their toil and blood, and their unswerving dedication to the cause of the Bangsamoro people, long ago there would not have left even a single shred of Bangsamoro identity.

We remember them – Sultan Kudarat, Datu Hassan, Datu Ali, Bashier Majid, Ama-I-pakpak, Jikiri and other faceless Bangsamoro martyrs. We yearn to go back to those unforgettable places – Bud Dajo, Bud Bagsak, Jabidah, Pata Island, Masiu, Bayng, Jolo, Buldon, Carmen, Tacub and still many others. Why must we?

Four centuries, 400 years of struggle, this names and places are etched in that long drawn tapestry of history. Our history - the story of the Bangsamoro people. It is the struggle against foreign domination that the mentioned names and places are part of. This is the meaning of these immutable memories.

Ironically, though many are apt to forget or refuse to acknowledge the truth. They dismiss all this as things of the past and draws back in resignation.

Look around you, ask yourself: Is our Bangsamoro homeland free? Have the justices of the past been corrected? Or are they only worsening? The foreign corporations, government programs of resettlement, infrastructure projects which are not for the Bangsamoro people but for the elite and few are continually gobbling the land that our ancestors nurtured with their sweat and defended with their blood. Do this redound to the welfare of the people? We answer with resounding NO!! And leave us alone!

We must never forget our past nor should we neglect to learn its lessons. One that stands clear is this: Rights and Freedom are not even been given, it is wrested from the grasp of the oppressor themselves, wherever and whenever it may be.

Say’s in the Quran –

“And fight them on until there is no Oppression, and there prevail Justice and Faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression”. (Sura 11:93)

It is clear why and for what should we struggle, the question we pose is how? A lot have occurred since we became under the foreign domination. We cannot be content to fight in the traditional way; the manner, which we are accustomed, will not suffice to confront the challenges and dangers to our communities. New enemies have emerged. New friendships must be born. We are faced with a strong and cunning enemy equipped with all the lethal tricks it has devised to maintain its grip; we must therefore adopt a new ways of strategies, indigenous tactics, ways to prevent the Bangsamoro people’s enemy to hold its grip on our homeland. To fashion these we heed to the circumstances that we found ourselves in. Wherever we may be, whenever it may be, there are varied ways to prevent and defeating the oppressors, little by little, step by step though slowly but surely.

We must moreover learn from the experiences of other people’s struggles against domination and exploitation. We always bear in mind to be creative and fastidious in our struggle. Determination will carry us to victory. The experience and contribution of our martyrs inspires us to continue the struggle of the Bangsamoro people for Right to Self-Determination!!!!

We always remember!!!