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defining justice

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  • max ediger
    Friends: The following was forwarded to me by our friend Bobby in Mindanao. Bobby has formed a Center for Justpeace Mindanao and occasionally sends very
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2005
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      Friends:  The following was forwarded to me by our friend Bobby in Mindanao.  Bobby has formed a Center for Justpeace Mindanao and occasionally sends very useful articles like this one. 
       
      max

      centerforjustpeace in mindanao <centerforjustpeace@...> wrote:
       

      Defining Justice

      On this day, March 17, in 1968, at least 28 young Muslim men, no more
      than 30 years old, were massacred in Corregidor in the infamous
      Jabidah Massacre. Some say the victims were executed because they
      mutinied against their officers in protest over the delay in payment
      of their allowances. But a more popular version of the story is that
      these young Moros, hoping to be members of the Armed Forces of the
      Philippines, found out that their mission was to invade Sabah, where
      many of their fellow Muslims, friends and families are living in
      peace. They protested and decided to back out of the training. Since
      the mission was a top military secret, and to prevent it from being
      exposed, their trainors brought them to a tiny airstrip, in groups of
      twelve and subsequently gunned them down. This incident gave birth to
      various Muslim groups including the Muslim Independence Movement of
      Datu Udtog Matalam, the Ansar el Islam of former Senator Ahmad Domocao
      Alonto, the Moro National Liberation Front of Misuari and later, the
      Moro Islamic Liberation Front of Hashim Salamat.

      Now, 37 years after, 22 Muslims were killed in the Bagong Diwa city
      jail when the government officials decided to enforce its assault
      plan, ending the 27-hour-old negotiations.

      As the government, some sectors and individuals rejoice and
      congratulate each other for what they claim as a successful end to the
      crisis, the chain of injustice, pain, and worst, maybe even hatred and
      vengeance is again passed on to another generation of Muslim children.

      Yesterday, as the victims were being buried, the young sons of Ahmad
      Opao and Muktar Abukhair wept as they looked helplessly while their
      fathers� bloodied bodies, the lifeless bodies of their people, were
      gradually covered with mud.

      At the height of the crisis, many people, including supposedly
      unbiased media personalities and public officials openly expressed
      their irritation and impatience over the then on-going negotiations.
      Bakit pa sila nakikipag negotiate? Dapat sumalakay na sila!

      It was easy for them to decide for they do not know whose lives they
      were asking to be sacrificed. For them, they were just faceless
      criminals. But for those who knew them, for the families and loved
      ones of the 400 plus inmates in that building, who can attest to their
      innocence, attacking and possibly killing them would be a grave
      injustice. An act which would make us no different from those we call
      terrorists.

      The call to attack was anchored on the government�s policy not to
      negotiate with terrorists and the great humiliation the country is
      facing due to its own incompetence and lapses. Have they become
      brutally heartless that human life is now but secondary to the image
      of the government?

      But have we not humiliated ourselves before the whole world when we
      pulled out our troops from Iraq to save the one life of Angelo dela
      Cruz? How long have we been negotiating with the undoubtedly
      cold-blooded terrorists holding Tarongoy as hostage? We do not
      question these moves of the government, in fact we commend them., for
      we believe in the sanctity of every human life.

      Our question is, can we not bear a lesser degree of humiliation and
      afford the same degree of patience for the sake of the hundreds of
      lives at stake?

      Obviously, the answer is no. And one can not help but think that maybe
      because the lives sacrificed are mere Muslim lives who all deserved to
      die? For them, they are all the same. We are all the same.

      We do not question the fact that those who staged the siege must pay
      for the death of the jail guards. But who were these perpetrators? The
      government were able to identify only Kosovo, Ka Lando, and a certain
      Edsel. Other reports said that Kumander Global and Robot were not part
      of the group. But granting, that Global and Robot were indeed
      involved, based on their established notorious identities, that would
      make a party of five, and they were all killed. They have paid for the
      innocent lives they have taken.

      But eighteen others were killed, including a 75 year old detainee who
      wets his bed, and other suspected Abu Sayyaf members, many of whom
      were just indiscriminately picked up by authorities in Basilan, Sulu
      and other neighboring provinces. Suspects, who had the right to defend
      themselves in a fair trial. Who had the right to voice their own share
      of the truth. But along with their dead bodies, the truth is buried.
      Who will pay for their death?

      Philippine law clearly states that one is deemed innocent unless
      proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But in the Bagong Diwa assault,
      clearer is the fact that the Philippine government is the very own
      violator of its laws. Clearest is the fact that the Philippine
      government is the very perpetrator of injustice.

      But still, we are for peace. We believe that this incident will not
      justify the killing of innocent civilians, Muslims, Christians, or
      whatever faith they may be, for they are unquestionably unIslamic. But
      as we call for peace, we also cry for justice, for there can never be
      peace where there is no justice.

      Unless there is now a new definition of justice? Or is justice now
      reserved for just a chosen few?

      We appeal to those who think otherwise, to those who still believe in
      the true sense of justice, to the universality of justice. In the name
      of peace, let us join hands in defending our definition of what is
      just. This is not a sole struggle of the Muslims, but a strife of
      every human soul, for the injustices committed are not just against
      the laws of any faith or nation, but against the very law of humanity.


      Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman

      Moro Human Rights Center

      Defining Justice

       

       

                  On this day, March 17, in 1968, at least 28 young Muslim men, no more than 30 years old, were massacred in Corregidor in the infamous Jabidah Massacre. Some say  the victims were executed because they mutinied against their officers in protest over the delay in payment of their allowances. But a more popular version of the story is that these young Moros, hoping to be members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines , found out that their mission was to invade Sabah , where many of their fellow Muslims, friends and families are living in peace. They protested and decided to back out of the training. Since the mission was a top military secret, and to prevent it from being exposed, their trainors brought them to a tiny airstrip, in groups of twelve and subsequently gunned them down. This incident gave birth to various Muslim groups including the Muslim Independence Movement of Datu Udtog Matalam, the Ansar el Islam of former Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto, the Moro National Liberation Front of Misuari and later, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of Hashim Salamat.

       

                  Now, 37 years after, 22 Muslims were killed in the Bagong Diwa city jail when the government officials decided to enforce its assault plan, ending the 27-hour-old negotiations.

       

                  As the government, some sectors and individuals rejoice and congratulate each other for what they claim as a successful end to the crisis, the chain of injustice, pain, and worst, maybe even hatred and vengeance is again passed on to another generation of Muslim children.

       

                  Yesterday, as the victims were being buried, the young sons of Ahmad Opao and Muktar Abukhair wept as they looked helplessly while their fathers� bloodied bodies, the lifeless bodies of their people, were gradually covered with mud.

       

                  At the height of the crisis, many people, including supposedly unbiased media personalities and public officials openly expressed their irritation and impatience over the then on-going negotiations. Bakit pa sila nakikipag negotiate? Dapat sumalakay na sila!  

       

                  It was easy for them to decide for they do not know whose lives they were asking to be sacrificed. For them, they were just faceless criminals. But for those who knew them, for the families and loved ones of the 400 plus inmates in that building, who can attest to their innocence, attacking and possibly killing them would be a grave injustice. An act which would make us no different from those we call terrorists.

       

                  The call to attack was anchored on the government�s policy not to negotiate with terrorists and the great humiliation the country is facing due to its own incompetence and lapses. Have they become brutally heartless that human life is now but secondary to the image of the government?

       

                  But have we not humiliated ourselves before the whole world when we pulled out our troops from Iraq to save the one life of Angelo dela Cruz? How long have we been negotiating with the undoubtedly cold-blooded terrorists holding Tarongoy as hostage? We do not question these moves of the government, in fact we commend them., for we believe in the sanctity of every human life.

       

                  Our question is, can we not bear a lesser degree of humiliation and afford the same degree of patience for the sake of the hundreds of lives at stake?

       

                  Obviously, the answer is no. And one can not help but think that maybe because the lives sacrificed are mere Muslim lives who all deserved to die? For them, they are all the same. We are all the same.

        

      We do not question the fact that those who staged the siege must pay for the death of the jail guards. But who were these perpetrators? The government were able to identify only Kosovo, Ka Lando, and a certain Edsel. Other reports said that Kumander Global and Robot were not part of the group. But granting, that Global and Robot were indeed involved, based on their established notorious identities, that would make a party of five, and they were all killed. They have paid for the innocent lives they have taken.

       

                  But eighteen others were killed, including a 75 year old detainee who wets his bed, and other suspected Abu Sayyaf members, many of whom were just indiscriminately picked up by authorities in Basilan, Sulu and other neighboring provinces. Suspects, who had the right to defend themselves in a fair trial. Who had the right to voice their own share of the truth. But along with their dead bodies, the truth is buried. Who will pay for their death?

       

      Philippine law clearly states that one is deemed innocent unless proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But in the Bagong Diwa assault, clearer is the fact that the Philippine government is the very own violator of its laws. Clearest is the fact that the Philippine government is the very perpetrator of injustice.

       

      But still, we are for peace. We believe that this incident will not justify the killing of innocent civilians, Muslims, Christians, or whatever faith they may be, for they are unquestionably unIslamic. But as we call for peace, we also cry for justice, for there can never be peace where there is no justice. 

       

      Unless there is now a new definition of justice? Or is justice now reserved for just a chosen few?

       

      We appeal to those who think otherwise, to those who still believe in the true sense of justice, to the universality of justice. In the name of peace, let us join hands in defending our definition of what is just. This is not a sole struggle of the Muslims, but a strife of every human soul, for the injustices committed are not just against the laws of any faith or nation, but against the very law of humanity.      

       

                  

                 

       Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman

        Moro Human Rights Center

       

                 



      Visit my web page at http://daga.dhs.org/max

      People tend to think of nonviolence as a choice between using force and doing nothing. But the real choice takes place at another level. Nonviolence is less a matter of "not killing" and more a matter of showing compassion, of saving and redeeming, of being a healing community. One can only choose between doing good to the person placed in one's path, or to do him evil. To do good is to love a person; but not to do that is as good as killing him. To love someone is to restore that person physically, socially, and spiritually. To neglect and postpone this restoration is already to kill. Andre Trocme


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