PALIMBANG, SULTAN KUDARAT — In remembrance of the 47th year of the Palimbang Massacre, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), together with BARMM ministries and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), conducted a commemoration ceremony and distributed relief assistance to the surviving victims and their families here on 24 September 2021.

Also known as the Malisbong Massacre, the infamous carnage has been carved in the centuries-old struggle of the Bangsamoro people for their right to self-determination. Over 1,500 Moro brothers and sisters were slaughtered by government troops during the Martial Law on the dawn of 24 September 1974 in a sitio of Brgy. Malisbong, Palimbang.

During the ceremony, MSSD distributed 900 bags of rice where each survivor received 25 kilos each. The Office of the Chief Minister’s (OCM) Project Tulong para sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG) also distributed rice assistance and welfare goods.

The activity was initiated by the Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS) in collaboration with MSSD, OCM’s Project TABANG, Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Bangsamoro Women Commission (BWC), Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS), and Kutawato Greenland Inc.

Present also were the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Provincial Government through the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and the local government unit of Palimbang.

Forty-seven years after, families of the victims of the massacre continue to cry for justice. They also pray for the immediate release of their claims from the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB).

In a statement, the AFP acknowledges the importance of commemorating the massacre and assured the Palimbang people that the government troops are partners for peace and development as they are guided with their main transformation roadmap to secure the protection of the people.

“Sana itong pangyayari ay magbigay sa atin ng magandang lesson para tayo ay matuto kung ano yung mga kamalian ng nakaraan at makapagfocus tayo sa present na adhikain natin ngayon para sa ikauunlad ng ating bayan. Sa future, sana magsama-sama tayo. Hindi ito para palalain ang dating sugat. Para ipaalam na nandito kami para sa inyo,” said Col. Ali Luis Macawaris, Deputy Brigade Commander of the 603rd Brigade of AFP.

MSSD has been working with partners in bringing the frontline social services of the Bangsamoro Government to the communities, including the needy individuals outside the core territory.

We support the call for healing and reconciliation moving forward for our collective peace and development of our communities,” MSSD division chief Hasim Guiamil said.

While the activity included the provision of services to the families of the victims, the Bangsamoro Government will also work towards the creation of a transitional justice mechanism that will recognize the massacre as an injustice against the Bangsamoro people, provide for reparations to the victims and the community as a whole, and lead towards healing and reconciliation. (Jidday Lucman/MSSD BARMM)