By Jim Lloyd Dongiapon

As part of the commemoration of the Bangsamoro History Month this March, the Office of the Chief Minister has declared Saturday, March 18, a special non-working holiday in the entire Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) by virtue of Memorandum Circular No. 004 series of 2023.

The aforementioned holiday is observed each year pursuant to Muslim Mindanao Act No. 37 declaring March 18 as “Bangsamoro Day,” in line with Proclamation No. 0001 series of 2021 declaring March as “Bangsamoro History Month.”

It will be observed in the provinces of Basilan (excluding Isabela City), Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and in Cotabato City and the 63 barangays in North Cotabato belonging to the Special Geographic Area. 

The Bangsamoro History Month commemorates the significant events that contributed to achieving peace and the right to self-determination for the Bangsamoro.

Among these events are the Bud Dajo Massacre on March 5 to 7, 1906, committed by the US Army to 600 Moro people, including women and children; the Dansalan Declaration on March 18, 1935, signed by Bangsamoro leaders of Lanao urging then-US President Franklin Roosevelt and the US Congress to not include their homeland in the Philippines’ independence bid; the Jabidah Massacre on March 18, 1968, when 200 Tausug and Sama soldier recruits were reportedly killed in Corregidor Island, Cavite City, which also sparked the Moros’ campaign for autonomy and self-government; the declaration of an all-out war by former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on March 21, 2000; the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the MILF and the Philippine Government; and, the Inauguration of BARMM and the Inaugural Session of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament on March 29, 2019.

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