By Michael Aaron Gomez

The Ateneo de Davao University launched the recently completed two-volume historical compilation titled “Injustice and Prejudice in the Philippine South: A Documentary History of Muslim Mindanao from 1898 to the Present,” assembled by Professor Emeritus of the University Graduate Studies Program and the Social Sciences Cluster Dr. Heidi K. Gloria, last Monday, 18 June 2018, at Room J-301 of the Jubilee Hall, Jacinto Campus. The book is published by the University Publications Office.

Also gracing the event were University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, the Director of the Al Qalam Institute Datu Mussolini S. Lidasan, and the Head of the University’s Islamic Studies Program Ustadz Janor Balo. “This compilation is done as a contribution to correcting the writing of Philippine history,” Fr. Tabora said in his welcome address. “These volumes contribute to the possible passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL),” he added, “and therefore present for us very valuable material for the teaching of Philippine History from the viewpoint of the South, through primary sources.”

After the welcome address came short book reviews from Ustadz Balo and Datu Lidasan. “Volume 1 is indeed arranged to show transition on how American colonial policies eventually subjugated Mindanao,” Ustadz Balo said as he delivered his brief description and review of the book. “Volume 2 focuses on the post-war era, which continued the resettlement policies of the Luzon and Manila-centric [policies] in gradually upsetting the Moro land, which further displaced our Moro brothers and sisters from their own homeland.”

In his own review of the book, Datu Lidasan said, “History will tell us that we [the Moros] were not duly consulted when Spain illegally sold us; we were not rightfully consulted when the US occupied us; we were not adequately consulted when the Philippines inherited us from the illegal occupant, the United States of America.”

Datu Lidasan also said of the book that “we have seen abhorrent injustices and dark periods wherein we as a nation have struggled for independence and self-determination—however, we have also seen that it is possible for us to cooperate and work together.” He also added, “That is my hope that everyone who has read this book will learn that, as well.”

Finally, Dr. Gloria took the stage and thanked the University—Fr. Tabora, in particular—for allowing her the space and resources to “gather more than 30 documents that fill the two volumes of the book.” She also placed the book within the context of history when she said, “Unknown to most Filipinos, Muslim secessionism and the endless sporadic wars fought against the Muslim peoples over the course of 500-600 years are rooted in historical grievances committed against the other.”

Dr. Gloria concluded her message by addressing the book’s contribution to the passage of the BBL. “I think the Muslims of Mindanao-Sulu who have endured injustice, prejudice, and discrimination and fought against them for centuries now deserve the opportunity for greatness that the BBL promises to give them.”

The two volumes are now for sale at the Ateneo de Davao College Bookstore for Php1,100. Students and faculty members will receive a 30% discount if they present their school IDs upon purchase.

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