Press Release
March 6, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today paid tribute to about 1,000 Moro men, women and children who died in defense of their homeland against American invasion troops in Bud Dajo, Sulu a century ago.

Pimentel said these freedom-loving people chose to fight and sacrifice their lives rather than submit to American rule by paying taxes or surrendering their weapons.

Seldom in history do we find such fanatical bravery as that displayed by the Tausugs at Bud Dajo, the lone senator from Mindanao said in a privilege speech at the Senate entitled The Tausugs in Bud Dajo Did Not Die In Vain.

Citing the book, Swish of the Kris, authored by Vic Hurley, Pimentel said as American troops were deployed in Sulu in 1906 to pacify the natives, the 1,000 Moro rebels retreated to Bud Dajo, a lava cone of an extinct volcano about 2,100 feet above sea level and fortified it.

Pimentel said by no stretch of imagination could Bud Dajo be termed a battle, since the defiant Moros were armed only with krises, spears and a few rifles while were attacked by a force of 800 American troops armed with modern day weapons.

According to Pimentel, the American troops stormed a high-mountain peak crowned by fortifications to kill 1,000 Moros with a loss to themselves of only 21 killed and 75 wounded. On the other hand, he said that of the 1,000 Moros who fought the alien invaders, only six men escaped the carnage. The casualty lists reflect the unequal nature of the battle, he said.

He said an impartial observer, looking back 28 years to the battle of Bud Dajo, was struck by the fact that America did not cover herself with glory in this encounter.

Perhaps it would be sufficient to remark that severe criticism was directed from the United States upon the military authorities ordering this slaughter, Pimentel said.

Although the Moros had broken the law and some punishment was necessary if American was to maintain her prestige in the East, Pimentel noted that there was overwhelming opinion in the belief that there was unnecessary bloodshed at Bud Dajo.

There appears to be no justification for the intensity of the bombardment at Bud Dajo, and many Americans who witnessed the battle concur in this belief, he said.

Pimentel said seldom in history could one find such fanatical bravery as that displayed by the Tausugs at Bud Dajo. He said one similar instance was when the Jewish Zealots fought the Romans in the year 72 of the Christian Era at the top of a mountain fortress called Masada. Rather than surrender to the Roman invaders, they all committed suicide.

He said the never-say-die spirit of the Tausugs at Bud Dajo was also replicated by the Japanese Kamikaze pilots who crashed their planes on American warships in the battle over Okinawa towards the end of World War II in the Pacific.

Bud Dajo stands proud in the annals of bravery of people fighting for the freedom of their homeland that was certainly on the level of Masada and higher than those of Okinawa and Saipan, he said.

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