A large number of Moro youth were recruited by the US-Marcos regime to undergo military training in Corregidor to prepare for the secret Operation Merdeka, which aimed to infiltrate and reclaim Sabah on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. The trainees grew mutinous because of unpaid wages and terrible living conditions, and especially after they learned that they were to invade Sabah where they had relatives and fellow Muslims. To avoid the plan from leaking, the officers mowed down the trainees with gunfire at the airstrip.

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