The Patikul massacre refers to an event that took place on October 10, 1977 in Patikul, Sulu province in the Philippines. Thirty-five officers and men of the Philippine Army were killed by elements of the Moro National Liberation Front under Usman Sali. Among the dead were Brigadier General Teodulfo Bautista, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division, Adjutant General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Col. Gabriel Pangilinan and four lieutenant colonels.[3]

Patikul massacre
Part of the Moro conflict

Memorial to AFP Brig. Gen. Teodulfo Bautista and his 35 men who were killed in Danag, Patikul, Sulu
DateOctober 10, 1977
Location6°03′47″N 121°06′08″E / 6.0630°N 121.1023°E / 6.0630; 121.1023
Result MNLF victory
Philippine Army Moro National Liberation Front
Commanders and leaders
Teodulfo Bautista  Usman Sali[1]
Units involved
1st Infantry Division unknown
36 officers and men 150 men[2]
Casualties and losses
35 killed none

The massacre


Usman Sali, the leader of a group of MNLF rebels, had earlier agreed to meet with Gen. Bautista at the headquarters of the 1st Infantry "Tabak" Division in Jolo for a peace dialogue. At the last minute, Sali changed his mind and proposed to meet Gen. Bautista at a public market in Barangay Danag, Patikul. Bautista agreed and on the way to Patikul, was accompanied by Col. Gabriel Pangilinan, his classmate at the Philippine Military Academy. Earlier, Bautista had invited Fidel V. Ramos, then Chief of the Philippine Constabulary to join him but the latter demurred due to a previous engagement in Zamboanga City.[3]

When the General and his troops arrived at the market aboard two army trucks, the place was deserted. Sali was not there to meet Bautista, so the General and his men sat down at a table to await his arrival. At that point gunfire broke out and Bautista and his men were mowed down. The bodies were later found to have sustained hack wounds.[4] All of the Army soldiers died, except for a sergeant, the group's radioman, who survived by playing dead.[3]

Although some reports indicate that Usman Sali died during subsequent government operations,[5] others state that he escaped to Sabah, Malaysia after the incident.[6]



Then-president Ferdinand Marcos, in his eulogy to the fallen, stated that Gen. Bautista and his men were "killed with perfidy and treachery", and that the massacre "conclusively brands the MNLF as the violator of the ceasefire agreement".[7]

In 2012, Bautista's son, then-Commanding General of the Philippine Army Emmanuel T. Bautista inaugurated a museum in Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Busbus, Jolo. The Army camp is named in honor of his late father.[8]

A stone memorial to those killed was restored in 2009 by the Philippine Marine Corps, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, and residents of Barangay Danag.[9]


  1. ^ Ylagan, Amelia H.C. (February 8, 2015). "Forgiveness and forgetfulness in the Mindanao conflict". BusinessWorld. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  2. ^ Inquirer Research (January 27, 2015). "Most violent encounters between gov't forces and rebels". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Cal, Ben (October 9, 2012). "Oct. 10, 1977 Patikul massacre recalled". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Tulfo, Ramon (February 12, 2005). "Military caught unprepared in Sulu". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Mathews, Jay (December 12, 1977). "Killing Goes On Year After Cease-Fire in Philippine Civil War". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  6. ^ Malinao, Alito L. (August 26, 2008). "Get new peace talk brokers". The Manila Times. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
  7. ^ Ferdinand E. Marcos (October 15, 1977). "Eulogy for Brig. Gen Teodulfo Bautista and other victims of the Patikul Massacre, October 15, 1977". Government of the Philippines. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Military honors a soldier of peace". Philippine Army. Archived from the original on December 27, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2016.
  9. ^ Donnelly, Theresa (December 5, 2009). "AFP and JSOTF-P Unveil Shrine and Conduct MEDCAP". United States Army. Retrieved May 12, 2016.