|Second Battle of Isabela City
Pertempuran Kota Pasalan Kedua
|Republic of Mindanao|
The Second Battle of Isabela City (Malay: Pertempuran Kota Pasalan Kedua, Filipino: Pangalawang Laban sa Lungsod ng Isabela, Spanish: Segunda Batalla de Cuidad Isabela) was fought between the Mindanao Free Army and the Filipino Armed Forces with aid from Mexico for control of Isabela City from July 4, 1962 to October 31, 1963.
It was considered a very fierce battle, with the Filipino and Mexican forces nearly defeating the Mindanao Free Army. The Filipino and Mexican forces had planned to subjugate the former capital city of the former Kingdom of Sulu (now a province within the de facto Republic of Mindanao).
Though stating that their incursion was nothing more but territorial purposes, the Filipino army evidently had religious intentions to make Roman Catholicism the majority religion in Isabela City, by bringing in Catholic missionaries from Luzon, and even Mexico. It became obvious when Moro fighters discovered plans left behind by Filipino troops, mapping out sections of the city they had planned to give to wealthy Filipino Mestizos of Roman Catholic faith and even Mexican settlers once they took the city.
This, renewed the Sulu forces' motivation, by occupying parts of the city that the Filipinos had planned to give to settlers, adopting Sri Lumay's scorched-earth policy by destroying, looting, burning and emptying the land of anything that can possibly used by the Filipinos and Mexicans. They also poisined the crops, causing many of the joint forces to suffer from illnesses.
In addition, many Mexican soldiers married with captured Tausug and Yakan women, after having them converted to Roman Catholicism. The Filipinos figured that if the "capital" of the former Kingdom of Sulu fell, then the rest of the Sulu Archipelago would submit to Filipino occupation, and hopefully accept the Roman Catholic faith.
Many of Sulu's Christians however, even the Chavacano-speaking Catholics, did not support the Filipino incursion, and carried out abduction operations against Catholic missionaries, and helping their Muslim counterparts fight the joint-Filipino and Mexican invasion.
Realizing the mission as a failure, and accepting that the Sulu natives would never surrender, whether Muslim or Christian, helicopters arrived to evacuate the remaining Filipino and Mexican soldiers.