Philippines: Freelancing Rebels Reined In


June 1, 2007: MILF rebels in the south quickly found the men responsible for kidnapping four people yesterday, and forced them to release their captives unharmed. The kidnappers turned out to be some MILF men freelancing, against the orders of their commander. This sort of thing is common in the south, and a constant problem for MILF commanders.

May 31, 2007: Australia and the Philippines signed a security treaty that enables the two countries to work more effectively in fighting terrorism. In the Philippines, kidnappers grabbed two German tourists and two Filipinos in the south.

May 29, 2007: Australia has donated 28 aluminum patrol boats to the Philippines army. The boats can move as fast as 70 kilometers an hour, and will be used for river and coastal patrols. Australia will also be providing over $3 million worth of training services, by Australian troops, in the Philippines.

May 28, 2007: Most of the 20,000 soldiers, sent to guard election rallies and polling places against violence the past few weeks, are now moving back to operations against NPA communist rebels.

May 27, 2007: For the third time in two years, China has donated equipment to the Philippines army. This time it is $1.2 million worth of construction equipment (bulldozers and graders). In the south, police caught two senior NPA rebel officials.

May 26, 2007: Some 2.500 troops were diverted from operations against Moslem and communist rebels, to guard voting facilities in 13 towns, where special elections had to be had because last weeks efforts were cancelled because of violence or threats of violence.


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