Philippines: War Without End, Again


May 29, 2009: There is growing violence against elected officials in the Moslem south. MILF radical factions want independence now, and are attacking more elected Moslem officials, who they blame for the failure of negotiations with the government. This violence is expected to continue until next year, when these officials are up for reelection. That would settle who supports who, and enable the moderates to better fight back against the Moslem radicals. There has always been more violence in the south, where clan wars and blood feuds were more common, and disruptive to any government trying to operate there.  The army and MILF radicals continue to fight in the south, as bands of MILF fighters attack Christian villages.

May 28, 2009:  Clan warfare in the south has left at least four dead, as the clan militias fought. Soldiers arrived and brought a temporary end to the fighting.

May 27, 2009: In the south, troops located and attacked a camp used by a gang of Abu Sayyaf and MILF kidnappers. Ten rebels, and the army officer leading the attack, were killed.

May 26, 2009:  The U.S. announced new rewards (four million, a million and a half million dollars) for three key Abu Sayyaf personnel (Radullan Sahiron, Abdul Basit Usman and Khair Mundos).  This is a big help for the government, who publicize these rewards, which often find takers.

May 25, 2009: The MILF finally convinced Moslem kidnappers to release three Christian teachers they had seized for ransom four months ago. The three were held captive on Baslian, and the demands for a large ransom was embarrassing to moderate Moslems in the south.

May 22, 2009: In the south, twenty NPA rebels set up a checkpoint on a country road, and captured two policeman and a soldier. The soldier was later found tortured and killed.  On Twai Twai island in the south, police arrested two Abu Sayyaf members.

May 20, 2009: Communist NPA rebels and soldiers clashed 300 kilometers southeast of the capital, leaving ten rebels dead and an army outpost destroyed.


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