Philippines: The Kids Are Not All Right


August 10, 2009: The government and MILF have resumed peace talks, and fell to squabbling over army interference in feuds (family and MILF) in the south. The MILF wants the army to stay out of these disputes, and let the MILF take care of it. But the MILF is not the government, and often fails in its peacekeeping efforts. The government is, after all, the government, and responsible for maintaining order. The MILF considers that point worthy of negotiation.

August 9, 2009: NPA rebels attacked a militia outpost 990 kilometers south of the capital, seizing 15 assault rifles and taking the sergeant in charge prisoner. No one was injured in the operation, as the larger communist force took the militiamen by surprise.

August 8, 2009: In the south, aides of rogue MILF leader Ameril Umbra Kato were captured.

August 3, 2009: NPA leader Alfredo Mapano, alias Paris, was arrested by an army/police team that had used extensive intelligence work to locate the suspect. Mapano was caught in north central Mindanao, and held on murder and robbery charges.   

August 1, 2009: Under pressure from the UN, and other NGOs, the MILF has agreed to officially renounce the use of child (teenage) soldiers. Like most rebel movements throughout history, the MILF heavily recruits teenagers. But NGOs are a major source of media and material support for the rebels, so the MILF has to humor them.

July 31, 2009: Police captured a MILF terrorist, Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, who belonged to an anti-peace faction. Maguid was captured with bomb making materials, and was assigned to carry out bombings that would disrupt MILF peace talks with the government.




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