Philippines: Hard Core Fights On


October 19, 2005: Since president Arroyo suspended peace talks with the communist NPA (New People's Army), she has withdrawn safe conduct passes for 97 rebel negotiators and had the police increase their efforts to find and arrest them. To aid in this, bounties have been placed on many senior NPA people. In the last week, the number of clashes with the NPA has increased, and some NPA camps were found and destroyed.

October 17, 2005: Opponents of president Arroyo continue to hold demonstrations calling for her ouster. But that movement has grown much smaller after impeachment efforts in the legislature failed.

October 15, 2005: Some 4,500 American and 700 Filipino troops began two weeks of joint training exercises. The main purpose of this is to develop abilities on both sides to work with each other. The U.S. has been holding regular exercises like this since 2002.

October 12, 2005: The MILF warned that Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf are still active in the southern Philippines. Despite cooperation between the MILF and government forces, JI is apparently still running small training camps in the bush. MILF believes the two groups are operating in many small teams, totaling fewer than a hundred men, and that the JI is still receiving aid from wealthy Saudi Arabian supporters of radical Islam. Many radical MILF members have gone off to join JI and Abu Sayyaf, especially because the MILF is closer and closer to making a peace deal with the government.


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