Philippines: Commandos Sent After Communists

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October 4, 2006: The government is sending its Special Action Force (police commandoes) to help in tracking down NPA camps, and putting local NPA groups out of action. The NPA has been on the ropes for several years now, as popular support has ebbed, and being declared an international terrorist organization, cut off much foreign support. More people are willing to inform on NPA, or fight back themselves. So the NPA is increasingly vulnerable.
October 3, 2006: Anti-corruption efforts have lots of support at the top (the president), and the bottom (population in general), but not in the middle, where bureaucrats and military officers continue with their corrupt ways.
October 2, 2006: In the south, radical factions of the MILF, opposed to any peace deal with the government, continue to incite incidents. Today five people were sounded when rebels fired on an army patrol.
September 30, 2006: NPA rebels are spending more time on their extortion activities. They need the money, because more extortion victims are fighting back, and contributions from foreign sources continues to shrink (because the NPA is less popular overseas, and counter-terror restrictions on international banking increases.)
September 28, 2006: At the same time foreign Islamic terrorists are being arrested in the Philippines, Filipino Islamic terrorists are being arrested in foreign countries (two were recently grabbed in Malaysia). Three Islamic terror organizations are now active in the region; Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah and Darul Islam.
September 27, 2006: Peace talks with the MILF are stalled over the issue of how much land would be considered "ancestral land" for Moslems. The MILF wants to take back a lot of land that is now owned and occupied by Christians, and the government cannot do that (since the majority of voters are Christian.)

 

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