March 12, 2007:
Abu Sayyaf rebels have not
been able to select a new leader, to replace the one killed two months ago. The
Abu Sayyaf rebels on Jolo are worn down after months of pursuit by 8,000
marines and soldiers. Worse, Filipino and American troops have won the support
of many civilians with many aid projects. Without the strong support of the
local civilians, the few hundred Abu Sayyaf rebels on Jolo cannot stay in one
place for long. The constant moving, lack of food and medicine, has left the
March 11, 2007: The government is trying to
get the Netherlands to arrest the two communist leaders who have been living in
Holland for 20 years. Evidence was recently obtained, showing the two were
responsible for a "purge" in the 1980s that left at least fifteen
people dead. The exiled leaders have organized financial and diplomatic support
for the communist NPA rebels in the Philippines.
In the south, fighting between MILF and the army
continues, with three rebels killed and eleven wounded. Peace talks with the
MILF continue, despite these skirmishes.
March 10, 2007: In the south, skirmishing
between MILF gunmen and soldiers continues. Apparently, many of the MILF
fighters want to avenge the deaths of 17 of their number last week.
March 8, 2007: In the south, MILF fighters
fired 81mm mortar shells at army camps. There were no casualties.
March 7, 2007: In the south, the army pulled
out of two Moslem villages, and called off its pursuit of MILF forces in the
area. This led the local MILF commander to pull his forces back as well.
March 6, 2007: In the south, some 200 MILF
gunmen attacked army troops in two villages. One soldier, and at least 17
rebels were killed. The MILF attacked because they felt the soldiers were
advancing into MILF territory, where the army should not be. The fighting
spread, as the army pursued the rebels. Some 4,000 civilians fled 17 villages
to avoid the violence.
March 5, 2007: Canada has warned its citizens
to avoid election rallies in the Philippines, between now and the May
elections. Violence during election campaigns has been getting worse over the
last decade, and this year involves the possibility of terrorist bombings as