Philippines: Commies in the Mist

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April 9, 2007: On Jolo island, soldiers raided a Abu Sayyaf hideout in the mountains, thought to contain two Indonesian terrorist bomb makers. Someone had been in the camp recently, but were gone when the troops showed up. The two Indonesians have large rewards ($10 million and $1 million) on their heads. As newsworthy as the Islamic terrorists are, the NPA communist rebels are considered a larger problem. The NPA has more popular support, as they promise clean government and economic reform that would, in theory, benefit a lot of people. In practice, the NPA wants to establish a communist dictatorship. This undercuts NPA attempts to gain widespread support. The NPA appeals to youthful idealism and desire for action. The NPA also leads an outlaw life, committing extortion and robbery to sustain themselves. This is also attractive to young men. But the NPA is more than just a large criminal organization. Many leftist politicians support the NPA to one degree or another. While many leftists consider the NPA misguided, they agree with many of the NPA goals. This often makes it difficult for the government to get laws and regulations if feels are needed to stamp out the NPA, which has now been at it for over three decades.

April 3, 2007: NPA rebels raided a mining operation in the central Philippines, and destroyed buildings and equipment. This was in retaliation for the mining company refusing to pay protection money. Nearby, another group of NPA gunmen ambushed a police patrol, killing three policemen.

 

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