September 20, 2007:
The NPA violence has scored
some significant victories. Attacks on electrical power systems has cut
electricity to millions of people for hours, or days, over the last few years.
Thousands of people have lost, or never gotten, jobs in mining because of the
terror campaign against foreign mining companies. The NPA seeks to keep the
companies out to prevent the workers from being exploited. These tactics have
made the NPA unpopular among the people the communist rebels seek to serve,
much to the consternation of some NPA members. There have been arguments within
the NPA over tactics, especially the use of extortion and kidnapping to raise
money. While communist ideology encourages the use of criminal scams to finance
the revolution, many NPA dislike how most civilians don't recognize this
distinction, and call the rebels
criminals and thieves. NPA morale has not been well as a result.
In the south, the start of the month long Moslem
Ramadan religious period has brought calm, as troops cut back their search for
Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Many of the terrorist supporters, and terrorists
themselves, have gone home to be with their families for Ramadan.
Other violence, however,
continued. One of the many clan feuds in the south broke out into a gun battle,
leaving nine dead and seven wounded. Since the police began keeping track of
these clan wars 80 years ago, over 1,200 have been noted, and at least 5,000
deaths attributed to clan violence. The tradition of armed and combative clans
in the Moslem areas made it easier to form separatist organizations, which then
result in years of fighting with the government, until the organizations are
crushed. But after a generation or two, clan gunmen try and again, and so it
has been for centuries.
September 18, 2007: A
bomb went off in a bus in the south, but there were no injuries. This was the
third bus bombing in three months. The bombers belong to an al Qaeda affiliated
gang that specializes in extorting money from bus companies, in return for not
bombing or shooting at the buses. These gangs are more criminal than Islamic
terrorist, and use the al Qaeda connection mainly for PR purposes.