Two months of fighting MILF rebels
in the south has left about 300 dead, most of them rebels. The MILF refuses to
help catch the two rogue commanders who began the fighting. The MILF has
refused to resume negotiations, because the Supreme Court recently ruled
illegal key items the Moslem rebels wanted (like lots of autonomy). This has
caused a split within the MILF, as well as growing anxiety in the Moslem
community (which sees itself losing out economically because of the ineptness
of the MILF rebels).
south, MILF and Abu Sayyaf are acting more like bandits than religious rebels.
But religion based violence is still there, with Christian leaders more likely
to be kidnapped for ransom by Moslem gangs (especially Abu Sayyaf, which likes
to behead their victims if a suitable ransom is not received.)
2008: The government announced a new
amnesty program where an additional $1,063 will be paid to any NPA rebel who
accepts amnesty and brings his M-16 rifle with him. That's in addition to the
existing $1,450 payment to those who quit the NPA and settle down. At least
seven NPA rebels came forward to accept as word of the new program got out. The
NPA has lost about 80 percent of its strength in the last two decades, and the
2008: The army captured an NPA camp in
the south. The facility was apparently the home for about a hundred rebels, who
fled at the approach of the troops.
2008: In the south, troops cornered MILF
rebels in a fortified position in a marshland. An air strike was called in,
leaving 13 rebels dead and 30 wounded.
2008: Police dismantled two roadside
bombs in the south. Apparently the bombs were placed by the MILF, but their
design was one previously only used by the communist NPA rebels in the north.
Thus is appears that the NPA and MILF are working together (even though the two
groups are ideologically opposed to each other.)
2008: Several MILF attacks in the south
left four civilians, two soldiers, one policeman and a rebel dead.