Philippines: Communists Proclaim A Counteroffensive

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September 15, 2009: The communist NPA, unhappy at the refusal of the government to grant amnesty to some of its leaders before peace talks begin, has cancelled the peace talks. The NPA leaders, who live in the Netherlands under the protection of political refugee status, have also announced they will increase the level of violence in the Philippines. The NPA has also called for more attacks on American military personnel in the Philippines. Fighting against American imperialism has always been a big thing with communists. But even after the Cold War ended, and much evidence emerged that it was communist imperialism that caused more grief in the world, "struggling against America" is still an important communist activity. The  remaining communist rebels cling to the past in so many ways.

The military and police believe they will be able to wipe out the NPA in a few years. The NPA has lost most of its combat strength in the last decade, but still has about 5,000 active members, mostly in rural areas, where the NPA operates like a criminal gang, living off robbery and extortion. In the last eight years, 1,072 soldiers and police, 1,476 rebels and 559 civilians have been killed because of NPA violence. NPA strength peaked in the 1980s, when they had 26,000 active members. But now, the government believes that fewer than 3,000 NPA members are armed, and these numbers are being reduced daily by arrests and combat casualties.

September 14, 2009: In the south, a small bomb went off near a wharf where American troops were unloading supplies. There were no injuries, and minor damage to a vendors stall. No one took responsibility.

September 11, 2009: In the south, NPA gunmen fired on a logging company truck, killing three civilians, including a child. Eight other civilians were wounded. The NPA attacks companies that refuse to make extortion payments.

September 9, 2009: In the south, police arrested five members of an Islamic terrorist cell that was responsible for several bombings.

September 8, 2009: In the south, the NPA attempted to use a roadside bomb to kill some soldiers. But the timing was off, and several civilians were wounded instead.

September 5, 2009: Police announced the arrest, earlier in the week, of two NPA leaders, Delfin and Cely Valdez Pimentel. The husband was a combat leader, while the wife was in charge of moving and disbursing cash for the organization.

 

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