Philippines: Intractable


June 22, 2010: The military admitted that they were not going to crush the NPA this year. Three years ago the government was confident that they could defeat the leftist NPA by the end of 2010. The army estimated that NPA strength declined 14 percent in 2007 (to 6,000 fighters), and that this decline would continue because of low morale and a poor financial situation. It did, and the NPA is down to about 4,000 fighters, and far fewer camps and less territory. Some 25 years ago, the NPA had 25,000 armed members out there, but have been declining since the collapse of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.. The NPA has adapted to the increased pressure from the military, and become more of a criminal organization. The NPA also retains its political true-believers and its overseas supporters.

The UN blames lack of economic growth in the Philippines to corruption, government incompetence and population growth. Many Filipinos agree, but are frustrated at the inability to fix the problems.

Soldiers and marines continue to pursue Abu Sayyaf rebels on Basilan. While unable to crush the group completely, the pressure has disrupted the leadership (by constantly killing or capturing key people) and discovering and destroyed bomb building workshops and storage sites for bomb materials. This has reduced terrorist bomb attacks, and constantly reduced the size of the Islamic terrorist organization. Some Abu Sayyaf are operating on larger islands, creating a terrorist threat, but not a lot of violence.

June 19, 2010: In the south, NPA rebels captured two soldiers and forced 30 civilians to endure hours of lectures on NPA goals. The civilians were then robbed and released. In the last month, several dozen NPA members have been killed, along with fifteen soldiers. The troops are hitting NPA base areas, and these are stoutly defended.

June 11, 2010: On Basilan, Abu Sayyaf terrorists seized three wood cutters and beheaded them.




Article Archive

Philippines: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close