Philippines: Thieving Generals Come Under Fire

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April 18, 2011: The government and the communist NPA rebels are locked in an increasingly violent battle. The government has made the destruction of the NPA a major goal, and a large number of soldiers and policemen are assigned to finding and destroying NPA units and bases. The NPA is fighting back, even as peace negotiations crawl forward. Many NPA members are still dedicated to establishing a communist dictatorship in the Philippines, which they believe would solve all the nation's problems. The NPA leadership (most of whom live in European exile) are trying to negotiate a peace deal that will amnesty all NPA members and allow them to continue as a political party.

April 16, 2011: On Basilan, a clash between Abu Sayyaf and troops left two terrorists dead.

April 15, 2011: In the south (Davao Oriental) troops captured an NPA bomb and landmine workshop. Several dozen explosive devices, in various states of completion, were seized. The workshop was in a cave. Elsewhere in the south (Agusan del Sur), some 30 NPA gunmen attacked an army camp, but were repulsed, losing one of their men in the process. Also in the south (Misamis Oriental), ten NPA gunmen attacked another army camp, but were repulsed after wounding three soldiers. Elsewhere in the south, four soldiers were wounded by a landmine.

April 14, 2011: In the south (North Cotabato) two soldiers and a civilian were kidnapped by fifteen NPA gunmen. In the central Philippines, three NPA rebels were killed when they clashed with troops.

April 13, 2011:  A senior naval officer is under investigation for stealing millions of dollars in a logistics scam. Investigators noted an unusual increase in military spending for fuel over the last three months. Further checking found that some $9 million had been stolen. An attempt was made to hide the theft by making it look like additional fuel purchases. Several other such scams are believed going on within military supply and procurement operations. The new government is going after corruption more energetically than past new governments, and is investigating and indicting current senior officials, as well as members of the previous government. Corruption has long been a major issue for most Filipinos, and is seen as the major reason why the Philippines is the poorest nation in the region. A recent poll found that the military was regarded as the most corrupt organization, mainly because so many senior commanders are known to be stealing money intended for the troops and operations against communist and Moslem rebels. Filipinos are particularly angry with the military commanders because, with a small military to begin with, a large chunk is stolen, and then the military begs other countries (like China and the United States) for handouts of weapons and equipment.

April 12, 2011: The MILF insisted that a recently arrested Islamic terrorist (Abi Pamanay) was not a member of the MILF.

April 7, 2011: In the central Philippines (Northern Samar), troops captured a senior NPA leader, and another NPA gunman during a police investigation of local NPA operations. In the south, soldiers and police killed rogue MILF commander Kamsa Asdanal, along with eight of his followers.

April 6, 2011: In the south, police managed to get tribal gunmen to release the last of the16 people (most of them school teachers) they had kidnapped the previous week. The gunmen wanted to force the government to release their chief, who had been arrested (for murder and kidnapping).

April 3, 2011: On Basilan, a clash between Abu Sayyaf and troops left one terrorist dead while another was captured.  In the south, a clash between two MILF clan-based factions, left eleven dead. Over a thousand nearby villagers fled their homes to avoid expected further fighting. Some 500 soldiers were sent to try and stop further violence.

April 2, 2011: The MILF has expelled Ustadz Kato, and several hundred of his followers. Kato had opposed peace talks with the government, and had continued making attacks on the security forces and Christian villagers, even after being ordered to stand down by MILF leadership.

March 30, 2011: On Sulu, a clash between Abu Sayyaf and troops left three terrorists dead.

March 23, 2011: In the south, two soldiers were killed by a landmine.

 

 

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