Philippines: December 5, 2003


The government's campaign against kidnapping and organized crime (especially the drug trade) has had some success. The growth in these kinds of crimes were a side effect of the large MILF and NPA rebel organizations and their operations. Many of the current crop of gangsters are former rebels. They had learned how to run a large, armed organization and struck out on their own to get rich. The rebels are basically criminal gangs, as they use theft and extortion to support themselves. Over the last few years, the government has gone after the rebels as if they were criminal gangs. This meant going after their money sources, which hurt the rebels more than anything else. The rebels have a payroll to meet, and when they had money problems, they found many of their members drifting away.


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