February 13, 2012: MILF leaders are holding talks with Christian leaders from the south, to try and resolve Christian opposition to Moslem autonomy demands in the south. This is a step in the right direction but the MILF still feels entitled to more power than southern Christians (who are the majority in many parts of the "Moslem south").
China is openly threatening the Philippines for its closer military links with the United States. This new alliance is part of an American effort to organize opposition to Chinese expansionism in the region. China claims most of the South China Sea and dismisses the claims of other nations. As China's naval and air power in the area grows the neighbors are getting nervous. China prefers its neighbors nervous and afraid, not tightly allied with the United States.
February 11, 2012: On the southern island of Basilan, Abu Sayyaf gunmen fired on men building a road. Because the road construction is paid for by American aid the Islamic terrorist group considers it un-Islamic. But these construction projects continue anyway. A job is a job and a little gunfire is not unusual in this part of the country.
February 9, 2012: MILF has offered to provide armed escorts for foreign tourists visiting the Moslem south. This is in response to the kidnapping of two Europeans in the south on the 1st. Kidnapping is more frequent in the south, and the culprits are usually common criminals, not MILF renegades or Islamic terrorists. This offer is not likely to halt the fall in tourist visits. For the last decade the Islamic rebels and terrorists in the south have battled the police and army and added to the increasingly lawless and dangerous atmosphere in the south.
February 7, 2012: In the south, an army raid on an NPA safe house led to the capture of two NPA leaders.
On the southern island of Negros, the army halted operations against the NPA and switched to disaster relief work in the wake of a large earthquake in the eastern part of the island.
February 6, 2012: In the south, an army patrol ran into a group of NPA, and after a brief firefight, two dead rebels were found in the bush.
February 3, 2012: On Jolo Island, troops approaching the site of the previous day's air strike encountered gunfire from Abu Sayyaf rebels covering the retreat of the bombing survivors. The army believes that over a dozen Abu Sayyaf were killed in the bombing but is having a hard time finding out exactly who died. It is believed that at least one senior Abu Sayyaf leader was killed, as well as a Malaysian Islamic terrorist with a $5 million price on his head. The army revealed that it had taken several months of intelligence work to precisely locate this group of Abu Sayyaf.
February 2, 2012: On Jolo Island, an early morning air strike hit a location where senior Abu Sayyaf and some foreign Islamic terrorists were staying. By the time the ground troops got to the site of the attack the Abu Sayyaf had fled, taking their dead and wounded with them. The army tried to get an idea of Abu Sayyaf casualties by interviewing nearby villagers. It was later revealed that some local villagers were working with military intelligence and had confirmed the location of the Abu Sayyaf group.
February 1, 2012: A bomb was found inside a van belonging to the mayor of Cavite City (near the capital). Police are trying to discover who put it there.
January 31, 2012: On the southern island of Negros, two soldiers were killed when troops encountered twenty NPA rebels.
A Russian destroyer, accompanied by two support ships, visited the capital on its way back home after serving on the Somali anti-piracy patrol.
January 30, 2012: Two American destroyers made a weekend visit to Cebu City in the Central Philippines. This was a routine port call for American warships.
January 26, 2012: On Basilan Island, an Abu Sayyaf member, wanted for participation in four kidnappings, was located and arrested by police.