Philippines: Showdown on Jolo Island

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January18, 2007: On Jolo, marines encountered 30 Abu Sayyaf rebels, and killed ten of them. Three marines were also killed. Two rebels were also captured. The military has been putting enormous pressure on Abu Sayyaf, putting over 6,000 troops in pursuit of the last few hundred Abu Sayyaf diehards. This pursuit has gone on for over a year on Jolo, and apparently Abu Sayyaf has run out of places to hide, and the locals have grown tried of trying to hide the rebels.

January 16, 2007: On Jolo island, troops clashed with a group of about sixty Abu Sayyaf, and killed senior terrorist leader Abu Solaiman. Military forces continued to pursue the fleeing terrorists, and soon discovered, and captured, a rebel camp. Solaiman is one of the five top leaders who that carried out many kidnappings of foreigners, and the bombing of a ferry in 2004, that killed 200 people. The U.S. has offered a $5 million reward for his capture.

January 15, 2007: While China and the Philippines may confront each other over uninhabited islands, Chins still seeks better relations. So the Chinese premier visited today and signed development deals worth $3.8 billion. China, or at least Chinese, have long had an influence on the Philippines. Over the centuries, so many Chinese traders settled in the Philippines, so that today about two percent of the population is Chinese, and an even greater percentage is part Chinese. Some of the Chinese trading families have even married into the few dozen families that have dominated the country from colonial times. While small, the Chinese minority, because of their entrepreneurial history, control a disproportionate chunk of the Philippines economy. However, the current generation of Chinese-Filipinos are generally more Filipino than Chinese. This is a break with Chinese tradition, where the "overseas Chinese" tended to marry among themselves and maintain their Chinese culture, even while living and prospering in a foreign land.

 

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