Philippines: No Negotiations, No Peace


November 14,2008: The army continues to put pressure on the MILF to give up rebel commanders who continue to threaten over half a million Christian civilians living in the south. The MILF refuses to do anything about the rogue commanders until the government somehow gets the Supreme Court to reverse a decision that declared illegal giving an autonomous southern Moslem government control over Christian populations there. The government refuses to resume negotiations until the MILF does something about its rogue gunmen. In the meantime, the army goes after the rogue MILF commanders, and is weakening them more with each passing week. But eventually this will mean army units will move into areas that are claimed by non-rogue MILF commanders, and the fighting could spread.

November 11, 2008: Over the weekend, MILF attacks left four civilians dead. The army has responded by going after known MILF controlled locations, to kill or arrest any hostile gunmen they encounter. Troops have killed, wounded or captured over a hundred MILF members in the last week.

November 10, 2008: In the south, a judge and his bodyguard was murdered. Intimidation of judges is often used in court cases, where bribery does not work. In the last decade,  twenty judges have been killed. The government has allocated more money to protect judges, including low interest loans so judges can buy firearms for self-defense.

November 8, 2008: In the south, NPA rebels attacked troops who had earlier captured an NPA camp, killing four of the soldiers. But the army held on to the camp.


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