Philippines: April 20, 2004


Communist NPA rebels attempt to disrupt the May 10th elections have, in the past two months, lead to the death of the 55 political activists and 62 NPA members. Another 117 people have been wounded. The police and army have been out in force to counter the NPA campaign. The communist rebels believe that one way to overthrow a democracy is to interfere with elections. It only rarely works, but they keep trying.

Australia is contributing $3.65 million and technical experts to help train Filipino counter-terrorism personnel. Filipino counter-terrorism efforts have often been criticized as inept and corrupt. Greater use of  foreign instructors and new equipment is trying to reverse that.


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