Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Philippines rebellion on the rise

RESISTANCE is surging in The Philippines, forcing the state to deploy more troops to try and quell the rebellion.

Reports Philstar.com: "The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said today it was pouring in more forces and equipment to the southern region of Davao where it said the presence of New People's Army (NPA) insurgents is 'more pronounced' or evident.

"Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta, AFP spokesman, said the deployment will be made 'within the next few days' but declined to say how many troops and equipment will be sent to the Davao region where he said the 'enemy activities' is concentrated."

The paper quoted Mabanta as saying: "About 30 percent (of the rebel strength) is concentrated in that area. We feel that if we will be able to arrest or defeat the enemy in that area, pretty soon, the other areas (outside Davao region) will fall down like dominos.

"We have already sent additional forces coming from Luzon about a month ago. We are still pouring in additional resources, both personnel and equipment...Among the other hot spots, this (Davao region) is where we deem it necessary to focus our effort."

The NPA, armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for four decades. Military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 guerrilla fighters scattered in more than 60 provinces throughout the country.

Peace talks between the government and the leftists bogged down after the United States included the NPA and its parent body as foreign terrorist organizations in 2002.

Meanwhile, gmanews.tv reports: "Fresh from their United Nations’ peacekeeping stint at the Golan Heights in Israel, at least 170 Philippine Army soldiers are now with the newly-formed 86th Infantry Battalion, which will be deployed in guerrilla-infested villages in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

"Cordillera is a hotbed of insurgents. Only last month, seven Army soldiers were killed in ambush in the Mountain Province, forcing the Armed Forces to focus on dismantling the five guerrilla fronts operating in several villages, said Maj. Gen. Rommel Gomez, 5th Infantry Division commander."