Skip to main content

Military: Filipino rebels kill 100 troops in 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Communist guerrillas killed about 100 government troops and police and waged 447 attacks last year despite a continuing decline in their 43-year insurgency, the military said Sunday.
The attacks by New People’s Army guerrillas included 31 assaults on mining firms, banana plantations and other businesses that damaged $27 million (P1.2 billion) worth of equipment and property, military spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos said. The rebels earned nearly $7 million (P300 million) from extortion in 2011, he said.
Although the Marxist insurgency, one of Asia’s longest-running, remains the Philippines’ leading security threat, rebel attacks have declined in recent years. The number of armed rebel fighters dropped 7.8 percent last year to 4,043, Burgos said.
The 447 rebel attacks last year were 11 percent fewer than in 2010 and consisted mostly of small assaults on remote detachments, killings, kidnappings, bombing and arson conducted as part of extortion demands, Burgos said. He said only 69 were major assaults, including simultaneous attacks in October on three nickel mining complexes in southeastern Surigao del Norte province that involved more than 200 guerrillas.
About 100 soldiers and troops were killed in rebel assaults last year, down from 184 in 2010, he said.
The Maoist rebels’ reliance on extortion from businesses and even poor villagers reflects a decline in their support from communities, Burgos said.
President Benigno Aquino III has opened peace talks with the rebels but the negotiations have been stalled for months over a guerrilla demand for officials to release more jailed rebels. Norway, which has been brokering the talks, has tried but failed so far to bridge the differences.
Political analyst Ramon Casiple said it is much harder now for the rebels to win political support from the people under the popular Aquino, son of revered pro-democracy figures, than in the time of disgraced leaders like former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who has been detained for alleged corruption, and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of plunder and massive human rights violations.
“The rebels are dealing with a government that they cannot isolate politically like Marcos,” Casiple said. “It’s also a political conflict, a battle for hearts and minds.”
The Maoist rebels did not immediately comment on the military statement, but have disputed such claims in the past as propaganda amid escalating rebel attacks.
The Communist Party of the Philippines last month dismissed as “annual yearend empty bragging” an announcement by officials that the military had cleared 23 provinces of communist insurgents, and threatened more attacks in coming months.
The rural-based insurgency has endured amid widespread poverty, landlessness and faulty governance in the country’s poorest regions. Clashes have killed an estimated 120,000 combatants and civilians.
12:54 am | Monday, January 23rd, 2012


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Duterte visits Pakistan navy ship docked in Manila - CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte toured a Pakistani naval ship Thursday and extended an open invitation to its crew to visit the country any time.

The Navy Ship SAIF, one of the four F-22P or Zulfiguar-class frigates of Pakistan, is on a three-day goodwill visit. It will stay in the country until December 17.

For more about the CNN Philippines article.

According to the Naval Technology website:
The F-22P or Zulfiquar (English: Sword) class frigate is a 2,500t multi-mission, conventionally powered frigate built for the Pakistan Navy. Design and construction of the F-22P started after a $750m deal was signed in 2005 between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) and China Shipbuilding Trading Co (CSTC). It is equipped with a 76.2mm main gun, an 8 round FM-90 Surface-to-Air Missile, C-802/CSS N-8 Surface-to-Surface Missile in 2 containers each containing 4 missiles, 2 Type-730B 30mm Close-in Weapon System, and 2 Triple ET-52C Torp…