Manila’s Ambivalence Main Obstacle to Peace in Southern Philippines

DENPASAR, Indonesia — Tension remains high in the Philippines as an investigative team tries to ascertain who mutilated 10 of the 14 soldiers killed in a recent encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the island of Basilan July 10. Should the investigators fail to find answers, war could erupt again in the southernmost part of the country, where Islamic groups have been fighting for independence for decades. Manila has gathered 5,000 soldiers on tiny Basilan in the Sulu Archipelago, also home to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. But the […]

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