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Philippine rebels vow to build 25,000-strong force

DAVAO, Philippines (AP) - Philippine communist rebels vowed Thursday to intensify attacks against government troops and build a 25,000-strong guerrilla force, but the military mocked the target as unrealistic.

New People's Army guerrillas marked the 45th founding anniversary of their underground party with a clandestine gathering at a mountain lair, where they invited journalists in southeastern Agusan del Sur province.

A communist rebel statement urged the Maoist guerrillas to "wipe out enemy units and seize their weapons" and "increase the number of our Red fighters to 25,000."

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, however, said the rebels, whose armed guerrilla strength has dwindled to 4,000, have been on a decline and would not achieve such a target due to problems such as the loss of community support and infighting.

"They're dreaming," Zagala said. "The reality is they have been on a decline due to the loss of their mass bases, surrenders and other problems."

The communist rebellion in the Philippines began in the late 1960s with a ragtag group armed with a few rifles. The movement peaked during the repressive years under dictator Ferdinand Marcos with several thousand full-time guerrillas.

Though it remains one of the world's longest-running Marxist insurgencies, the rebel movement has grown considerably weaker in recent years due to battle setbacks, surrenders and factionalism. They remain a national security concern.

Talks to end the rebellion have stalled since 2011 due to disagreements between the government and guerrillas over the release of several jailed rebel leaders.

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mikevmx December 26 2013 at 12:02 PM

unless i am off on this we are already helping the filipino's in this war on the insurgents. we have navy seal teams there already. they have been there for years.

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Sabot mikevmx December 26 2013 at 12:37 PM

The struggle was going on in 1960 when the HUKS were trying to gain power....to keep this calm on the base at Subic Bay, the government gave free run of the base to the indigenous people, a pygmy group of "negrittos" who lived in the jungles with their swords and bows, and kept the HUK at bay. There was a constnat reminder from the base not to harm or antogonize these people at any time, but to allow them to pass through unharmed on their migration. I saw several of these tribal groups while there and it was like a scene from the stone age....men, women, children, young and old, barefoot and with little or no clothing, Very friendly, but not begging, content with their arrangement to live, and I felt secure!

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kcampo6453 December 26 2013 at 4:47 PM

I' m certainly not in favor of communism, but it does have one point in it's favor, it doesn't put up with Muslims.

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Greggviking1 December 26 2013 at 12:38 PM

You say That Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, Washington DC. are all high murder cities with gun violence? Duh? These cities ALL have high minority populations! Don't blame political parties for it, blame the kind of people that are carrying those guns!

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1 reply
FCI Fincl Serv Greggviking1 December 26 2013 at 8:02 PM

Don't go to a karaoke bar and sing "I Did It My Way"! You'll get shot! Wait a minute! We should give free karaoke machines that only have "I Did It My Way" song lyrics, to The New People's Army and "problem solved"!

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euzkara December 26 2013 at 12:30 PM

The Communist Guerrilla movement in the Philippines did not start in 1960, as claimed in oyur article but began gaining momentum during the 1930's. During WWII some bands fought the Japanese but they also took time to burn and destroy the property of wealthy Filipinos though out the Islands. Post WWII the Communist guerrillas became known as the Hukbalahap under the leadership of Luis Taruc and whose forces wiped out an entourage of the former Filipino President Quezon's entire family. The Quezon party was ambushed by the Hukbalahap as they were on their way to a vacation home in the provinces around 1948 or 1949.

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1 reply
gibby1208 euzkara December 26 2013 at 4:22 PM

Yawn.

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Sabot December 26 2013 at 12:28 PM

The Communists have a simple theory, when the only man who will listen to the plight of the poor and down trodden, the only man who has bread and medicine, and he is a Communist, the people will rally to him. It makes false promises and leads with a false bravado, they campaign with hate and lies and venomous attacks. They do this not to help the common man but to enslave him to a political scheme, where a certain few will always stay at the top of the pryamid and control those below!

They ususally fail when those duped into this false sense of government security, errodes and shows the Communist for what he is, a power control entity, that has little or now genuine feelings for the base, but must control it's every move and thought. Like Castro's Carribean Island paradise, the perceived benefits of food, clothing, security, health care, and education are quickly made muniscule when the population cannot exercise any freedom of thought or initiative, no chance of an inventive mind rising to join those at the top of the control pyramid! The classic battle between those who would control and those who would rise to their total fulfillment is waged!

IF any of this sounds familiar, consider our present day political structure in the USSA today and decide for yourself! No matter what they call themselves there will always be those who would control and manipulate for their own purposes and those who work and strive for independence!

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2 replies
flyingfortresb17 Sabot December 26 2013 at 3:56 PM

Every thing that you stated except for the last paragraph is correct. Now if you dislike the way the government is being run, run for office.

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1 reply
rademps flyingfortresb17 December 26 2013 at 5:12 PM

It is amazing how many people distrust government. Any government. Sometimes with reason, but the alternative is unthinkable.

I was a pilot and worked for a major airline before retirement but I also flew in a B-17. One of the greatest planes in history. I may have commented to you before about the unique throttle arrangement for controlling the four engines.

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gibby1208 Sabot December 26 2013 at 4:58 PM

You have an amazing grasp of the obvious. There always has been, and there will always be, individuals obsessed with power. They have never have a problem finding a movement to carry their banner, whatever that movement might be called. For the side holding the power. it's called a revolution. For the defeated, it is known as an insurgency.
From your obessive clinging to the long dead Communist threat, I must conclude that you are a conservative. True to your dogma, you remain ever vigilent for the threat from outside, while the true destruction of our democratic form of government has been breeding in the republican congress since the late 1940s. By now, they have refined their process, but not their message. It always comes back to convincing their supplicants that they are special and that no one else matters. More importantly, that they (tea baggers at the moment) are the only people that can deliver them from a fate that only they can imagine.
Nothing new here.

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Greg December 26 2013 at 12:22 PM

I was stationed there from 78-80 as a US Marine assigned to jungle operations. We would work as advisors to P.I. Marines and help track / watch the NPA. The truth is that " they tracked us "! I can't tell you how many times we would be on patrol and run dead into a small NPA scouting unit. What a butt pucker that was as we watched them pass within yards of us. Many times the P.I. Marines were
really NPA scouts giving up data on our movements. I see no reason for us to be there as all our bases are closed on the Island. The P.I. is a beautiful place and I wish that country all the best.

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2 replies
ycplum Greg December 26 2013 at 4:12 PM

I respectfully disagree in that I feel we should lend the Philipinos our expertise (counter insurgency training, intelligence, etc.), although we should not be involved in actual fighting. We can gain experience and insight in intelligence gathering in a tropical/jungle environment.

Beyond that, thank you for your service. Those were some ungrateful years to be in the military.

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JohnnYuma Greg December 26 2013 at 5:18 PM

It is a beautiful place. As a Marine stationed at Sangly Point, I got to see a lot of the country and study their peoples ways. But there are very few that you can trust...

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JohnnYuma December 26 2013 at 5:06 PM

I was stationed in the Phillipines from 1951 to 1954. The Phillipine rebels were then known as "hukbalahops, or huks for short. They were rebels fighting the free govt. wanting it to turn to socialism...

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1 reply
FCI Fincl Serv JohnnYuma December 26 2013 at 7:57 PM

They could turn the Phillipines into a People's Paradise like North Korea!

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propackage December 26 2013 at 11:03 AM

Where does the money come from. There is never enough money for living, but there is always money for Killing

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2 replies
Daddy Bruce propackage December 26 2013 at 3:46 PM

Many of the politicians give money to the insurgents as they are also communist/communist sympathizers and a lot od the money comes from the billion or so dollars a year that Uncle Sam sends to support the lavish lifestyle of the politicians here while a large percentage of the population starves to death.

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flyingfortresb17 propackage December 26 2013 at 4:00 PM

It comes from those who donate to various help groups. They also steal a lot of weaponry from the PI forces.

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flyingfortresb17 December 26 2013 at 3:39 PM

The Philippine government needs to use real time satellite imagining and cover the areas in the Philippine Islands to locate gathering like this and use US military sophisticated weaponry to launch appropriate weapons against gatherings like this to eliminate the leadership.

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1 reply
kcampo6453 flyingfortresb17 December 26 2013 at 4:52 PM

Great idea, but doesn't seem to be doing a lot of good in Pakistan.

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captdj123 December 26 2013 at 10:38 AM

seems to me as long as this hasa been going on you hav to go for true peace and elimination totally of the threat,

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