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Philippines History

History of Philippines

The guerilla shoots itself in the foot

The guerrillas, the Communist Party and the popular organizations reached a climax in their organizational development in the mid-to-late 1980s, but made a number of mistakes that came at a very high cost. The first serious mistake was not to support the popular revolt against Marcos in 1986. The consequence was that they were put outside the enormous dynamics that existed around the Marcos revolt. The next serious mistake was to strangle the urban guerrilla in Davao on the southern island of Mindanao. Under the Marcos dictatorship, the only resort for many was to join the guerrilla or its illegal mass organizations. By the mid-1980s, therefore, the NPA had reached over 20,000 men under arms, and about 20% of the Philippine population lived in areas exempt from the NPA. The NPA/CPP had until then followed the classic Maoist guerrilla strategy, which consisted in the building of a peasant guerrilla to surround and starve the cities. But partly there was an ideological softening in the CPP'sMaoism throughout the 1980s, partly CPP/NPA/NDF groups conducted a comprehensive organization in the city of Davao, so that the city of almost 1 million inhabitants around 1985/86 was in fact under the control of the liberation movement. But this strategy partly encountered opposition from conservative sectors of the party and partly the party reacted very violently as infiltration was detected in its cells in Davao. The party ordered the cells dissolved, and at the same time the infiltrators were to be executed. The party executed somewhere between 500 and 1000 of its own. Almost everyone was innocent, it turned out afterwards. The movement had committed political suicide in Davao, and that was only the beginning of the end.

The Aquino government had promised to give land to the peasants and embarked on a land reform, but it ran into obstacles and eventually stalled completely when it debated in Parliament, where the landlords had an overwhelming representation. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Philippines.

In April 1988, the discussion began on the future of the United States' many military bases in the country, when the contract with the United States expired in September 91.

Comprehensive natural disasters and the social conflicts in particular placed the children in a high-risk zone. In 1990, 39% of Filipinos were under the age of 14. The efforts of NGOs (NGOs) to improve the situation of these children met only a third of the need. The government set up refugee camps for the so-called "internal refugees" displaced by the military from areas where the guerrillas were believed to be located. During this period, the military conducted a so-called "total war" against the country's opposition. In the camps, 1.25 million people lived in miserable conditions.

In 1991, pressure from the various regional and ethnic groups for a more equitable distribution of land and wealth had grown tremendously. This, together with the impending elections in May 92, led Corazón Aquino to set up the Office of the Northern Communities to take care of the tribes and ethnic groups in the Luzón Mountains in the north, and an office was set up to take care of the problems in the South. The staff of both offices came from the affected communities. Mindanao had already in 1987 had an office for Islamic Affairs. The situation on the island was devastating, as the Liberation Front of the Moroese - MNLF - had 20,000 men under arms, and believed the government had violated the autonomy clauses of the 1987 Constitution.


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