Conversion at gunpoint
Some news from the Philippines-
MANILA -- Troops are returning to the Philippine capital's slums to counter recruitment and propaganda by communist guerrillas, the military said Tuesday, despite protests that the deployment is aimed at repressing government critics.The military, and the Philippines is no different, is rarely suited to the task of educating people. Therefore this sounds like a government crackdown, probably ordered by Philippine President Arroyo. The CPP, which is sometimes known as the New People's Army or NPA has been around for years in the Philippines, but is little more than a nuisance.
Some 100 troops were being deployed Tuesday in Quezon and Taguig cities, both on Manila's outskirts, said Col. Ricardo Visaya, head of the armed forces' Civil-Military Operations battalion. Visaya said the troops' return has the approval of the local mayors.
The military sent 260 soldiers into 26 impoverished areas in November where it said communist rebels were trying to recruit residents to their 39 year armed rebellion against the government.
They were pulled out several days before the May 14 midterm elections following charges they were being used to dissuade voters from backing the opposition.
The 260 troops will all be back in the communities by next week, said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino.
"This time more vigorous actions will be undertaken to educate the people about the Communist Party of the Philippines' deceptions," Visaya told reporters. "They will be taught how to counter the recruitment of the CPP.
On the other hand Muslim separatists in the South, who use violence like these beheadings, are a threat if not to Manila's Central government, then to the lives of ordinary Philippine people and visitors to that country. Arroyo needs to get our priorities straight.
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