Over the past decade, several peace treaties have been signed with jihadi groups in the Philippines, but inevitably, the jihadis simply adopt another name and resume fighting for control of another part of the Archipelago.
The latest story on this now very old yet forgotten struggle took place today with the Philippines vowing revenge after 18 of its soldiers were killed by a jihadi group.
Philippine military officials vowed Sunday to "destroy" the Abu Sayyaf extremist group with more offensives after fierce fighting over the weekend left 18 soldiers dead in the government's largest single-day combat loss so far this year.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and top military officials flew to the south to meet most of the 53 soldiers who were wounded in fighting with Abu Sayyaf militants that raged for nearly 10 hours Saturday in the hinterlands on Basilan island. At least five militants, including a Moroccan fighter, were killed, the military said.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine military suffered its largest single-day combat loss so far this year when 18 soldiers were killed in fierce fighting with Abu Sayyaf extremists that also left five Islamic militants dead, including a Moroccan fighter, the military said Sunday.
At least 53 other soldiers were wounded in Saturday's daylong clashes with the Abu Sayyaf militants and allied gunmen in the hinterlands bordering the towns of Tipo Tipo and Al-Barka on Basilan island, regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan and other army officials said.
The large combat casualties were reported as the Philippines marked the Day of Valor Saturday to remember Filipino veterans who died in World War II.
But wait, didn't the Philippine government sign a peace treaty with the main Muslim terrorist group, MILF (Moro-Islamic Liberation Front)?
On January 24, 2014, Philippine government chief negotiator Miriam Coronel Ferer and MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal signed the final annex of the peace agreement in Kuala Lumpur. Two months later, on March 27, 2014, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed in Manila and witnessed by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ibrahim, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The agreement would pave the way for the creation of the new Muslim autonomous entity called "Bangsamoro" under a law to be approved by the Philippine Congress.
So the Philippine authority caved to Muslim terrorists and allowed the creation of an Islamic autonomous zone within the Philippines proper.
While MILF and other Muslim terrorists claim their fight for total Islamic manifest destiny in the Philippines is merely "defensive," the initial offensive by the Philippine Government was to capture people being sheltered and nurtured by the Islamic terror group that are way beyond the terms of any peace treaty.
How long has this particular problem existed in the Philippines and why does no one seem to understand the nature of this conflict?
For that I ask you to turn your attention to this WW2 era Hollywood film, made when Hollywood could tell the truth about American military expeditions for global freedom and the preservation of autonomous peoples.
1939 Samuel Goldwyn film: The Real Glory, with Gary Cooper and David Niven in a story that took place in 1906.