Metro Manila: Troops deployed in Capitol vs. Insurgents
Reports over the week in the print media and broadcast television have been pointing to unusual movements of troops in the Capitol region over the last few weeks.
Some groups have claimed the soldiers deployments have made thier effort towards the politcal campaign period ‘difficult’.
 Leftist group demands end to military ops in slums
GMA news.tv, Philippines – The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan called on the government to “immediately end…saturation drives” in the slums of Metro Manila. … 
The Commision of Elections had asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines this week to explain the deployments.
Even at the Presidentail Palace questions were raised.
”… Armed Forces chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. Sunday is to explain the deployment of troops in depressed areas in Metro Manila, which has alarmed residents and militant groups. “We really have to find out the reasons for such deployment and find out whether they are valid,” Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita …” 
There are ongoing operations the Armed forces says that require the troops in the remote parts of the capitol area based on pronouncements of Philippine insurgents to use ‘Iraqi like methods of force’ a AFP source told this blogsite – saying that at least two groups are being ‘closely monitored’.
Web and media based pronouncements show some in the insurgent leadership have been calling on thier followers to use things like – IED’s, Bomb attacks, and the use of portable artillery like mortars is partly the reason for the deployments in areas that have traditionaly provided ‘havens’ to Insurgent groups in the past.
A military official said Monday the deployment of soldiers in some areas of Metro Manila is “indirectly” related to counter-insurgency operations and part of a civil-military program to maintain peace and order in communities.
Past fears of Military ‘adenturerism’ often makes some in the capitol nervous when troops are deployed anywhere. Those of US who grew up during Martail rule here also often remember the sight and sounds of checkpoints nad troop deployments that still make some nervous.But, having coverd the Military as journalist here for many years – and – having seen these troops deployed to places that are somewhat crime infested and could serve as havens for terror groups or insurgents groups one can see the explanation of the Military and take it face value. This is a new AFP not the 1970’s model and a lot has changed in the way they do things. More social awareness, better community interaction training, as well as one can see more smiles than scowls.
While some may raise questions and fears as to the timing and intimidation issues raised by some groups – one also has to understand the troop’s are also in a catch-22 situation. It’s not only the left – but – groups like the JI and ASG that might make any restrictions on troops a security gap these terror groups might exploit.
While in retrospect the deployment might be seen as ‘a concern’ the AFP has learned that the presence of troops in areas where politcal problems exist or presure groups are present can make for volitile situations which means caution on thier part also makes thier job easier.
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