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Monday, August 11, 2008

Bribes used to get relatives to turn in militants: Philippines

There still seem to be problems with the agreement between MILF and the government. U.S. forces have been involved in some operations. As part of the war on terror the U.S. works with the AFP. This is a sensitive issue for many filipinos.
It seems that bribes are given regularly to militants' families in order to get them to turn in their relatives. This is a rather nasty policy and as has happened elsewhere often people use these offers to make money and wreak vengeance on those they don't like. Some innocent persons have ended up in Guantanamo as a result of such policies. Maybe this should be called the "mother-in-law" effect but I guess that would not be politically correct. Here is a snippet of an article from the Tribune.

So far P17.3 million has been paid out to informants whose help has either led to the arrest or death of at least nine militants, Allaga said.
“These people are not political they are bandits,” he said.
One of those killed was Khadaffy Janjalani, the leader of the Al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group.
In dollar terms the payout may seem paltry to outsiders but to poor Filipinos a million pesos is a windfall.
“It can change their lives for ever,” Allaga said urging relatives, friends or acquaintances of Abu Sayyaf militants to come forward and turn them in and get paid for it.
He said the identity of those who give information against the militants is protected.
Money is normally handed out in crisp one thousand peso notes, often bundled up in bags and the “informants” wear hoods.
Many of the informants are either former Abu Sayyaf rebels or relatives seeking easy cash.
“The reward for justice programme has been very effective in ending much of the lawlessness in the region,” Allaga said although he is reluctant to talk about the operations of US Special Forces in the area.
The US Special Forces have been rotating in and out of western Mindanao since 2003 training and helping the Philippine military combat Muslim extremists. So far P17.3 million has been paid out to informants whose help has either led to the arrest or death of at least nine militants, Allaga said.
“These people are not political they are bandits,” he said.
One of those killed was Khadaffy Janjalani, the leader of the Al Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf group.
In dollar terms the payout may seem paltry to outsiders but to poor Filipinos a million pesos is a windfall.
“It can change their lives for ever,” Allaga said urging relatives, friends or acquaintances of Abu Sayyaf militants to come forward and turn them in and get paid for it.
He said the identity of those who give information against the militants is protected.
Money is normally handed out in crisp one thousand peso notes, often bundled up in bags and the “informants” wear hoods.
Many of the informants are either former Abu Sayyaf rebels or relatives seeking easy cash.
“The reward for justice programme has been very effective in ending much of the lawlessness in the region,” Allaga said although he is reluctant to talk about the operations of US Special Forces in the area.
The US Special Forces have been rotating in and out of western Mindanao since 2003 training and helping the Philippine military combat Muslim extremists.

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