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Anatomy of an insurgency

March 1969: Group of communist nationalists led by Jose Maria Sison forms Communist Party (CPP) and New People's Army (NPA), party's armed wing. August 1971: Marcos declares state of emergency, suspending some constitutional rights. Marcos detains 98 people, accusing NPA of preelection violence. July 1972: Government says it intercepted shipments of arms from North Korea headed for NPA and launches full-scale attack on NPA in northern Luzon. Sept. 23, 1972: Marcos declares martial law, citing need to suppress ``state of rebellion'' he blames on NPA. In next two months, 6,100 people (including opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr.) are arrested. August 1976: NPA chief Bernabe Buscayno and 10 other NPA leaders are captured. Nov. 10, 1977: Party chairman Sison captured. CPP goes underground. Jan. 17, 1981: Martial law lifted. April 1983: New NPA tactics implemented: Open, large-scale fighting gives NPA regular supply of weapons. Aug. 21, 1983: Mr. Aquino assassinated at Manila airport on his return from self-imposed exile in US. 1984: Western sources estimate that NPA operates in 60 of the Philippines' 73 provinces. June 1984: Army launches biggest offensive ever against NPA rebels on Luzon. March 1985: Military admits it has lost parts of the country to insurgents but dismisses US offficials' suggestions that rebels could take over Philippines within five years. August: Marcos offers rewards and amnesty to rebels who surrender. Oct. 15: In Manila, Sen. Paul Laxalt, personal envoy of President Reagan, delivers message to Marcos that Reagan is concerned about the growing insurgency. Nov. 3: Marcos announces on US television plans to hold snap presidential election in early 1986. December: Marcos says more than 10,000 people were killed by insurgents in 1985, while his military chief says about 4,500 had been killed in 1985 battles between military and insurgents. January 1986: Leftist groups, including CPP, announce they will boycott the snap presidential election. Feb. 25: Marcos flees. Corazon Aquino, Benigno Aquino's widow, becomes President. Feb. 26: Military chief of staff says new government's top priority will be to end insurgency. Two days later, government orders release of 39 political detainees arrested under Marcos rule. March 5: Government frees last four suspected communist leaders, including Communist Party founder Sison. March 10: Government moves to set up amnesty commission with centers in insurgency-torn areas nationwide. March 25: Military chief of staff orders intensified military operations against communist rebels on Luzon. March 26: Insurgents step up raids on Mindanao, pushing to 303 the death toll since Aquino came to power.

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