Profiles of Philippine Rebel Factions
THE numerous Philippine rebel factions fall into four main groups:
Rebel Soldiers: There are three main groups of disaffected soldiers fighting the agovernment in Manila. Many of their members are in hiding, though others serve in the armed forces while keeping their rebel affiliation secret.
The Revolutionary Alliance of the People (RAM) is led by former Army Lt. Col. Gregorio Honason; RAM is thought to lead the rebel movement despite differences with other factions.
The Young Officers Union is led by former Army Capt. Danilo Lim; it is comprised of lower-ranking soldiers than those of RAM but has a larger membership.
Soldiers of the Filipino People (SFP) is not well known, nor is its unnamed leader. During the most recent coup attempt in 1989, many tanks had the initials "SFP" painted on their side.
Marcos Loyalists: Supporters of the late dictator "secured" a five-star Manila hotel during a 1987 coup attempt, but surrendered when the hotel's stock of food ran out.
Communists: The National Democratic Front (NDF) is the umbrella organization comprising the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People's Army (NPA) and others, but the CPP calls the shots. The movement's hierarchy appears to be in a state of transition with various factions and leaders fighting for control.
Moro National Liberation Front: The MNLF is the largest of two groups which have continued the country's oldest rebellion. For centuries, Islamic converts in the southern islands of the Philippines battled Spanish and US colonizers and have since struggled against Philippine governments in Manila with the aim of establishing a separate Muslim nation.