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Old 26-02-2016, 21:40   #211
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

News story today says 42 rebels killed in fighting.

End of article reads:

Elsewhere in Mindanao, soldiers pursued the Abu Sayyaf group, which is holding several foreigners captive, including a Japanese, a Dutch national, two Canadians and a Norwegian.
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Old 26-02-2016, 21:47   #212
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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News story today says 42 rebels killed in fighting.
News story today says 42 rebels killed in fighting.

There, I fixed it for you
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Old 27-02-2016, 00:59   #213
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Thanks for the update Phillip. Please keep them coming.
Cheers Dale.

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Old 27-02-2016, 08:02   #214
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Elsewhere in Mindanao, soldiers pursued the Abu Sayyaf group, which is holding several foreigners captive, including a Japanese, a Dutch national, two Canadians and a Norwegian.
Sounds like the noose is tightening up on those terrorists.
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Old 27-02-2016, 08:19   #215
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Unreal. Thanks for the details.


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Old 27-02-2016, 08:34   #216
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Originally Posted by Ballenxj View Post
Sounds like the noose is tightening up on those terrorists.
Yeah, but ...

That's what happened when the Philippine Army cornered the ABS in Basilan after they kidnapped the Burnhams a few years back. I think most us probably remember how that fiasco ended.

Let's hope for a better result this time around.

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Old 27-02-2016, 08:46   #217
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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To true and not only in the PHILIPPINES.

This is where every wealthy Filipino realizes that he can be murdered for having Php10k in his pocket ($46) and is proactive to make that attempt difficult

Yet many foreigners flash huge wads around oblivious to the risk and temptation.

In Puerto Galera, the resident expats started and support a gun club and firing range.
Puerto Galera Shooting Range - Recreational Range Shooting in the Philippines

So were able thru their wives, girlfriends, staff etc.. to have legal access, transport and practice with fire arms.

Club members even have regular friendly competitions against the local military and police and the business has been successful with tourists... (The Koreans just love to rent the AK-47‘s)

The practical upside to this is that resident expat families are no longer considered easy targets and are mostly left alone by the criminal element.

By forming and joining gun clubs, foreigners can have access to self protection and change the perception of soft targets.

Perhaps this is something Samal Marina should now consider with the support and participation of affluent locals

Puerto Galera Shooting Range - Puerto Galera Range Group and Gun Club
That's interesting.

I'm by no means a gun toting, neo-con, Fox news addict, but I have owned guns and once even used one to back down a would be intruder. Sad that we ever have to resort to such measures, but they should not be ruled out, willy-nilly because of our humanist values.

Thanks for the info,

G2L
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:01   #218
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Interesting point on Duterte

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Davao (where Samal is) has always been a troubled place with some Wild West characters like their mayor Duterte who is nick named Rambo and has a vigilante approach to justice.

His actions have caused a number of violent retaliations in the past.

It would never be a long term berth for me

Duterte admits links to Davao Death Squad | ABS-CBN News
Seems like he is playing his "Trump" card, and the rest of us are being left to pay the price.

The PGYC option you note near the end of the thread seems like a much more rational and low key approach.

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Old 27-02-2016, 09:20   #219
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Desperation in Detroit and the Philippines

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Originally Posted by Sun and Moon View Post
Using this definition many US inner cities are 3rd world - Baltimore, St Louis, Detroit ...
I think Pelagic and many others on this thread know well the situation in Detroit and other like cities, as well as the fact that, sadly, the US government has the means to change such situations much more easily than does the Philippines, which owes most of their crippling, national debt to the US. It was some 30% of GNP, when I last looked, but feel free to correct me if you know the latest figures.

Perhaps the more important situation to ponder is "Why are we not setting a better example?'

Just my two cents,

G2L
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:26   #220
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Upcoming elections have everyone a bit nervous.

I am already seeing it in the property markets and stock exchange.

This is a normal phenomenon here where power struggles in every province, town and baranguy often becomes violent.

Most visitors don't even realize the undercurrents of tension during this time, but political assassinations and murder of reporters increases as does the crime rate, until the new power lines are drawn.

If you watch the peso trends during the periods of upcoming elections you will see it fall as a result of this uncertainty.

Then afterwards the Philippines get stable again in a blush of promises and an inherent positive nature of acceptance.
Indeed ... promises which are never kept, so the beat goes on.

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Old 27-02-2016, 09:41   #221
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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A gun club is a valid suggestion. This was no random act. Plans to utilize money expected from this operation will lead to more violence. We should not forget the lives and families of 44 police officers killed just last year shortly after the two Germans were realized.

When sailing do we not maintain 24 hr watches to try and spot a tiny vessel that may ding our paint job? Do we not set high resolution GPS that 24 hr will tell us the second we are 0.04 instead of 0.03 nm from anchorage?

It is my contention that had the Germans made no payout, had a guard been posted 24/7 with an active working communication to forces that could respond instantly, had it been made clear no money would be paid out, that planners would not have picked this marina and made this assault.

The one good thing about Puerto Princesa is the very large bay with Coast Guard 24hrs at the entrance. How good they are and whether they actually answer a channel 16 call at 2 am is unknown. It is however, a very long way to Sulu Sulu and Mindano.

I believe it is time we begin making demands that the Coast Guard demonstates it is more than an organization in name only.

It should be no surprise however that we should expect little competence from a country where we see most coast guard emergency vessels parked on top of trailers. Hopefully, the one here is in the water. I need to check, and I will be asking our local office for their exact procedures, staff levels, and fire power.

I will be discussing with other sailors here going on 24 hour watches of our own. Just shining a flashlight on each passing fishing vessel would be a reminder that we are actually awake, watching, and have the ability to call coast guard.
Makes sense. But, as you will remember, the Burnhams were taken just down the way, at Honda Bay. Granted, it is more remote, but just as far from Jolo or Basilan. These guys are striking across the Sulu Sea, and perhaps all the way east up to Davao.

My own sense is that Samal was not an NPA attack, but an ABS attack or just a bunch of common criminals who are hoping the blame might temporarily be put elsewhere, in order to shield them, at least temporarily, from the heat.

Worth a thought or two, no?

G2L
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Old 27-02-2016, 10:34   #222
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Rather than planning to destroy the whole boat in a show of smoke and fire, how about simply preparing a safe room?
I'm thinking, a steel door on one of the cabins would go a long way. Depending on the boat layout of course.
Maybe also arrange for a way to sound a loud horn, activate EPIRB, and some other relevant controls, from inside said room.
After all, most pirates and terrorists hoping to kidnap someone will be in a hurry, aiming to get in and out in a few minutes. If we can make it much more difficult for them, I would think we improve our chances dramatically.
Interesting idea, but AK 47s come with metal piercing, full metal jackets. I would expect a few rounds to be pumped through, just to see if anyone was home. I'd say, "flight is right' as our best option.

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Old 27-02-2016, 18:02   #223
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Okay some are reading this with less background, please correct any error in my summary

#1 Philippines - The Spanish did not convert all of the Muslim areas. Hence Muslims are present in Philippines. They are mostly concentrated in the Southern islands especially Jolo Jolo.

#2 Largely most Mualims are peaceful, however some have big ideas to break away, expand territory, kick out Catholics etc

#3 Years of internal stife in Southern Philippines.

#4 One militant group, and there is more than one, is called the Abu Sayyaf Group. ASG. Not sure about ABS?

#5 In 2001 the Burnhams were US missionaries on vacation at a resort and not sailors.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_Palmas_kidnappings
It was an attack at a resort in Honda Bay North of Puerto Princesa Palawan. It was messy. Detail on Wiki.

#6 In 2014 two German sailors left Puerto Princesa headed South. They lingered a long time along the Southern Palawan coast in a Muslim area. Word is they anchored right in front of a Muslim owned resort. Obviously long enough for an attack to be planned from afar. They were whisked off across the Sulu Sea.

#7 Nasty videos and threarts and release of Germans after payment of ransom.

#8 Early 2015, 44 Philippine police died in a raid of a ASG camp. National enquiry concluded police did not coordinate well with military assets. Camp was said to be making bombs and finger pointed at Germans for money to make bombs.

#9 September 2015 attack on Samal marina and capture of sailors the subject of this thread.

#10 The bomb making materials and death of 44 police officers is likely a big reason why there has been no payment in the current hostage sitiuation. The linkage between paying ransom and getting more deaths as a result is clear. Funding a hostage taking group only leads to more hostages.

#11 The US Government has offered millions of dollars of rewards as a consequence of attacks that killed three US citizens. The price for harming US citizens was real and some reward money has already been claimed.

#12 Currently the ASG hold no US hostages. US hostages that refuse to pay and US government rewards for information leading to arrests have helped prove to be a poison pill.

#13 Previously, there was an attack on Western Shore of Borneo and hostages taken from a resort area of Malaysia. Malay engineer Bernard Then was beheaded in 2015. Tourism in that area of Malaysia is way down. Malaysia should be really ticked off. I am not 100% sure if a ransom was paid for Then and have heard one had been paid.

#14 Of course officials from the Philippines, Japan, Canada, Norway, Malaysia, and US have meetings to figure out how best to destroy the ASG. Japan already gave the Philippines many high speed Coast Guard boats. Notice the Yamaha engines. The US gives surpluss military equipment and money.

#15 It took a few months however, I have noted here a big Philippine troop build up. Who do you think is paying for that? Wouldn't each of the mentioned governments chip in?

#16 The current hostages are said to be moved regularly and guarded by as many as 200 armed ASG. That cannot occur without people noticing.

#17 The latest news story contains terms like "air plane", "bombs", and "intelligence". Obviously, the government is not going to send in just the police again. They learned from the 44 man mistake.

#18 So where is the intel coming from? My bet is it is a Japanese built satellite in combination with local informants. The locals all now have cell phones to take pictures, and every one of those 200 guards has friends that can become an instant millionaire. Today, after the deaths of so many rebels, why shouldn't a surviving relative become a millionaire by turning in those responsible?

#19 Will inviting foreign governments to spend millions of dollars to help the Philippines end ASG be the end of taking foreign hostages? Of course not.

#20 Will there always be a risk? Yes. However, risk is everywhere at all time and comes in many forms. This is Cruisers Forum and not Yacht Club Forum. We go when and where the risks are reasonable and the rewards great.
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Old 28-02-2016, 02:53   #224
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Very good summary, but read without the local knowledge that 95% of Filipinos are simple family loving individuals..... It sounds more intense than it really is..

Living in SUBIC, I am seeing the slow buildup of multinational assets and special forces that will be used against a variety of threats.

Taken in context....the US southern border seems to be a much greater danger to those in the neighborhood than those cruising the Philippines.
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Old 28-02-2016, 08:04   #225
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Interesting, Useful Summary

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Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Okay some are reading this with less background, please correct any error in my summary

#1 Philippines - The Spanish did not convert all of the Muslim areas. Hence Muslims are present in Philippines. They are mostly concentrated in the Southern islands especially Jolo Jolo.

#2 Largely most Mualims are peaceful, however some have big ideas to break away, expand territory, kick out Catholics etc

#3 Years of internal stife in Southern Philippines.

#4 One militant group, and there is more than one, is called the Abu Sayyaf Group. ASG. Not sure about ABS?

#5 In 2001 the Burnhams were US missionaries on vacation at a resort and not sailors.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dos_Palmas_kidnappings
It was an attack at a resort in Honda Bay North of Puerto Princesa Palawan. It was messy. Detail on Wiki.

#6 In 2014 two German sailors left Puerto Princesa headed South. They lingered a long time along the Southern Palawan coast in a Muslim area. Word is they anchored right in front of a Muslim owned resort. Obviously long enough for an attack to be planned from afar. They were whisked off across the Sulu Sea.

#7 Nasty videos and threarts and release of Germans after payment of ransom.

#8 Early 2015, 44 Philippine police died in a raid of a ASG camp. National enquiry concluded police did not coordinate well with military assets. Camp was said to be making bombs and finger pointed at Germans for money to make bombs.

#9 September 2015 attack on Samal marina and capture of sailors the subject of this thread.

#10 The bomb making materials and death of 44 police officers is likely a big reason why there has been no payment in the current hostage sitiuation. The linkage between paying ransom and getting more deaths as a result is clear. Funding a hostage taking group only leads to more hostages.

#11 The US Government has offered millions of dollars of rewards as a consequence of attacks that killed three US citizens. The price for harming US citizens was real and some reward money has already been claimed.

#12 Currently the ASG hold no US hostages. US hostages that refuse to pay and US government rewards for information leading to arrests have helped prove to be a poison pill.

#13 Previously, there was an attack on Western Shore of Borneo and hostages taken from a resort area of Malaysia. Malay engineer Bernard Then was beheaded in 2015. Tourism in that area of Malaysia is way down. Malaysia should be really ticked off. I am not 100% sure if a ransom was paid for Then and have heard one had been paid.

#14 Of course officials from the Philippines, Japan, Canada, Norway, Malaysia, and US have meetings to figure out how best to destroy the ASG. Japan already gave the Philippines many high speed Coast Guard boats. Notice the Yamaha engines. The US gives surpluss military equipment and money.

#15 It took a few months however, I have noted here a big Philippine troop build up. Who do you think is paying for that? Wouldn't each of the mentioned governments chip in?

#16 The current hostages are said to be moved regularly and guarded by as many as 200 armed ASG. That cannot occur without people noticing.

#17 The latest news story contains terms like "air plane", "bombs", and "intelligence". Obviously, the government is not going to send in just the police again. They learned from the 44 man mistake.

#18 So where is the intel coming from? My bet is it is a Japanese built satellite in combination with local informants. The locals all now have cell phones to take pictures, and every one of those 200 guards has friends that can become an instant millionaire. Today, after the deaths of so many rebels, why shouldn't a surviving relative become a millionaire by turning in those responsible?

#19 Will inviting foreign governments to spend millions of dollars to help the Philippines end ASG be the end of taking foreign hostages? Of course not.

#20 Will there always be a risk? Yes. However, risk is everywhere at all time and comes in many forms. This is Cruisers Forum and not Yacht Club Forum. We go when and where the risks are reasonable and the rewards great.
I found your summary to be generally accurate and useful. I should therefore explain some of my thread notes and talk about some of yours.

On #4 - Just my acronym. Yours is the accepted. I should not have used ABS - Sorry to all readers for any confusion caused.

On #5 - I assumed most folks would know that the Burnhams were missionaries, since Gracie Burnham's, not-so-old book was well publicized by US media giants, as were the various accounts of her and her husband's tragic, but not completely unexpected plight.

Also, I think we know the reputation of US missionaries and how they have been linked to the US State Dept. - a Dept. which has always cooperated with and covered for at least one, more notorious US agency. More another time on an off topic thread.

By the way, the Burnham's last name is eerily the same as at least one US official who has had a marked effect on this island nation.

On #11 - It is not exactly clear to which US citizens you refer, as none except the Burnhams were previously referenced. Only one of them died in the Philippine Army attack on ASG.

ON #s 12-17 - I agree with most of it, but the US govt. often labels traditional policies and well-worn inter-governmental rivalries as "mistakes", after they have been belatedly discovered by the US public. My take is that, since the Philippines tends to do best what we do worst, the same is true of the 44 man slaughter.

On #18 - Substitute "US" for "Japanese". Such already exists and the Japanese economy is not in good enough shape these days.

On #19 - You owe your readers an explanation as to why you think this is true. Most kidnapping victims are rich Philippinos.

On #20 - Of course. And while I am editorializing a bit here myself, I should note that, although I believe that "forewarned is forearmed", I doubt that anything I could have done in a situation like what happened in Samal, could have prevented the events from transpiring as they did. As we both agree, "Ramboism" is no solution, and neither is vigilantism. Government responsibility is definitely a part of the solution, and I admire your courage for bringing this up. However, I would warn about leaning to hard on the local government, for, perhaps, obvious reasons.

Always interesting and thought provoking to read your point of view.

Best regards,

G2L





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