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Country profile for Philippines

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Unselected
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk)
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Unselected
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Manila
  • Major Languages: Filipino, Spanish, English
  • Currency: Peso
  • Timezone: GMT +8:00

Country Map

Map of Philippines

In May 2016, hard-line candidate Rodrigo Duterte was elected as the 16th President of the Philippines. One of his key election pledges was to destroy drug trafficking networks in the country, and shortly after taking office he launched a ‘war on drugs’ which has proven to be highly controversial. An estimated 3,000 people were killed in his first six months of his administration - a third by the security forces and two-thirds by suspected vigilantes. The crackdown has sparked international criticism of Duterte, particularly in relation to extrajudicial killings, while former hitmen claim the president ordered murders while he was mayor of Davao city. He has also insulted a variety of world leaders and international bodies, including the European Union and the United Nations, and risks isolating the Philippines from several of its long-standing allies. The new president’s approach has not been popular with investors and both the peso and stock markets had fallen to a seven-year low by the end of September 2016. Meanwhile, the Philippines is one of several south-east Asian states currently in dispute with China over territorial rights in the South China Sea. In July 2016, the Philippines won a tribunal at the Hague; however, China has refused to accept the court's authority.

One of the drivers behind Duterte’s domestic popularity is his commitment to reducing the high levels of crime in the country. The Philippine National Police (PNP) has already stated that the number of reported crimes has fallen significantly since the war on drugs began. In the Metro Manila area, petty crimes such as bag snatching and pick-pocketing are common, while in the south of the country violent crime is more of a concern. Taxi drivers have also been complicit in assaults and robberies against passengers. Criminal and terrorist groups carry out kidnappings and extortion attempts against businesses operating in the south, most notably local bus operators and foreign mining companies. In January 2017, a South Korean businessman was abducted and held for ransom by three corrupt police officers in Angeles City, Central Luzon. Initial ransom demands of eight million pesos ($170,800) were paid in two instalments; however, another demand of an additional 4.5 million pesos ($90,000) was not paid after the kidnappers failed to provide proof of life.

The Philippines has a long history of insurgency by Muslim separatists. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has been fighting for independence in 25 southern provinces since 1972. The area, known locally as Bangsamoro, is spread over the islands of Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu archipelago. Other former factions of the MNLF are also fighting for independence for the region, most notably the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the smaller Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). In September 2013, a group of around 500 MNLF fighters launched an attack on Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. More than 250 people were killed in the three-week siege, while more than 100,000 civilians were forced to flee the city until the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) managed to defeat the rebels and restore order.

In March 2014, a historic peace deal was signed after almost two decades of negotiations between the government and the MILF leadership. The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) provides greater political autonomy for the Bangsamoro region in exchange for MILF abandoning its armed resistance. However, the deal was almost derailed by the killing of 44 members of the Special Action Forces (SAF) during clashes with MILF and BIFF fighters in Mindanao in January 2015. At the same time, a political deadlock in the Filipino parliament and their failure to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law also threatened the long-term viability of the agreement. The MNLF signed a peace agreement, known as the Jakarta Accord, with the government in the 1990s, but this has never been fully implemented.

In recent years, the ASG has been responsible for the majority of the most extreme violence in the southern Philippines, including the kidnapping and killing of foreign nationals and journalists. The group have previously received funding from al-Qaeda and in 2014 the ASG leadership pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS). In September 2015, the group kidnapped four people from a resort near Davao city. Two of the hostages, Canadians Robert Hall and John Ridsdel, were beheaded by the group in Jolo in 2016 before Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad was released in September following the reported payment of a $630k ransom. Dozens of sailors have also been kidnapped by ASG and held for ransom in the southern island provinces of Sulu and Basilan. In November 2016, six Vietnamese crewmen were abducted by the ASG off the coast of Coco Island in Basilan. As of August 2017, two of the six Vietnamese hostages have been rescued while three have been killed and one remains in captivity. Since 2010 the group are estimated to have received more than $10m in ransom and extortion payments. 

Other IS-loyalist groups - such as the Maute Group - have also become increasingly active in parts of the Philippines over the last few years. In May 2017, the Maute Group, with assistance with militants from the ASG, stormed Marawi City in Mindanao, taking hold of the city and forcing thousands of people to evacuate. In response to the militant siege, President Duterte declared martial law in the area while the Filipino government forces launched a counter-offensive to regain the territory. The government forces have gradually pushed the Islamist militants out of most parts of the city; however, many civilians had already been killed or taken hostage by the militants. As of August 2017, the total number of militants killed in Marawi is thought to be around 548, while at least 122 security personnel and 45 civilians have also been killed.

Several Maoist rebel groups - including the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People's Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF) - have been fighting the Filipino government since the late 1960s. By 2015 at least 40,000 people had been killed in more than four decades of conflict, including thousands of civilians. The NPA continues to target the country's security forces throughout the country, including in the capital. After Duterte was elected president, he declared a unilateral ceasefire with the rebels and pledged to end the conflict by the end of his six-year term. However, the ceasefire was terminated in February 2017 - leading to a period of violence. Peace talks were opened again in June 2017; however, negotiations broke down amid an escalation in violent NPA attacks.

The Philippines is regularly affected by strong weather systems, most notably tropical typhoons. In November 2013, the country was hit by Typhoon Haiyan, which was the most powerful to ever make landfall in the Philippines. It was also the deadliest, killing at least 6,000 people and affecting an estimated 11 million others. The country is usually hit by several deadly typhoons during each monsoon season, which typically runs between May and November. The monsoon season also heightens the risk of flash floods and landslides. In July 2017, evacuation orders were issued to over 100,000 people as floods swept across the Cotabato region. The Philippines is also vulnerable to earthquakes; in October 2013, more than 200 people were killed when a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the island province of Bohol in Central Visayas.


News articles

By The Standard

Pagadian journalist shot dead

Gunmen have shot dead a local radio reporter in Mindanao, one of the most dangerous countries for media workers in the world, police and an industry watchdog said Wednesday.

By Philippine Star

Bohol radio anchor shot dead

A radio broadcaster in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, died yesterday afternoon after being shot by a lone gunman.

By Mindaneo Examiner

Journalist killed in the Philippines

A lone gunman shot dead a female journalist in a daring attack Thursday in Bataan province just outside Manila in the Philippines, media groups reported.

By Inquirer.net

Radio journalist killed in the Philippines

Police authorities here had confirmed that the killing of broadcaster Samuel Oliverio on Friday was because of his work as a media man.

Supt. Querubin Manalang, city police director, said this was confirmed after the two attackers of the 57-year-old broadcaster were positively identified by witnesses.

By CPJ

In Philippines, tabloid reporter shot dead in her home

Authorities in the Philippines must conduct a thorough and efficient investigation into the murder of a local reporter on Sunday and do their utmost to bring the perpetrators to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

View all articles for Philippines

Alerts for Philippines

Police officers kills soldier in shooting incident

A police officer has killed a Filipino soldier and wounded three others in a shooting incident in Zamboanga Sibugay. Local reports indicate the police officer got involved in an altercation with a group of Filipino soldiers in the Planet Disco House venue in the village of Don Andres in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay. One of the soldiers was shot dead, while two other soldiers and a civilian passer-by were also wounded. Police investigations into the incident have been launched and remain ongoing.

Hundreds evacuate amid floods in Misamis Oriental

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes after flooding and landslides hit the Misamis Oriental province. Widespread flash floods have been caused by several days of continuous heavy rainfall brought to the region by Tropical Depression Urduja - currently over the Philippine Sea and expected to make landfall on the island of Samar over the weekend. Approximately 900 people have been evacuated thus far as the risk of landslides also heightens across the province. Lagonglong and Balingasag have been identified among some of the worst affected areas and the local authorities have advised residents to prepare themselves for further evacuations.

Militants kill two people in Quezon

A group of armed New People's Army (NPA) militants have reportedly killed two people in Quezon city. According to reports, a shooting broke out in the San Francisco area of Quezon, where suspected NPA militants allegedly opened fire on the victims in Sitio Hacienda. The local security forces have launched a search operation in pursuit of the gunmen.

President Duterte extends martial law on Mindanao island

President Rodrigo Duterte has extended martial law on the southern island of Mindanao by another year, following recommendations from the Filipino army. The motion has been approved by the Filipino congress and is set to last until Monday 31 December 2018. The president backed concerns expressed by military officials that, without martial law, it would become increasingly difficult to tackle the persistent issue of Islamist militancy on the southern island. Despite heavy losses in the fighting in Marawi, Islamist militant groups are allegedly still actively recruiting members.

Suspected criminal killed in police operation

 A suspected criminal has been killed in a police operation in the Payatas area of Quezon City, National Capital Region. The local police forces were carrying out a surveillance operation when they encountered a number of armed criminals. The suspects reportedly opened fire on the police, injuring one police officer, before attempting to flee. One of the suspects was shot dead by the police and search operations have been launched in pursuit of the other criminals.

Two killed in Cotabato gun attack

Two people have been killed and another has been wounded in a gun attack in Cotabato. According to reports, unidentified gunmen allegedly ambushed the victims in the Matalam area. The attackers then stole the victims' motorbike and managed to escape. No suspects have been identified thus far, while police investigations have been launched to determine the motive behind the attack.

Dozens of Marawi evacuees die in relief centres

Dozens of evacuees from Marawi city have allegedly died in relief centres within the last five months. Reports suggest that as many as 86 evacuees have died in evacuation centres since Marawi fell under siege by Islamist militants in late-May. The Department of Health has confirmed the fatality figures, stating that most of the causes of death were put down to health ailments, such as pneumonia, sepsis, cardiovascular disease, and acute gastroenteritis. Almost 368,000 people were evacuated from Marawi, with around 107,000 having already returned home since the liberation of the city in October.

Filipino military recommends martial law extension

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has released a report recommending an extension of martial law on the southern island of Mindanao. AFP officials reportedly made the recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte, advising that an extension of another year of martial law would assist military counter-terror operations in the area. The security situation in Mindanao has remained unstable since Islamist militants carried out a five-month siege on the city of Marawi. Government forces hope to continue clearing operations throughout the island, stating that martial law is essential to this process as - despite their losses in Marawi - militant groups have continued to recruit members.

One killed in armed militant encounter

At least one person has been killed and a 13-year-old boy has been wounded in an armed encounter in the Oriental Mindoro province over the weekend. Security personnel reportedly clashed with suspected militants from the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group in the town of Mansalay. While the government forces stated the deceased was an NPA militant, local reports have disputed this, claiming the victim was a local pastor. 

Six killed in clashes between troops and NPA

At least six people have been killed in clashes between government troops and the New People's Army (NPA) in South Cotabato province. The fighting took place in the town of Lake Sebu on Sunday, according to a military spokesman. Earlier four police were wounded when NPA militants attacked a police station in Cagayan de Oro, around 250km north of Lake Sebu.

Four police wounded in NPA clashes

Four police officers have been wounded in clashes with New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Cagayan de Oro city. Around 60 gunmen attacked a police station in the Binuangan area early on Sunday morning. All they wanted to do is to sow fear to advance their terroristic activities that are aimed to make people suffer,” said Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division.

Robbers target container ship off Manila

During routine security rounds, crew onboard an anchored container ship noticed the securing cables for the forward lifesaving appliances cut and the liferafts and immersion suites missing. On inspecting the area, it was noticed that the robbers had boarded the vessel via the anchor chain and hawse pipe. VTS Manila and the coast guard carried out a security search around the vessel. (IMB)

Soldier wounded in NPA clash

A soldier has been wounded in an armed clash with suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the Abra province. The Filipino military forces were allegedly on a routine security patrol in the Ud-udiao area of Sallapadan, when they encountered a number of suspected NPA militants armed with weapons. A brief clash ensued in which one of the soldier was wounded while the militants managed to escape.

Villagers flee from suspected NPA attack in Lianga

Dozens of villagers have been forced to flee from their houses after gunmen allegedly stormed their village in Surigao del Sur province. Suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) militant group reportedly attacked the village of Simuwao in the Diatagon area of Lianga. It remains unclear precisely how many villagers have fled; however, no casualties have been reported as the security forces launch counter-operations.

Abducted Korean businessman rescued in Manila

An abducted Korean businessman has been rescued by the Philipino National Police (PNP) forces in Manila. The operation was led by the PNP's Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) - who launched an investigation into a suspected kidnap and ransom group with links to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). According to reports, a group of kidnappers abducted Korean businessman Lee Jung Dae and three of his employees on Friday, Lee's girlfriend reportedly secured the release of the three employees by paying a ransom of 1.2 million pesos. A further ransom of another 1.2 million pesos (around $23,800; £17,900) was demanded in exchange for the release of Lee; however, the AKG operation managed to rescue to the hostage from a guarded vehicle inside a BI compound on Saturday morning. Three Korean nationals and a Filipino national have been arrested thus far and a further six suspects have been identified: three BI employees and three NBI agents. Police operations remain ongoing and an investigation into corruption will be launched.

Fire engulfs Davao city suburb

A large fire has engulfed much of the Sasa suburban area of Davao city. The blaze is thought to have broken out in a public market on Friday morning. Buildings in the area are tightly packed, enabling the fire to spread rapidly. According to local reports, firefighting crews have been dispatched to tackle the fire. Dozens of houses have sustained damage as a result of the fire and hundreds of people have been evacuated from the area. The blaze has filled the air with thick black smoke; however, flight operations are thought to remain unaffected. The cause of the fire remains unclear and no casualties have been reported as of yet.

Village chairman killed in Cebu shooting

A village chairman has been killed and his wife has been wounded in a shooting incident in the Liloan area of the Cebu province. The attack occurred on Thursday evening when at least two unidentified gunmen on motorcycles allegedly ambushed the victim's car on his way home in the Simborio area of Tayud, Liloan.  Police investigations have been launched along with search operations in pursuit of the gunmen who managed to flee following the incident. It's currently believed the attack was motivated by either drug crime or a personal dispute.

Man killed in militant attack, Nueva Ecija

A man has been killed and a police officer has been wounded in a militant attack in the Nueva Ecija province. The attack took place at a construction site in the Masagana area of Putlan village in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija. According to reports, a group of armed militants targeted the construction site in the early hours of Wednesday morning, killing the site caretaker before opening fire on the police forces. It's believed the militants were members of the New Peoples Army (NPA) rebel group.

Five ASG hostages rescued in Tawi-Tawi

Five hostages being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) - an Islamist kidnap for ransom militant group - have been rescued by Filipino government troop in Tawi-Tawi, Mindanao. The rescue mission was launched as part of ongoing security operations against the ASG in the area. The hostages were originally kidnapped by ASG militants a little over a month ago in the waters near Pangutaran, Sulu. According to reports, the rescue mission exploited a rare lapse in security on the militants' side.

Government forces target militants in Mindanao

The Filipino government forces have launched air and ground operations against Islamic State (IS) militants operating in the southern island of Mindanao. Filipino air forces and artillery units have launched strikes against IS-affiliated Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) across the island. The Cotobato and Maguindanao areas have been prioritised as key targets in the new offensive, which aims to clear both areas of BIFF militants. 

Abu Sayyaf Group kidnap six villagers in Sulu

Militants from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have taken six villagers hostage from Latih in Patikul, Sulu. According to reports, the militants stormed the village on Tuesday, abducting at least six local residents - including at least one child. The Filipino security forces have launched full search and rescue operations, while no ransom demands have been made by the ASG as of yet.

Militants kidnap two police officers in Surigao del Norte

Two Filipino police officers have been kidnapped by suspected militants from the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group. According to reports, a group of around 20 armed NPA militants were driving two stolen vans when they attacked the police officers manning a police outpost in the town of Placer in the Surigao del Norte province. Search operations have been launched in pursuit of the militants. While the two vans have been recovered, it remains unclear where the militants have taken the hostages. The NPA have made no comment regarding the abductions and no ransom demands have been made. 

Three NPA militants killed in Capiz clashes

Three members of the New People's Army (NPA) militant group have been killed in clashes with the Filipino Armed Forces in the Capiz area. The Filipino troops were reportedly dispatched to the Cuartero area in response to reports of NPA militants carrying out acts of extortion. The fighting broke out when the armed militants allegedly opened fire on the security personnel, leading to a firefight in which three militants were killed and several weapons were seized.

New regional IS leader announced

Militant groups affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) have reportedly announced a new leader of operations for the IS in South-East Asia. The announcement comes shortly after two major regional IS leaders were killed by the Filipino security forces in military operations to liberate Marawi city from militant siege. The new leader - Malaysian national, Amin Baco - was not reported to have been killed in Marawi city and is believed to be in hiding in the southern Mindanao region. According to reports, Baco is also thought to be an experienced bomb-maker and may have been instrumental in many recent bomb attacks carried out by IS-affiliated militant groups.

Travel warnings issued for the Philippines

The Australian government's travel advice website has issued a travel advisory warning against all travel to certain parts of the Philippines due to a high risk of terrorist attack. The warnings recommend that all foreign nationals avoid travel to the central and western parts of Mindanao, including the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Sulu Archipelago, and the southern Sulu Sea area. Islamist militant and kidnap and ransom groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) operate in the southern islands and often target foreign nationals.

One killed in Bicol landslide

At least one person has been killed and another has been wounded in a landslide in Bicol. Wet weather caused the landslide to occur in Sagnay, Camarines Sur, hitting a local residents house. Several days of heavy rain have heightened the risk of landslides across the region, with at least five other landslides reported throughout the Bicol area.

Severe weather kills two in Batangas

At least two people have been killed in rain-related incidents after severely wet weather hit the Batangas province. According to reports, the fatalities were caused by a landslide which occurred due to heavy rain in the Kota Keluarga area of San Juan, Batangas. As many as three others were also wounded in the incident. There continues to be a heightened risk of localised flooding and landslides in the area as the wet weather continues.

Final military operation kills 40 IS in Marawi

The final military operation to be conducted in Marawi city has reportedly killed around 40 Islamic State (IS) militants - believed to be the last militants remaining in the city. The operation marks an end to a five-month-long siege launched by the IS-affiliated Maute group with support from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). According to Reuters, at least 40 IS militants and two of their wives were killed in the final push to free Marawi from Islamist militants over the weekend. While President Duterte had declared the liberation of the city last week, offensive combat operations were only terminated yesterday, after the last militants were killed in the heart of the city. Reports suggest that gunfire has continued to be heard in the city and there remains a high risk of militant activity in the area.

Twenty IS militants killed in Marawi city

At least 20 Islamist militants have allegedly been killed in military operations in Marawi city. According to Reuters, the Filipino troops have been pushing the last remaining groups loyal to the Islamic State (IS) out of Marawi. It's believed that one of the militants killed could be a top Malaysian IS leader, Mahmud Ahmad, who was has become a key IS figure in South East Asia recently. Formal identification is yet to take place; however, if confirmed, the death of Mahmud could mark a significant set back for the IS. The latest operation comes as part of the final push to rid the city of the few IS militants remaining. President Duterte declared the liberation of the city earlier this week after key leaders of the two IS-loyalist groups behind the siege - the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute group - were killed in military operations.

Farming group claims 80 farmers killed in extrajudicial killings

The Coalition for Land, Against Martial Law and Oppression (CLAMOR) has accused government-supported troops of direct involvement in the extrajudicial killings of around 80 farmers within the last three months. The group stands for free land distribution and against extrajudicial killings and the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.CLAMOR representatives claimed that government troops, paramilitary forces, and private security forces had been involved in the unlawful killings - which were disguised as anti-drug operations carried out under President Duterte's 'war on drugs'. Government officials have not publically responded to the claims.

President Duterte declares liberation of Marawi city

The Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the liberation of Marawi city - which came under militant siege almost five months ago. The president made the announcement to the Filipino troops in Marawi as the last bit of fighting continued. According to the BBC, up to 30 Islamist Maute group militants remain in the city, holding as many as 20 hostages. The killing of two senior leaders of the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) yesterday has made way for the government troops to make the last push  to force the remaining militants from the city. During the five-month-long siege, over 800 militants and over 150 security personnel have been killed, along with almost 50 civilians. Once the city is entirely freed of militants, the troops allegedly plan to focus on eliminating the ASG in Sulu and Basilan, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao, and the New People's Army (NPA) in the Eastern Mindanao, Bacolod, and Samar areas.

Two senior Islamist group leaders killed in Marawi

Two senior leaders of Islamist militant groups have reportedly been killed in Marawi city. News reports claim the Filipino troops have killed two of the top leaders behind the five-month-long siege on Marawi city: Isnilon Hapilon - a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan and the purported emir of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Southeast Asia - and Omar Maute - one of the founding leaders of the Maute group. The deaths were confirmed by the Defence Chief, who stated in a press conference that Hapilon and Maute had both been killed in a major offensive in Marawi on Monday morning. A former hostage of the Maute group helped the security forces launch an intelligence-led operation to locate the two leaders. As many as 17 other hostages were also freed in the process. Up to 20 hostages remain in captivity and the Filipino military continues to work towards the freeing of these hostages and the termination of the conflict.

Two NPA militants killed in Cotabato shootout

Two militants - believed to be members of the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group - have been killed in a shootout with the Filipino security forces in Cotabato. The encounter occurred on Saturday, during an army operation in the Makilala area of Cotabato. According to reports, the Filipino troops came across a group of armed NPA militants, who opened fire on the security forces, prompting a fatal shootout in which two militants died.

High risk of kidnap in Malaysia-Filipino waters

There is a higher-than-normal risk of kidnap by militant groups in the waters surrounding the Sabah province of Malaysia and the Filipino Tawitawi islands. The Filipino intelligence services have reportedly received information indicating that the militant Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) plans to target South Korean nationals in a series of abductions planned in the areas. It remains unclear whether the group will hijack South Korean vessels or target South Korean nationals staying in the areas. According to reports, the ASG have acquired at least one speed-boat and are currently basing themselves in the Parang area of Sulu to launch attacks over the next few days. Foreign travellers should take extreme caution in the area - particularly if sailing through coastal waters.

President Duterte removes police from drug operations

The Filipino President has reportedly removed the country's police force from leader anti-drug operations. President Duterte's controversial 'war on drugs' has sparked widespread criticism and the police claim they have killed over 3,850 people in anti-drug operations since Duterte came into power last year. However, following a series of allegations of corruption, the police have been demoted from their leading role in the crackdown on drugs. The police forces were previously suspended from conducting anti-drug operation in January 2017, after corrupt police officers kidnapped and killed a South Korean businessman. According to the BBC, the Filipino Drug Enforcement Agency has been positioned to take over the leading of anti-drug operations. The brutal crackdown has led to multiple public demonstrations and the restructuring of operations is partially a response to public anger towards police corruption.

Two killed in Bulacan drug raid

At least two suspects have been killed in a drug raid in the Calumpit area of Bulacan. The Filipino police targeted the suspects in a property raid in the Gatbuca village; however, the suspects allegedly resisted arrest and opened fire on the police forces - leading to a fatal exchange of fire. A small supply of drugs and other drug-related material was discovered in the drug den and local reports suggested an increasing number of people had been buying from the den in recent weeks.

Four wounded in Cauayan militant attack

At least four people have been wounded in a militant attack in the town of Cauayan in the Negros Occidental province. The New People's Army (NPA) militant group reportedly launched an attack targeting five police officers in Cauayan on Tuesday - leading to an exchange of fire in which at least one NPA militant and three civilians were wounded. Two Swedish nationals and a Filipino national were among those wounded and have been taken to the local hospital for treatment.

Airstrikes target militants on Bacolod-Kalawi

The Filipino military has conducted airstrikes targeting militants on Bacolod-Kalawi - a lakeside town near Marawi city, where the government has been battling Islamist Maute group militants for the last few months. According to reports, the airstrikes hit a suspected militant hideout in Bacolod-Kalawi in Lanao del Sur, where it's believed a militant group was organising support operations to assist the remaining militant force holding a position in Marawi. While no casualty figures have been reported, military officials have confirmed the airstrikes and stated that military operations were ongoing in the area, where naval assets have been deployed to prevent the militants sending reinforcements to Marawi using boats.

Four wounded in twin IED blast in Maguindanao

Four people have been wounded in a twin bomb explosion in the Maguindanao province. The blasts occurred in the Semba area of Datu Odin Sinsuat and are thought to have been caused by two improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It's suspected the IEDs were planted along the roadside in an attempt to target Filipino military troops, as the location of the blast was near a military training school. The first IED detonated on Wednesday morning with no casualties; however, the second blast occurred nearby just 20 minutes later and wounded at least four people. It's possible the second explosion was time-delayed in order to target a response team; however, no details have been confirmed as investigations remain ongoing.

Police officer killed in shooting incident in Manila

A police officer has been killed in a shooting incident near the Presidential Palace in Manila. The officer was a member of the Presidential Security Group and was found with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest in Malacanang Park opposite Malacanang Palace, which houses the Bahay Pangarap - the official residence of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. According to reports, the officer suffered a gunshot wound in the heart from a 45 calibre pistol similar to those used by the police force. Investigations have been launched and the latest statements released by security personnel suggest that foul play has been ruled out and the investigative team are now considering the possibility the incident was an accident or suicide.

Security forces foil terror plot in Zamboanga city

The Filipino security forces have reportedly foiled an attempted terror plot in Zamboanga city. According to reports, the security forces launched an arrest operation in Zamboanga on Sunday, arresting three suspects with an improvised explosive device (IED). The suspects are believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militant group and were allegedly planning to conduct a bomb attack in the city within the next few days. The local police and security forces have now launched an intelligence-led search operation to more IEDs linked to the bomb plot.

Police officer killed in Cagayan gun attack

A Filipino police officer has been killed in a targeted gun attack in the Cagayan province. The attack occurred in Alcala town, where the police officer was allegedly followed by two men aboard a motorbike when he left his house for work on his own motorbike. According to reports, the victim was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body. The police have launched investigations into whether or not the attack was linked to police work.

Suspected militant killed in police gunfight

A suspected militant has allegedly been killed in a brief gunfight with the police in the town of Naga in the Zamboanga Sibugay province. The local police forces reportedly launched a search operation after they received reports of a group of armed men active in the Sitio Panjang area. The police officers encountered a group of seven armed men, who allegedly opened fire, sparking a 10-minute firefight in which one suspect was killed. The deceased suspect has been identified as a member of the Abdusalam Group - a militant group associated with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Nine NPA rebels killed in Nueva Ecija clash

At least nine suspected members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) militant groups have reportedly been killed in a clash with the Filipino security forces in Nueva Ecija, Central Luzon. The clash occurred in the Carranglan area, where the security forces had been undertaking an intelligence-led security operation when they encountered a group of armed NPA rebels. The Manila Times has reported that the militants opened fire on the security forces, sparking a three-hour gunfight which killed nine NPA militants and wounded one Filipino soldier.

Reports of new armed group in Marawi

Reports have surfaced of the emergence of a new armed group in the Marawi area. The group has named itself the Meranaw Victims Movement (MVM) and claims to be anti-militant and anti-government. According to news reports, the MVM is comprised of evacuees from the city of Marawi - which was overrun by Maute group militants earlier this year. The MVM has released a statement condemning the Islamist militant groups involved in the siege and also criticised the government, holding the authorities responsible for failing to prevent the attack which forced thousands to flee their homes. The group has threatened violent action if a list of demands is not met - some of which include the vacating of Marawi by Islamist militants and the return of the town to civilians by the government.

Two killed in Rizal landslide

Two people have been killed in a landslide in the Rizal province. The landslide occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning and was caused by a recent bout of heavy rain in the region. At least two houses were hit by the landslide in a village near Taytay city. According to reports, residents in the area had been warned of the high-risk of a landslide and evacuations were advised.

Two ASG hostages rescued in Jolo clash

Two Indonesian hostages being held by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been rescued, while at least five ASG militants have been killed and five others have been wounded in a recent clash with the Filipino security forces on Jolo Island, Mindanao. According to reports, a gunfight broke out in an ASG hideout in the town of Indanan, where the security forces allegedly engaged with approximately 20 armed ASG militants. Two Indonesian nationals being held by the ASG were rescued during the incident. It's thought they had been held in captivity since November 2016. The ASG is believed to be holding as many as 18 other hostages.

ASG militant arrested in Sulu province

A militant of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has been arrested after being found in possession of bomb-making equipment in the Sulu province. According to reports, the suspect was apprehended by military personnel at a check post in the town of Patikul. It's believed the militant was en route to meet other ASG militants and was transporting several components to be used in the manufacturing of an improvised explosive device (IED). The bomb-making materials were seized by the security forces and the suspect remains in custody.

Thousands evacuated as fire breaks out in Manila tower block

Thousands of people have been evacuated from a residential tower block in Manila after a fire broke out on Thursday morning. According to reports, the blaze started on the eighth floor of the 12-storey building, forcing around 5,000 residents to immediately evacuate. Fire fighters and the emergency services have responded to the incident and several roads surrounding the building have been closed, including all roads leading to the Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz, Recto Avenue, and Alvarado Street - where the building is located. It's thought the fire was started by an unattended stove and has since spread rapidly, engulfing several other floors. At least one person is thought to have been killed; however, no other casualty figures have been reported so far. Investigations into fire safety standards and building regulations have been launched.

Ten BIFF militants killed in military operations

At least 10 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militants have been killed in recent military operations launched in Maguindanao. The operation was carried out by air and ground troops, assisted by the government-supported Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces - Moro Islamic Liberation Front (BIAF-MILF) militia. According to reports, at least two BIAF-MILF fighters were killed and an unconfirmed number were also wounded during the operation.

Three soldiers killed, 52 wounded in Marawi clashes

Three Filipino soldiers have been killed and as many as 52 others have been wounded in clashes with Islamist militants in Marawi city. CNN Philippines has reported that the three deceased soldiers were killed in explosions caused by improvised explosive device (IED) laid by the Islamist Maute group militants before they retreated from parts of Marawi. Five militants and 52 soldiers were wounded in fighting as the security forces battled against the militants to seize control of the Banggolo bridge. It's believed the militant group has been forced to retreat to a 0.5km square area as the siege nears its end. Approximately 40 militants are thought to remain in the city, while at least 620 have been killed since fighting broke out in May. Around 136 soldiers have also been killed, along with at least 45 civilians.

Four drug suspects killed in counter-drug operations

Four suspected drug-traffickers have been killed and at least 10 others have been arrested in separate counter-drug operations. The Filipino police forces targeted four suspected drug offenders in an arrest operation in Metro Manila; however, a fatal gunfight allegedly broke out after the suspects resisted arrest and opened fire on the police. Ten more drug suspects were arrested in Caloocan city during a separate drug raid. Both operations were launched as part of a police crackdown on the illegal drug trade. 

Security forces recapture Marawi city mosques from militants

The Filipino security forces have recently recaptured several mosques from Islamic State (IS) militants in Marawi city. The IS-affiliated Maute group launched a siege on the city in May 2017 and have since been battling the security forces for control of the city. The government military has been undertaking a gradual clearing operation in the area to reclaim the city. The operation has been slow as the security forces wish to minimise casualties and believe the militants still hold civilian hostages; however, clearing operations have been effective as the militants have gradually lost more territory. According to reports, it's suspected the militants had been using the mosques as operational camps and supply bases. The militants allegedly retreated from the mosques under heavy pressure from the Filipino military.

Ten MILF killed in clash with IS militants in Maguindanao

At least 10 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been killed in an armed clash with Islamic State (IS) militants in Maguindanao. The clash broke out in remote forested areas near the farmlands of Datu Salibo, where the MILF have allegedly been assisting government counter-terror operations against IS-loyalist groups. The operations aim to prevent IS-affiliated terror cells from establishing any operational bases in the Mindanao area.

Two killed in earthquake in Leyte province

At least two people have been killed in an earthquake in the Leyte province. The US Geological Survey (USGS) has recorded that a 5.0-magnitude earthquake occurred at approximately 22:26 UTC, about eight kilometres north-north-east of Talisayan. The earthquake had a shallow epicentre at just 10km deep - meaning that the tremors were widely felt. According to reports, one person was killed in the San Jose area, while another was killed in the Naungan area. Approximately 56 houses have also been seriously damaged in Ormoc City, where investigations into the extent of the infrastructural damage are ongoing.

ASG hostage rescued in military operations

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) hostage has been rescued by the Filipino security forces during military operations in the Basilan province. A Vietnamese national who had been abducted by ASG militants nine months ago was safely retrieved from Mataja Island after the security forces launched a rescue operation. According to reports, the ASG militants fled the scene shortly after the operation was launched. The hostage was kidnapped with five other Vietnamese crewmen off the coast of Coco Island in November 2016. Of the six Vietnamese nationals abducted, at least three have been killed, two have been rescued while one is thought to still be in captivity.

Nine killed in ASG attack on Basilan island

At least nine people have been killed and 10 others have been wounded after armed Islamist militants from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) attacked a town on Basilan island. Approximately 60 heavily armed ASG militants stormed the town of Maluso in the Mindanao region, burning at least four houses and a day care centre as dozens of armed militants opened fire. The Filipino security forces responded to the attack, launching pursuit operations as the militants fled.

Village chief killed in shooting incident, Negros Oriental

A Filipino village chief has been killed and two others have been wounded in a shooting incident in the City of Guihulngan in the Negros Oriental province, Central Visayas. Unidentified gunmen allegedly opened fire on the village chief and his companions in a seemingly targeted attack. While no group has claimed responsibility for the killing as of yet, local police suspect that rebels of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) militant group were behind the attack - as they have been increasingly active in the surrounding area.

Wounded NPA militant surrenders in Sarangani

A wounded militant from the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebel group has allegedly surrendered himself to the government forces in the Sarangani province. It's believed the militant was injured several days ago during a clash between the Filipino security forces and the NPA rebels in Malita; however, decided to surrender to the government forces after his comrades abandoned him. The security forces have launched intense military operations in the mountainous Alabel and Malapatan areas recently, where there has been an increase in violent NPA activity.

Outbreaks of bird flu reported in Nueva Ecija

New outbreaks of the bird flu virus have been reported in the Nueva Ecija province. Local officials have confirmed that the recent spread of the disease has largely affected the San Isidro and Jaen areas. The outbreak comes just a few days after another outbreak was reported from the San Luis area of the Pampanga province. The Bureau of Animal Industry has launched investigations to test chickens on two farms from which the disease may have originated. If the poultry tests positive for bird flu the local authorities are likely to issue a culling in order to prevent the further spread of the disease.

Twenty-five killed in police drug raids, Manila

At least 25 people have allegedly been killed in shootouts with the police during a series of drug raids in Manila. The Filipino police conducted a series of overnight anti-drug operations across the capital city. According to reports, the aggressive operation was part of President Duterte's controversial war on drugs which has been ongoing since Duterte became president last year. The raid came just one day after a similar police operation killed 32 drug suspects in the neighbouring Bulacan province - the highest singular death toll reported so far under Duterte's war on drugs.

Militant bomb maker killed in arrest operation, Mindanao

A militant bomb maker - believed to have been associated with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militant group - has been killed in arrest operation in Mindanao. The security forces allegedly apprehended the suspect late last night in Datu Odin Sinsuat town; however, the suspect allegedly resisted arrest, opening fire on the security personnel - starting a fatal shootout. According to reports, a BIFF spokesperson claimed no connection to the suspected bomb maker.

Thirty-two killed in overnight drug raids

At least 32 people have been killed in overnight drug raids in the ongoing war against drugs in the Philippines. The death toll is the highest to be reported from a single anti-narcotics operation within the space of 24 hours. According to the BBC, the raids largely targeted suspected drugs dens in the Bulacan province, north of the capital Manila. Filipino police officials claim that suspects were shot dead after resisting arrest and opening fire on the police. The serving president, Rodrigo Duterte, launched his war on drugs last year and has allegedly killed thousands in drug-related operations and suspected extrajudicial killings. 

Soldier killed in suspected NPA attack in Compestela Valley

A Filipino soldier has been killed and another has been wounded in a suspected militant attack in Compesta Valley. It's believed that armed militants from the New Peoples' Army (NPA) attacked Filipino security personnel in a market near Mawab. One soldier died from a fatal gunshot, while another soldier has also suffered gunshot wounds. The attack has sparked a search operation in the area as the security forces pursue the militants.

Twenty-five killed as MILF clash with IS in Mindanao

At least 25 people have been killed and a further 10 others have been wounded in clashes between Islamic State (IS) militants and the government-supported Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters. The six-day battle has been ongoing in the Mindanao region, where the MILF fighters have been joined by government artillery forces in attempts to clear the area of IS militants. According to Reuters, the death toll included 20 IS militants and five MILF fighters, while another 10 MILF fighters were also wounded.

One killed, hundreds evacuated as fire breaks out in Quezon

At least one person has been killed and hundreds of others have been evacuated after a fire has broken out in Quezon city. The Metro Manila Development Authority has stated that as many as 800 people have been forcibly evacuated and relocated after a large blaze started in a residential area of the Talayan village. While the emergency services have managed to contain and extinguish the fire, large amounts of smoke remain in the area. Investigative operations have been launched as the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Ten militants killed in military operations, Marawi

Ten militants have been killed in the latest round of military operations in Marawi city - which came under siege from Islamist groups earlier this year. The militants were allegedly targeted in air and ground operations on Thursday morning. The total number of militants killed in Marawi so far this year is thought to be around 548, while at least 122 security personnel and 45 civilians have also been killed.

Seven killed as security forces clash with militants in Sulu

Seven people have been killed in clashes between the Filipino security forces and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the Sulu province. The fighting took place in the town of Kalingalan Caluang in Sulu, where Filipino Marines were undertaking a rescue operation to retrieve four Filipino hostages being held by the ASG. The clash broke out when the security forces came across a group of about 30 armed militants. At least one marine was wounded, while two marines were killed along with five ASG militants.

Two journalists killed in shooting incidents

Two journalists have been killed in separate shooting incidents. A journalist who worked for Balita News was shot dead by unidentified gunmen aboard a motorcycle in the President Quirino area, while a second journalist was also shot dead in Molave. The second journalist allegedly reported on political corruption and drug gangs - leading police investigators to suspect that at least one of the perpetrators may have been the subject of an article and was seeking to silence the journalist. The total number of journalists killed under President Duterte has now risen to four.

Five MILF members killed in IED blast, Maguindanao

Five members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrilla group have been killed and six others have been wounded in an explosion caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Maguindanao. The incident occurred in a village near Datu Saudi-Ampatuan as MILF guerrillas were in pursuit of militants from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). According to reports, the MILF members were followers of MILF commander Asrap - who has agreed to support the security forces in operations against the BIFF.

NPA militant killed, soldier wounded in Davao clashes

A militant from the New Peoples' Army (NPA) has been killed and a Filipino soldier has been wounded in separate clashes in the Davao region. The first incident occurred in a remote village near the Little Baguio area of Malita, where government troops encountered an undetermined number of NPA militants after responding to a civilian report of the presence of militants in the area. One militant was killed as the armed NPA rebels attempted to flee the scene. A Filipino soldier was also wounded in another encounter in Montevista, Compostela Valley. Approximately 20 armed NPA rebels engaged in a brief firefight with the government forces, leaving one soldier wounded before escaping. Heavy arms and ammunition were recovered from both scenes.

Civilian killed in IED blast, Central Luzon

A civilian has been killed and four others have been wounded in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Nuevo Ecija province of Central Luzon. The IED was allegedly planted in the Pasong Inchik area, near a warehouse which had recently been burnt down by suspected New Peoples' Army (NPA) militants. It's suspected the IED had been planted by NPA militants in an attempt to target security personnel, as police officers were investigating the nearby warehouse.

Ozamiz city mayor killed in drug raids

A city mayor has been killed along with six others in a counter-narcotics operation in Ozamiz, Northern Mindanao. Filipino police officers were carrying out a drug raid on the property, seeking to serve arrest warrants to several drug suspects. The shooting allegedly broke out when the suspects resisted arrest and opened fire on the police officers. The city mayor had allegedly been accused of having links to the illegal narcotics trade in the past. One suspect was also arrested by the police officers.

NPA militant killed in gunfight with security forces, Masbate

A member of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) militant group has been killed in a gunfight with the security forces in the Masbate province. The fighting broke out in the early hours of Monday morning as security personnel were conducting a counter-terror operation near Baleno town. According to reports, the security forces came across a group of approximately 15 armed NPA militants - who allegedly opened fire on the security troops, prompting the crossfire. 

Seven civilians beheaded by IS militants in Basilan

Seven civilians have been killed by Islamic State (IS) militants near Lantawan in Basilan. According to reports, the bodies were found in a remote mountainous village near Lantawan and have been identified as loggers who had been kidnapped by suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants earlier in the week. The victims were allegedly beheaded in an execution-style killing - leading police investigators to suspect that they were killed by ASG militants as an act of revenge for a business dispute. The ASG is believed to have a group a group of senior militants leading operations in the Basilan area.

Four NPA militants killed in clashes, Sorsogon

Four members of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) militant group have been killed in clashes with the Filipino government security forces in the Sorsogon province. According to Al Jazeera, military personnel had been carrying out a routine patrol near a village on the outskirts of Casiguran town when a group armed NPA militants allegedly attacked them. The gunfight lasted for half an hour as the government troops repelled the group of approximately 30 militants. A senior NPA militant has allegedly been identified among those killed in the fighting.

Police officer killed in clashes with NPA rebels in Pangasinan

A Filipino police officer has been killed and three others have been wounded in an armed clash with rebels from the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebel group. The clash occurred on Friday morning in San Nicolas of the Pangasinan province, where the police officers had been on patrol in the mountainous border region when they encountered a group of armed NPA rebels. The militants fled the area when military reinforcements arrived.

Three Filipino soldiers killed in IED blast in Marawi

Three Filipino soldiers have been killed in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) in Marawi city. Filipino troops have been fighting off Islamist militants for the last two months after Maute group and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants held the city to siege - killing hundreds of people and forcing thousands more to evacuate the city. Military forces have been gradually regaining control of the city and the soldiers had allegedly been in the process of clearing an area abandoned by the militants when the IED was triggered.

State of emergency declared amid floods in Cotabato

A state of emergency has been declared in Cotabato as floods continue to cause widespread disruption. At least 25 out of 37 villages have been partially submerged by flood water, forcing 100,000 people to evacuate their homes to seek help at emergency relief centres. By declaring a state of emergency, the local council could release the funds needed to provide adequate aid to those affected by the flooding. According to local reports, the flooding has been caused by torrential rain and worsened by high tides which raise water levels further. 

Flood warnings issued in Manila as storm approaches

The Manila Disaster Risk Management and Reduction office has issued flood warnings in parts of Metro Manila. The warnings have been issued as a tropical storm makes its way towards the capital city. Storm Gorio is expected to make landfall within the next 24 hours and will pose the most danger to low-lying areas - such as the Baseco Compound, Isla Puting Bato, and Parola - which may be easily flooded. Emergency rescue preparations have been made and those in high-risk areas have been advised to follow the instructions of local authorities in the event of a flood.

Filipino soldier killed in clashes with NPA in Quezon

A Filipino soldier has been killed in clashes with the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in the Mauban area of Quezon province. The fighting broke out in Sitio Bantigue in the early hours of Monday morning - where the armed NPA militants allegedly opened fire on the security forces. According to reports, the NPA rebels fled when government reinforcements arrived at the scene. Search operations have been launched in pursuit of the armed rebels.

NPA rebel killed in military raid, Ilocos Sur

At least one New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebel has been killed and five others have been wounded during a military raid in the Ilocos Sur area over the weekend. The raid was launched after the Filipino military allegedly received information regarding a suspected explosive attack organised by NPA rebels in the town of Salcedo in the Sorioan area. According to local reports, a 30-minute gunfight broke out during the raid, in which one NPA rebel was shot dead. As many as 11 rebels managed to flee the scene, while the security forces seized various explosives, firearms and ammunition from the site. 

Six police killed in NPA ambush

Six Philippine police officers, including a police chief, have been killed and three others wounded during an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels.  The attack took place in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental on Friday morning. Capt. Eduardo Precioso of the 3rd Infantry Division said the wounded were brought to Dumaguete for medical treatment. He said the 79th Infantry Battalion is now conducting pursuit operations against the suspects.

NPA rebels ambush PSG guards in North Cotabato

Rebels from the New People's Army (NPA) have ambushed a convoy of the elite Presidential Security Group (PSG) in North Cotabato province.  Five guards were wounded and a paramilitary guard killed during the attack along a road in Arakan town on Wednesday morning. President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government peace negotiators to terminate talks with the NPA until they stop targeting the security forces.

ASG kidnaps workers in Sulu

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) abducted five construction workers in Sulu province on Saturday. Local police said six ASG gunmen raided Kawpang Elementary School Sports Complex in Patikul in the early hours of the morning. Another worker managed to escape through a window and alerted police at Patikul Municipal station. According to one of the victim's family members, ASG is demanding a P1m ransom for each hostage.

Two children wounded in Maguindanao grenade attack

Two children have been wounded in a grenade attack near Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao. The attack occurred in Barangay Poblacion, where unidentified assailants allegedly fired a grenade at a family home on Thursday evening. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack and the motives remain unclear as police investigations continue. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are known to operate in the Datu Anggal area - which has become increasingly volatile as the group becomes more active.

Eight NPA rebels killed in Davao clashes

Eight New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in clashes with the Filipino security forces in the Davao region. The gun battle broke out in the Compostela Valley area of the region, where a group of 40 NPA rebels allegedly opened fire on the security forces, leading to a fatal exchange of fire in which a Filipino soldier and eight NPA rebels were killed. The conflict is the latest violation of an agreed ceasefire between the NPA and government forces.

Civilian death toll in Marawi rises to 45

The civilian death toll in Marawi city has risen to 45 after the Filipino Army have discovered the remains of six people as they recapture parts of the city - which came under militant siege in late May. The remains were found in an area believed to have been used by Islamist militants as an execution site. The bodies were allegedly in an advanced state of decomposition - leading the Filipino security forces to speculate that the victims had been killed at the beginning of the siege over seven weeks ago and may have appeared in a hostage video released on Wednesday 24 May.

Five suspected criminals killed in police raid

Five suspected criminals have been killed after a gun battle broke out during a police raid in North Cotabato. The Filipino police forces had been carrying out an anti-drug raid operation on a property in the Kabacan district when the suspects opened fire on the police officers - forcing retaliatory police fire. Four suspects were arrested and a cache of firearms and explosives was also confiscated by the police.

Vietnamese ASG hostage found dead in military raid

A Vietnamese national has been found dead after being abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) last year. The Filipino armed forces discovered the victim among several other dead bodies during a raid in an undisclosed location believed to be near the southern Batangas province. The victim had been a member of the crew aboard a cargo ship when he was kidnapped by ASG militants, along with five other crew members, in November 2016. While one of the other crew members managed to escape last month, two others were beheaded by the militant group just last week. The ASG is believed to still be holding two of the Vietnamese crew.

Eight NPA rebels killed in gunfight

Eight New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in a gunfight in the Compostela Valley province. The shootout occurred on Wednesday morning near the Laak area, where Filipino armed forces encountered a group of around 40 NPA rebels. The bodies of eight NPA rebels were recovered from the site, along with several high-calibre firearms. The security forces have launched search operations in pursuit of the rebels.

Six soldiers wounded in militant explosion in Quirino

Six Filipino soldiers have been wounded in an explosion in Sangbay village of Nagtipunan, Quirino. The blast has been attributed to suspected New Peoples' Army (NPA) militants and was allegedly a retaliation attack for military operations carried out in Quirino earlier this month. The targeted attack has been seen by Filipino military authorities as an intentional violation of peace agreements and ceasefires arranged with the Filipino government.

Paramilitary volunteer killed in militant attack, Pikit

A paramilitary volunteer has been killed in a violent militant attack in Pikit town. Two armed Islamist militants approached the victim on a motorcycle before opening fire on him. The victim was shot dead, while his son was also wounded in the attack. The incident occurred just 40 metres away from a guarded roadside checkpoint; however, the militants managed to escape on their motorcycle. Military search operations have been launched to find and identify the attackers.

Three ASG killed in Sulu fighting

Three Abu Sayyaf Group militants have been killed in clashes with the government forces in Sulu. The fighting took place over the weekend as the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTF Sulu) launched search operations throughout Sulu. The JTF Sulu encountered armed ASG militants in several villages in Pakitul, engaging in an hour-long gunfight in which three ASG militants have allegedly been killed. At least one JTF Sulu soldier was killed and 15 others were also wounded. 

Two drug suspects killed in undercover operation

Two drug suspects have been killed in an undercover police operation in the Bulacan province. On Saturday morning, the suspects were apprehended in Malolos city by an undercover police officer posing as a buyer. However, when the suspects realised they were dealing with police officers, they opened fire, leading to a shootout in which both suspects lost their lives. No police casualties have been reported.

ASG militant killed in clash with security forces

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militant has been killed by the security forces during a clash in the Ungkaya Pukan municipality. The fighting broke out in the town of Bohe Pahuh where a group of ASG militants opened fire on the Filipino security forces whilst they were conducting a reconnaissance operation in the area. At least five Filipino soldiers have also been wounded in the gunfight.

Strong earthquake strikes near Leyte

A powerful 6.5-magnitude earthquake has been reported near Tacloban in the Leyte province. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) the earthquake's epicentre was recorded just three kilometres north-north-east of Masarayao, at a shallow depth of 6.5km. The earthquake struck around 08:03 UTC and local reports have stated that at least 10 people have been wounded as a result of the earthquake. Most of the injuries were caused when a building collapsed in Kananga.

Local leader killed in shooting in Quezon

A local leader has been killed in a shooting incident in Sariaya town in the Quezon province. According to reports, Gaudencio Rama - the leader of a local farmers' group called 'Samapa' - was riding his motorcycle in the Sitio Ilaya area of Canda village when unidentified gunmen opened fire on him. The victim had allegedly received death threats in the time leading up to his death and the incident comes just a month after another a similar incident in the neighbouring Batangas province.

Two ASG hostages found beheaded

Two hostages of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been found beheaded on the island of Basilan. The hostages have been identified as two of six Vietnamese nationals being held captive by ASG militants. The Filipino military discovered the bodies near Sumisip town. The victims were abducted by ASG militants in the waters off Basilan Island in November 2016. While one of the Vietnamese crew has already been rescued, three others are believed to still be in captivity.

MILF rebels attack village in North Cotabato

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have attacked the village of Barangay Bualan in North Cotabato. A Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit repulsed the attack, leading to clashes which left three MILF rebels wounded.  Some elements of MILF continue to carry out attacks, despite ongoing peace negotiations with the Philippine government.

Four killed in Cotabato shooting

Four people have been killed in a shooting incident in Cotabato city, Mindanao. According to reports, the incident occurred in the Datu Balabaran village, where a group of gunmen allegedly pulled up in a truck outside the residence of a village official. The gunmen reportedly got out the truck to open fire on the village official and three of his companions. Two of the victims died on the spot, while the other two died in hospital. The incident is believed to have been a targeted murder and is the first major crime to happen in Mindanao since the president declared martial law in the area over a month ago.

Five civilians executed by Maute group in Marawi

At least five civilian hostages have been found dead after being executed by militants of the Islamic Maute group in Marawi city. Militants stormed and took control of the city around five weeks ago and have been violently fighting the Filipino military since. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate the city while hundreds of others have been killed or held hostage. The decapitated bodies were retrieved along by the Filipino armed forces as they military recaptured ground occupied by the rebel group. According to Reuters, as many as 17 others were also found dead in the same area. The discovery of the five decapitated bodies is the first confirmation of militant executions taking place within the city.

Village official shot dead in Murcia

A village councilman has been shot dead in a targeted shooting in the town of Murcia, Negros Occidental. The victim was targeted in Santa Rosa village by two unidentified gunmen who allegedly posed as customers in a restaurant next to the victim's house to position themselves to shoot into the victim's home. Both gunmen escaped on motorcycles with two other accomplices, making a quick getaway. Police investigations have been launched to determine the motive behind the murder.

Seven hostages retrieved from Marawi

Seven hostages have been successfully rescued from Marawi city. The Filipino government troops managed to secure the release of seven hostages during a brief ceasefire. The city of Marawi was attacked by Islamic Maute group militants last month and was captured by the militants, forcing thousands of people to flee the city while hundreds of others were killed or taken hostage.

Two killed in violent Toledo city attacks

Two people have been killed in separate violent attacks in Toledo city of the Central Visayas region. On Sunday evening, unknown gunmen opened fire on a former council official from their car in Ibo village. The shooting was a targeted attack and police investigations have been launched to identify the gunmen. Later that same evening, another man was allegedly stabbed to death in Ilihan village. The stabbing incident is thought to have arisen from a personal dispute and the attacker has been detained by the police. 

Four killed as police clash with NPA rebels in Davao

Four people have been killed in clashes between the Filipino police forces and communist New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in Davao. The fighting broke out over the weekend in Panabo, where the NPA rebels attacked the offices of the provincial public safety company. The police officers were dispatched to repel the attack, killing three NPA rebels in the fighting. A Filipino police officer was also killed by rebel gunfire.

Military truck hit by IED explosion near Munai

A government military truck has been struck by an explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED) near Munai town in Lanao del Norte. The truck was en route from Bacolod town to a military base in the North Cadulawan area in Munai town when an IED hit the vehicle on Sunday morning. No casualties have been reported and no claim of responsibility has been made for the attack. The IED was likely planted by Maute group militants - who have been fighting the government forces in the neighbouring Marawi city.

Australian spy planes to survey southern Philippines

Australian spy planes are due to fly over the southern areas of the Philippines on surveillance missions. The deployment of the military spy planes has come as part of the Australian government's efforts to support the Filipino government's fight against Islamic terrorist groups. Within the last month, the Filipino troops have been tackling Maute group militants in Marawi city, where hundreds have been killed and thousands more have been forced to evacuate after the Islamic militant group attacked the southern city and captured it last month. The Australian military has agreed to provide two AP-3C Orion aircraft to provide surveillance support to the Filipino armed forces.

Islamic militants storm school in North Cotabato

Islamic militants have allegedly stormed a primary school in the North Cotabato province. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, approximately 300 armed militants - mostly Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) - carried out a siege on a school in Pigcawayan town. According to Reuters, the situation has been resolved, with the Filipino security forces pushing the militants out of the area. Unconfirmed reports suggest gunfire was heard in the area and that at least five civilians have been taken hostage by the militants. A BIFF spokesman, Abu Misry Mama, claimed that a number of civilians had been taken away from the fighting as a safety precaution and that they would soon be freed. Pigcawayan lies approximately 190km (120m) south of Marawi City - where a siege has been ongoing for the past few weeks after Islamic Maute group militants stormed the city. The BIFF claim the incidents are not related.

Military offensive launched in Marawi

A military offensive has been launched in the city of Marawi amid the ongoing siege situation. Islamist Maute group militants attacked the city almost five weeks ago and have been battling with government security forces for control of the city since. Thousands of people have evacuated the city and hundreds have been killed. Airstrikes and ground operations have been ongoing in the area since its capture and the Filipino President has also lifted the ban on martial law in the city. The Filipino government has now launched an intensive offensive operation to recapture the city before the Eid al-Fitr - which marks the end of the religious month of Ramadan.

Two terror suspects killed in Maguindanao firefight

Two suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) terrorist group have been killed in a firefight in Maguindanao. The shootout occurred in the town of Shariff Aquak on Monday when the Filipino security forces targeted a BIFF hideout to serve arrest warrants when the militants opened fire. A firearm and an explosive were retrieved from the site.

Internal revenue official shot dead in Quezon

An official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has been shot dead by unknown assailants in Quezon City. Albert Enriquez, chief of a BIR assessment division, was shot dead after he got out his car on West Avenue on Thursday morning. Video footage shows two men on a motorcycle approaching Enriquez as he parked near the BIR offices. The backseat rider then gets off the motorbike, fires a single shot, shooting Enriquez in the head. The incident is believed to have been a targeted murder and investigations are now working to identify the two gunmen.

Joint counter-terror air operations to be launched

Joint counter-terror air operations are due to be launched between Malaysian, Indonesian and Filippino air forces. The operations are set to be launched after joint maritime operations next month and will monitor terrorist activity in the Sulu Sea. Air forces from Brunei and Singapore have also been invited to observe the joint operations. Terrorism and piracy have increased in the area in recent years, affecting many surrounding countries, prompting extensive international counter-terror efforts.

Fighting continues in Marawi siege

Intense fighting has continued in Marawi City as Islamist Maute group militants have carried out a siege on the city with assistance from Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants. The siege has been ongoing for almost three weeks and thousands of civilians have been forced to flee the city due to the violence. The Western Mindanao Command chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has estimated that 80 Maute group militants have been killed in the fighting so far while a further 200 militants remain. The militants allegedly control high-rise buildings with strategic vantage points which have hardened artillery operations. Airstrikes have also been carried out in the area.

Thirteen soldiers killed in Marawi gunfights

At least 13 Filipino soldiers have been killed and as many as 40 others have been wounded in violent gunfights in Marawi city over the weekend. Filipino Marines engaged in a 14-hour gun battle with Islamist Maute group and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the southern parts of Marawi. The city has been subjected to three weeks of intense fighting which has seen militants take control of various parts of the city whilst thousands of civilians have fled the area. The militant groups have held many people hostage - including dozens of security personnel and hundreds of civilians. Most recently, five civilians and five police officers being held hostage in the city were rescued on Tuesday. An estimated 65 security personnel remain missing in action.

Ten killed in armed Maguindanao clashes

Ten people have been killed in violent armed clashes between the Filipino security forces and suspected Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao. The fighting broke out on Thursday in the Barangay Pusao area of Maguindanao where at least four BIFF militants have been killed by military gunfire. Six security personnel have also been killed in the clashes.

Government forces to continue airstrikes on Marawi

The Filipino government forces have confirmed the continuation of anti-militant airstrikes in counter-terror operations amid the ongoing siege in Marawi City. The Islamic State (IS) loyalist Maute group and IS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been fighting the security forces after taking control of the city two weeks ago. The airstrikes are due to target the IS groups' strongest fighting positions in the Bangolo, Lilod, and Marinaut areas. Thousands of civilians have fled the city; however, hundreds remain held captive by the militants.

Civilians trapped as ceasefire breaks down in Marawi

Hundreds of civilians remain trapped in Marawi City after a scheduled ceasefire broke down after just one hour. A four-hour truce had been arranged for Sunday 04 June, during which authorities hoped to rescue as many as 1,000 of the 2,000 civilians who remain trapped in the city which has been under militant siege for over a week now. After just one hour, gunfire broke out - leading to the collapse of the ceasefire after only 130 people had been rescued. Overall, 170 people have been killed in the ongoing siege, including 20 civilians.

Dozens killed in casino attack, Manila

At least 36 people have been killed and 25 others have been wounded in an armed attack on a casino and hotel complex in Manila. An armed man entered a casino in the Resorts World Manila complex in the early hours of Friday morning, opening fire indiscriminately as he set fire to furniture and stole casino chips worth 113m Philippine pesos (£1.7m; $2.3m). Leaving the stolen casino chips in a backpack, the suspect then made his way to a hotel room, where he proceeded to set himself on fire in a hotel bed before shooting himself. As police raided the scene, 36 people were found dead, having inhaled toxic smoke fumes from the fire. The incident has allegedly been described as a robbery attempt and the Filipino authorities have denied any connection to terrorism, despite the incident being claimed by the Islamic State (IS). According to the BBC, the suspect has not yet been identified but allegedly suffered from mental health issues.

Ten soldiers killed in friendly fire airstrike, Marawi

At least 10 soldiers have been killed and another eight have been wounded in a government airstrike in Marawi City. Throughout the past week, the city has been the location of intense fighting between the Filipino security forces and Islamic State (IS) loyalist Maute group militants. The friendly fire incident was allegedly intended as a capture attempt of a senior militant leader.

Militants release hostage video, Marawi

Militants in the Marawi City have released a hostage video of a Catholic priest who was kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) loyalist militants last week. Father Teresito Suganob was abducted by the IS-affiliated Maute group on Wednesday 24 May amid ongoing fighting between the militants and the Filipino security forces in Marawi City. In the footage, Suganob requests - on behalf of the Maute group - a withdrawal from the security forces, claiming he is being held with 200 other people, including children. 

Security forces kill NPA militant in shootout, Agusan del Sur

One New Peoples' Army NPA) militant has been killed and at least four others have been wounded in a shootout with the Filipino armed forces in the Agusan del Sur province. A group of approximately 20 NPA militants encountered the security forces in the Goshen area of Barangay New Tubigon in Sibagat. No military casualties have been reported.

Violent fighting continues in Marawi

Violent fighting has continued in Marawi City, where militants of the Maute group and other Islamic State (IS) loyalist groups have been clashing with the Filipino security forces - killing dozens of people and forcing widespread evacuations. The militants have allegedly taken control of two prisons in the area - stealing weapons and ammunition while recruiting prisoners to fight with them. The area remains under high alert and civilians have been advised to keep clear of the surrounding area until the city is recaptured by the security forces and the militant threat is eliminated.

Militants kill 19 civilians in Marawi

At least 19 civilians have been killed by Maute group militants in Marawi city over the weekend. The executions occurred as violent fighting between the security forces and militant groups has been ongoing in the area throughout the last week. 

Five police officers wounded in twin blast, Cotabato

Five police officers have been wounded in twin blasts along the national highway in the Cotabato province. Two police officers were wounded in the first fo the two explosions, which happened on the highway near President Roxas municipality. Further along the same highway, three more police officers were wounded in another explosion near Barangay Marbel. It's suspected that the two explosions are connected that that the perpetrators were targeting the security forces.

Dozens killed and wounded in Marawi siege

At least 21 people have been killed and another 31 have been wounded in a siege on Marawi City by Maute group militants. Of the 21 people killed, 13 have been identified as Maute group militants. Five Filipino soldiers and three policemen have also been killed in the intense fighting. The violent situation has prompted President Duterte to impose martial law in the area - with threats to extend the coverage of martial law to wider areas if the threat is not contained.

Dozens of hostages rescued in Marawi

Dozens of civilian hostages have been rescued in Marawi City after the militant Maute group occupied Amai Pakpak Hospital, Marawi City Hall, the city jail, and parts of the Mindanao State University compound. Approximately 120 people were rescued as the security forces pushed back the militant groups and regained control of the hospital - where 78 civilians were being held against their will - and a school building, where 42 teachers were being held. In another area of Marawi, the Maute group combined forces with militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and opened fire on a military base. No casualties were reported.

Airstrikes conducted against militants in Marawi

The Filipino security forces have conducted a series of airstrikes in Marawi city. The airstrikes have been carried out against militants of the Maute group, who have been battling with the security forces in the area for a couple of days - forcing a lockdown in Davao city, heightened security alerts in Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Mindanao metro systems, and the evacuation of hundreds of people from surrounding areas. According to reports, between 30 to 40 Maute militants remain in the Marawi area. No casualty figures have been confirmed yet.

Airport and metro on full alert in Mindanao

The airport and metro system in the Mindanao area have been placed on full alert amid the recent militant attacks in Marawi by the Maute group. The Filipino security forces have been clashing with the militants over the last few days, prompting widespread evacuations. Davao city has also been placed on lockdown. Ninoy Aquino International Airport has enforced maximum security measures in light of the situation. Travellers have been advised to avoid the area and postpone planned trips.

Davao city on lockdown amid Maute group clashes

Davao city has been placed on lockdown amid ongoing clashes between the Maute militant group and the Filipino security forces in Marawi, Mindanao. At least five soldiers have been killed thus far and at least 23 others have been wounded. The fighting has been ongoing since Tuesday and hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate their homes. Authorities have advised travellers to avoid the area and to cancel any planned trips.

Military clash with militants in Mindanao

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate from their homes amid ongoing clashes between the Filipino military forces and the Maute militant group in Mindanao. The clashes have largely affected the Marawai area - where the Caloocan village and the Basak Malutlut village have both been evacuated due to the intense firefight. The military forces have received aerial support as a high-level alert has been issued in the area. No casualty figures have been confirmed as of yet.

ASG militant killed in security operations

One Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militant has been killed and two others have been arrested in separate security operations. The security forces clashed with a number of ASG militants during security operations in the Sulu area, killing one militant before the rest of the group fled. In another incident, two ASG militants were arrested by the police forces in Lamitan City, Basilan, after they surrendered to the security forces during police operations. 

Dozens wounded in hospital explosion, Bangkok

Dozens of people have been wounded in a bomb explosion in a Bangkok hospital. A guest room for retired military officials in the King Mongkut Hospital was hit by an explosion on Monday morning. According to reports, remains were found which indicated the explosion originated from a battery-powered improvised explosive device (IED). At least 24 people have sustained minor injuries, with three receiving hospital treatment. No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack and investigations are ongoing.

Ten militants killed in military operations, Mindanao

At least 10 militants have been killed and eight others have been wounded in clashes with the security forces during military operations in Mindanao. The Filipino military forces were conducting a search operation in the Bual village in the Sultand Kudarat province when they encountered the group of militants and a gunfight broke out. Several firearms and ammunition have been confiscated from the site and one militant has been arrested.

Couple kidnapped and killed, Navotas

A couple has been kidnapped and killed by suspected militants in the Navotas area. According to reports, 14 masked men on motorcycles abducted a known drug suspect, Jenny Royo, and her partner from their private residence in Navotas. Although Royo had signed herself up to an official drug rehabilitation scheme, it is likely that the abduction and murders were linked to drug criminals.

Two soldiers wounded in roadside bombing, Maguindanao

Two Filipino soldiers have been wounded after being struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Maguindanao. The IED had been planted along the roadside in the Timbangan village in the town of Shariff Aguak. It is highly suspected that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were behind the attack, as the BIFF militants have used IEDs to target the security forces in the past.

Police rescue hostage in drug bust, Central Visayas

The Filipino police forces have rescued a kidnap victim who was being held hostage by a suspected drug pusher in Central Visayas. The suspect was detained in Barangay Pajo in Lapu-Lapu City - where he was found in possession of 100g of methamphetamine hydrochloride (aka 'Shabu') worth almost 600,000 Filipino pesos (around $12,000).  It's believed the suspect had kidnapped a 16-year-old girl and was allegedly forcing her to assist his illegal drug activities. 

Two ASG militants killed in hostage situations, Bohol

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed in hostage situations in the Bohol province, Central Visayas. The first ASG militant, was killed on Pangangan Island in Calape, Bohol, after he and an accomplice held an elderly man and his grandson hostage, attempting to flee with the hostages on motorcycles. The suspect, identified as Abu Ubayda, was shot dead during a police chase. Another ASG militant was also shot dead in a similar incident in Barangay Kahayag of Calape. It remains unknown if the two incidents were connected.

Twenty ASG killed in military operations, Basilan

At least 20 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed in recent military operations carried out by the Filipino armed forces in the Basilan province. The Filipino air force used FA-50 fighter jets to conduct a series of airstrikes on an ASG camp in the Sumisip area on Thursday, before ground troops engaged in a brief battle with the militants before the ASG fled the area. No military or civilian casualties have been reported.

Two earthquakes hit near Davao Oriental

Two 4.2-magnitude earthquakes have hit the Davao Oriental area. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has reported that the first earthquake was tectonic in origin and struck approximately 58km south-east of Caraga town at 11:07 local time on Thursday morning, at a depth of 26km. A second earthquake of the same magnitude occurred later on in the day, at 15:15 in the afternoon, in a similar location - approximately 40km south-east of Caraga town. The second tremor was significantly more shallow than the first - at a depth of just 15km. No major damages or casualties have been reported; however, aftershocks are expected.

Filipino soldier kidnapped by NPA rebels, Bukidnon

A Filipino soldier has been kidnapped by rebels of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) in the Bukidnon province. The soldier was abducted from the Poblacion area of Valencia city by a number of NPA militants who had disguised themselves Filipino police uniforms. The abduction allegedly occurred whilst NPA militants simultaneously raided the nearby offices of a security agency - stealing weapons and other valuables. The incident may sour peace talks which are ongoing between NPA leaders and government representatives in Manila.

Four policemen arrested on kidnap charges

Four Filipino policemen have been arrested in Metro Manila on charges of kidnap and ransom. The policemen were detained in Paranaque and have been accused of abducting at least two people and attempting to extort a ransom of 400,000 pesos (just over $8,000). As a result of the arrests, a police chief and an intelligence chief have also been fired from their positions.

Four policemen wounded in Maguindanao bombing

Four police officers have been wounded in a bomb explosion in the Maguindanao area. The policemen were travelling in a patrol vehicle in Mamasapano town when Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remotely detonated an improvised explosive device (IEF) which had been planted along the roadside. The explosion comes just days after two people were killed and three others were wounded in an explosion in the Quiapo district of Manila. The BIFF militant group have not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Twenty militants killed in clashes, Maguindanao

At least 20 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have been killed and seven others have been wounded in clashes with the Filipino security forces in Maguindanao. The fighting took place over the weekend in the Tee and Dapiawan villages in the Datu Salibo town. The security forces allegedly repelled approximately 100 BIFF with air and artillery strikes. According to reports, a BIFF commander was killed in the fighting. 

Five ASG militants killed in Basilan clashes

At least five Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed in clashes between the ASG militants and Filipino security forces in the Sumisip town of the Basilan area. Two ASG militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces in the Upper Cabcaban village on Saturday morning, while another three were killed in the Mahatallang village on Saturday night.

ASG militant arrested in Central Visayas

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militant has been arrested in police operations in Central Visayas. The suspect was apprehended by police officers in the Bohol area and has been identified as one out of three ASG suspects wanted by the police in targeted operations. 

Senior ASG leader killed in police operations, Mindanao

A senior Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader has been killed in police operations in the southern region of Mindanao. The ASG militant was shot down in a shootout with the Filipino police forces in the Sulu area - where the ASG are known to have an operational stronghold. Police operations against the militant group are ongoing and travellers should avoid the region where possible.

Fourteen wounded in pipe bomb explosion, Manila

At least 14 people have been wounded in a pipe bomb explosion in Manila. The incident occurred on Quezon Boulevard in Manila on Friday 28 April. The site of the explosion was just 5km away from an ASEAN leaders' meeting - which was also taking place in Metro Manila. No suspects have been identified as of yet and investigations are ongoing.

Powerful earthquake hits near Mindanao

A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake has struck near the southern Filipino island of Mindanao. The earthquake hit at 20:23 UTC on Friday 28 April, and had a recorded depth of 10km. The epicentre was located approximately 68km south of General Santos city. While no tsunami warning has been issued, the Tsunami Centre advised that dangerously large waves should still be expected throughout a 300km radius of the epicentre. No major casualties or damages have been reported.

One soldier wounded in gunfight with NPA rebels, Davao Oriental

A Filipino soldier has been wounded after a fierce gunfight between the Filipino armed forces and rebels of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) broke out in Davao Oriental on Sunday morning. The fighting took place near the Aliwagwag Ecopark and Visitor Centre in the town of Cateel. Approximately 40 NPA rebels were involved in the firefight - in which the outnumbered military forces managed to repel the rebel forces. The NPA rebels have likely suffered several casualties; however, no figures have been confirmed. The park and surrounding area has been temporarily closed to the public and travellers have been advised to postpone visits.

Earthquake strikes near Mindanao

A 5.3-magntiude earthquake has struck near the southern Mindanao area. The earthquake occurred at 01:19 UTC (09:19 local time) on Sunday morning. The epicentre was located near Tandag city at a depth of 62.8km. No major damages or casualties have been reported and no tsunami warning has been issued. Earthquakes often occur in the Philippines due to the proximity to the seismically active 'Ring of Fire' surrounding the Pacific plate.

Eight wounded in grenade attack, Maguindanao

Eight people have been wounded in a grenade attack in Maguindanao. The attack happened near a mosque in the Talayan area in the early afternoon on Saturday, when a hand grenade was thrown at a group of people by unknown assailants. The current and former mayors of Talayan were among those wounded - along with their sons and security guards - implying the attack was a targeted incident. 

Four ASG militants killed in gunfight, Bohol

Four Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed in a gunfight with the Filipino security forces in Bohol. The crossfire occurred on Saturday, in the Sitio Lagising area of the Bacane village in the town of Clarin - where the security forces allegedly advised citizens to hide before the gunfight broke out. An ASG leader is believed to be among those killed.

Thirty IS militants killed in military operations, Lanao del Sur

At least 30 Islamic State (IS) militants have allegedly been killed in military operations in the Lanao del Sur area. Over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) allegedly conducted a three-day counter-terror operation against the IS-affiliated Maute group. The AFP forces conducted air and ground operations near the Piagapo Complex, capturing a Maute group camp. The Maute group are suspected of working with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi areas.

NPA leader killed clashes with security forces, Albay

A leader of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) militant group has been killed in clashes with the security forces in the Albay province. The Filipino troops encountered five NPA rebels in the Talisay village in Oas on Friday morning - leading to a violent gunfight. A hand grenade, a firearm and ammunition were retrieved from the site. No other casualties have been reported.

Chinese coastguard accused of firing on Filipino fishermen

A Chinese coastguard has been accused of firing on a group of Filipino fishermen in the South China Sea. The alleged incident occurred on Monday 27 March near the Spratly islands; however, investigations into the allegations have only recently been launched. The Filipino authorities are leading the investigations.

Dozens of ASG militants arrested in Sulu

At least 34 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been arrested in the Sulu area. Filipino soldiers detained the ASG militants in Pakitul town on Wednesday. At least one person - a suspected human trafficker believed to have been affiliated with the ASG - has also died from gunshot wounds. The ASG operate largely out of the Sulu area and often target foreign nationals in kidnap and ransom operations - making it a dangerous destination for tourists and travellers.

Two soldiers released by NPA rebels, Davao del Sur

Two Filipino army soldiers have been released from captivity by the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in Matanao, Davao del Sur. The hostages were originally kidnapped by NPA rebels three months ago and were allegedly released as a gesture of good will towards the Filipino authorities ahead of resumed peace talks.

One security officer killed in shooting, Pasig City

One security officer has been killed in a shooting incident in Pasig City in the Northern Capital region. The officer had been part of the Criminal Investigation and Defection Group (CIDG) and was shot at by unidentified armed assailants as they rode past on a motorcycle in the early hours of Monday morning. The CIDG officer had been at a Shell gas station at the time of the attack - which is suspected to have been a targeted killing.

Dozens killed in passenger bus crash, Nueva Ecija

At least 31 people have been killed and 46 others have been wounded in a passenger bus crash in the Nueva Ecija province. The accident occurred on Tuesday near the town of Carranglan in Nueva Ecija - where the passenger bus allegedly experienced a brake failure on a downhill road and crashed into a 24-metre-deep ravine. At least 77 passengers were on board the bus at the time of the accident. Despite the brake failure, the road is allegedly known to be particularly dangerous and travellers have been advised to drive slowly and carefully. 

Six soldiers wounded in clash with militants, Maguindanao

At least six Filipino soldiers have been wounded after fighting with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the Maguindanao area. The clash occurred in the Sitio Pinaginuman area of Elian village in the Datu Saudi Ampatuan area of Maguindanao. The operations saw the armed forces take control of a BIFF gun factory.

Hostage killed by Abu Sayyaf

The Abu Sayyaf militant group has beheaded a Filipino fisherman taken hostage in December, according to the Philippine army.  Brigadier-General Cirilito Sobejana, the military commander on the southern island of Jolo, said the boat's captain was executed near the town of Patikul last week.  Four fishermen were kidnapped during the hijacking in the Celebes Sea.

Two NPA rebels killed in Agusan del Sur clash

Two New People's Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in clashes with Philippine troops in Agusan del Sur.  Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the fighting took place in San Luis town on Thursday afternoon.  The NPA were reportedly harassing and extorting local residents in the area.

Eight killed in clashes between ASG and police, Bohol

At least eight people have been killed during a clash between the Filipino security forces and militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Bohol province. Five ASG militants and three security personnel have been killed in a firefight which broke out in the popular tourist destination. The incident is the second major clash with the ASG in the province recently, raising concerns that the militant group - who engage in kidnap and ransom activity - intend to target foreign travellers. The clash has occurred just days after a travel warning was issued in the region regarding the ongoing threat of the ASG.

Strong earthquake strikes in Lanao del Sur

A strong 5.8-magnitude earthquake has struck near Wao in the Lanao del Sur area of Mindanao. The earthquake occurred at 05:21 local time (21:21 UTC) on Wednesday morning at a shallow depth of 8.3km and is believed to have been tectonic in origin. Some infrastructural and material damages have occurred and some areas have experienced brief power outages. No casualties have been reported and those in the areas affected should anticipate further aftershocks.

Nine killed in ASG clashes with security forces, Central Visayas

At least nine people have been killed in clashes between Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants and Filipino security forces in Central Visayas. The security forces encountered a group of 10 armed ASG militants in the village of Napo near Inabanga town in the Bohol province of Central Visayas. Among those killed were five ASG militants, three Filipino soldiers and one Filipino policeman. The presence of the ASG has made the region increasingly dangerous for foreign travellers and tourists.

Village chief kidnapped and released by NPA rebels

A village chief has been kidnapped and released by New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in the Magepet area of North Cotabato. The NPA rebels allegedly abducted the chairman of the Mahungcog village on Sunday after storming the village and ordering all male residents to come out of their homes in order to identify the chairman. The victim was then taken by the rebels and later released by the rebels on Tuesday morning.

Three ASG militants killed in clash with military, Mindanao

At least three  Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and 11 others have been wounded in a clash with the Filipino military in Mindanao. The fighting occurred when the Filipino troops encountered the ASG militants in the Sumisip area of Basilan. Of the 11 people wounded, five were ASG militants and six were Filipino soldiers. No civilian casualties have been reported.

Earthquake detected in the Philippine Sea

A 5.4-magntiude earthquake has occurred in the Philippine Sea, approximately 89km north-east of Mapanas in Northern Samar. The earthquake - which was tectonic in origin - occurred at 08:43 local time on Monday morning and had a depth of approximately 27km. Tremors were felt in the Northern Samar and Sorsogon areas; however, no damages or casualties were incurred and no tsunami warning has been issued. Some small aftershocks may be expected.

One soldier wounded in NPA clash

A Filipino soldier has been wounded in a clash between the Filipino military and the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in Eastern Visayas. The clashes occurred during a routine military patrol in the Hubasan village in the Calbiga area in the Samar province of the Eastern Visayas region. No NPA casualties have been reported.

Filipino soldier killed by BIFF militant in Mindanao

A Filipino Armed Forces soldier has been killed by a militant of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) militant group on the Mindanao island. The soldier has been deployed as part an unarmed engineering battalion in the Mamasapano town of the Maguindanao region when the BIFF militant opened fire on the soldier, killing him on the spot.

Ten ASG killed in gunfight with military, Sulu

At least 10 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and 32 Filipino military personnel have been wounded after a gunfight broke out in the town of Talipao in Sulu. The gunfight broke out after the Filipino troops encountered a group of over 100-strong ASG militants. Although no security personnel were killed, large numbers were wounded due to militant possession of high-calibre weapons. No civilian casualties have been reported. The Sulu Archipelago remains one of the most dangerous areas for travellers due to the high rate of militant activity in the area.

Twelve killed in military clashes with NPA rebels, General Nakar

At least 12 people have been killed in recent clashes between the Filipino military troops and the communist New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in the General Nakar region, east of Manila. ABC News has reported that approximately 10 out of a group of 30 NPA rebels were killed in the clash, while two Filipino security personnel are also believed to have been killed. Casualty figures have not been officially confirmed by the military and the NPA rebels have not issued a comment on the clash. The fighting has occurred just days before the NPA are due to negotiate peace talks with the Filipino government on Sunday 02 April.

NPA rebels attack military posts

Rebels of the New Peoples' Army (NPA) have attacked military posts in the Samar and Northern Samar provinces. The rebels first attacked a military post in the early hours of Thursday morning near Motiong town in Samar. A second attack then followed on another military post near Silvino Lobos in the Northern Samar province. No security personnel have been wounded in the attacks and it remains unknown whether or not the NPA rebels sustained any casualties. 

Filipino hostage rescued from ASG in Mindanao

A Filipino national has been rescued after being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The victim - a chief engineer on board a boat - was abducted by ASG militants with his captain from waters just off the Basilan area of Mindanao. Filipino troops managed to retrieve the engineer from the Sito Sasa area of Basakan village in Basilan. The rescue comes just one day after three Malaysian nationals were also rescued from the ASG by Filipino troops. Those in the area should be aware there is a significantly higher risk of kidnap at sea, as the loss of hostages may provoke ASG militants into action - to recover the loss of potential ransoms which provide the militant group with the revenue needed to fund terrorist activity.

Four killed in roadside bomb explosion, Jolo

At least four people have been killed and as many as 18 have been wounded in a roadside bomb explosion on Jolo Island. An improvised explosive device (IED) was reportedly planted along a roadside and detonated near Sitio Lambayon in Busbos village. Police investigations are underway and several suspects have been identified and detained for questioning.

Three ASG hostages rescued on Jolo island

Three Malaysian hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been rescued by Filipino troops on Jolo island. The victims were originally abducted eight months ago by ASG militants and were the only Malaysian nationals still be held by the militant group. 

One soldier killed in clashes with NPA rebels, Davao

One Filipino soldier has been killed and three others have been wounded in clashes with the New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels in the Davao region. Ground troops clashed with the NPA rebels in a series of encounters in the Sitios Maglahos area of Sobecary village in Caraga. Two soldiers were wounded in the first altercation and one soldier was killed while another was wounded in further fighting.

Four people kidnapped by ASG in Mindanao

Four people have been kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants from a southern island in the Mindanao area. According to local reports, the victims had been on a cargo ship en route to General Santos City when the ship was intercepted by three militant speed boats. Two Filipino crew members, the Captain, and the chief engineer were abducted from the ship. The ASG has not commented on the incident; however, local authorities believe the ASG militants were behind the abduction due to their history of targeting vessels in nearby areas. Just hours before the kidnapping, two Malaysian hostages were rescued from ASG militants in the nearby Sulu waters.

Two ASG hostages rescued by marines near Pata Island, Sulu

Two Malaysian nationals who were being held hostage by the militant Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been rescued by Filipino marines in waters near Pata Island in the Sulu province. The victims had been abducted by the ASG in July from a tugboat in the waters of Sabah state. It's possible the hostages were being transferred to another location by the ASG militants at the time of the rescue. Both victims have received medical attention at a military hospital.

One killed, eight wounded in NPA clash, Sultan Kudarat

One Filipino Marine soldier has been killed and eight others have been wounded in a clash with the New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Sultan Kudarat. The rebels allegedly ambushed the Marine Battalion Landing Team in the Kalamansig area of Sultan Kudarat. The marines engaged in a day-long gunfight with the rebels. No casualty figure has been confirmed for the rebels. No civilians were harmed in the exchange of fire.

Dozens killed and wounded in three-day military operation, Maguindanao

At least 21 militants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have been killed and 26 others have been wounded in a three-day operation carried out by the Filipino military in Maguindanao. A military official confirmed the operations in a statement on Sunday 19 March - stating that the operations were launched on Monday 13 March and were continued until Thursday 16 March. The operations were carried out in by the Joint Task Force-Central (JTF-C) - who targeted BIFF militants in the Datu Salibo area. No civilian or JTF-C casualties were inflicted.

ASG leader killed in security operations, Tawi-Tawi

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader has been killed in security operations in the Tawi-Tawi area. The ASG leader, identified as Butchoy Hassan, was killed by the Filipino security forces in a Joint Task Force operation which targeted ASG militants in the main town of Sitangkai Island. Hassan was a low-level ASG leader and is believed to have been directly involved in abductions and narcotics trading. 

Teacher abducted and released by ASG, Sulu

A Filipino teacher has been abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and quickly released over the weekend in the Sulu area. Local reports claim that Ibrahim Potong - a public school teacher of Islamic faith - was kidnapped by ASG militants on Friday evening from Patikul town and later released in Maimbung on Sunday. It remains unknown why the ASG abducted Potong, or why he was released so quickly. The ASG are thought to currently be holding 31 hostages of various nationalities. 

Journalist killed in shooting, Masbate

A journalist has been killed in a shooting incident in the Masbate area on Monday morning. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) confirmed the death of Remate columnist Joaquin Briones - stating he was shot dead on Bombon Bridge along Sitio Feeder Road in Bacolod village. Briones was allegedly shot in the back four times. The Inquirer has reported that the NUJP commented that Briones (who was released from prison in 2012 after serving 12 years on charges of libel) has been the second journalist to be killed under the Duterte administration -which has been widely criticised for its alleged encouragement of covert extrajudicial killings behind closed doors.

Rebels and government forces to resume peace talks

The rebel New People's Army (NPA) and the Filipino government forces have agreed to resume peace talks a month after the ceasefire was terminated. The Filipino government prematurely ended the ceasefire in early February, over claims that NPA forces had already violated the ceasefire in January. According to ABC News, a sharp escalation in violent clashes recently has led to the decision to renew peace talks. The talks will commence in early April.

Two killed, one missing in floods, Mindanao

Two people have been killed and one other remains missing after floods have hit the Mindanao region. Two people were reported dead on Saturday after heavy rain caused the Basilan, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao Misamis Occidental, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and Sulu provinces to flood over the weekend. Many roads have been rendered unusable and residents have allegedly resorted to travelling by boat. Travellers and foreign nationals have been advised not to attempt to travel through the flood-hit areas.

Dozens evacuated amid floods, Sarangani

Dozens of people have been evacuated from their homes in the Sarangani province as heavy rains have caused two major rivers to overflow. Rivers running through the Maitum and Kiamba towns have flooded river bank areas - forcing the evacuation of a collective total of 43 families. Those in the areas affected have been advised to remain cautious of the continued possibility of further flooding.

Five police officers killed in NPA attack, Davao del Sur

Five police officers have been killed in a rebel attack in the Davao del Sur region. Suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels ambushed the police officers in Bansalan town as they were en route to investigate a crime scene. The rebels were allegedly armed with heavy weapons and managed to flee the scene following the attack. The NPA rebels have frequently been clashing with government security forces since the termination of a ceasefire agreement in early February.

Four NPA rebels killed in military clash, Quezon

Four New People's Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in a clash with the Filipino military in the Quezon province. The Army's 201st Infantry Brigade engaged in a gunfight with a group of 20 NPA rebels in the Mabunga village near San Fransisco town in Quezon. No military casualties were reported and the soldiers also recovered two AK-47 rifles and an M16 rifle from the site of the encounter. Pursuit operations have been launched by the military and police forces.

Nine ASG killed, 15 wounded in clashes, Sulu

Nine Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and 15 others have been wounded in clashes with the Filipino Marine troops in the Sulu province. The Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) under the 64th Marine Company launched a pursuit operation in the area on Sunday - encountering the ASG militants in the Ipil village of Maimbung town. The operations remain ongoing as the MARSOG continues to search the area. The ASG are believed to be holding over 30 hostages.

Fourteen soldiers wounded in clashes with ASG in Sulu

At least 14 Filipino soldiers have been wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the Sulu province. The clashes occurred in the Igasan village of Pakitul town where soldiers of the Filipino Army's 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered a group of armed ASG militants during counter-terror search operations. The ASG has not commented on the incident and it remains unknown if the ASG suffered any casualties. No civilians were harmed. The incident comes just two days after 11 Filipino soldiers were wounded in a gunfight with ASG militants in the nearby Indanan town.

Two ASG killed in clash with Filipino military in Sulu

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and sixteen others have been wounded in clashes with the Filipino government troops in the Sulu province. The clash occurred as part of a military offensive operation targeting ASG militants in the Indanan town of Sulu. Joint Task Force Commander Colonel Cirilito Sobejana told the Enquirer that five ASG militants and 11 soldiers were wounded in the confrontation. The militant group is believed to be holding over 30 hostages and most recently executed a German hostage last week after ransom demands were not met.

Three NPA rebels killed in clashes

Three New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in clashes with the Filipino security forces. According to the Manila Bulletin, one NPA rebel was killed in a clash with the 730th Combat Group as they were conducting operations in the Lian area of Batangas. The 10th Infantry Division also told Davao Today that the 60th Infantry Battalion encountered a group of NPA rebels in the Asuncion area of Davao del Norte, killing two rebels in the subsequent shootout, while 20 other rebels managed to escape.

Protests take place outside US Embassy, Jakarta

Protests have taken place outside the US Embassy in Jakarta on the 21st anniversary of the People Power Revolution. Protesters rallied on Saturday to march from Kalaw Avenue to the US Embassy in honour of the anniversary and were met by anti-riot police outside the embassy. The police forces used water cannons to prevent protesters from entering the embassy grounds - two people were injured in the commotion. The gathering dispersed to regroup near the People Power Monument on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue in Quezon City. The protest remained mostly peaceful.

ASG allegedly kills German hostage

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has allegedly killed German hostage, Jurgen Kantner. The 70-year-old German national was abducted by the ASG militant group in November when his boat was ambushed by the group in dangerous Filipino waters and his wife was shot dead. The couple had previously been abducted by Somali pirates in 2008 and were released after 52 days in exchange for a six-figure sum. The Filipino Army have received reports that the ASG have beheaded Kantner after the German government failed to meet demands for a $600,000 ransom. These reports have not been independently confirmed by a representative of the ASG and Filipino Army officials have stated that rescue operations will continue until a death is officially confirmed.

Transport strikes to take place, Western Visayas

Transport strikes have been scheduled to take place in the Western Visayas province on Monday 27 February. Most Bacolod transport services are expected to take part in the strike action as workers protest a government phaseout of older public utility vehicles (PUVs). The government is requiring any PUV which is 15-years-old or older to be phased out in favour of newer models in the interest of public health and safety; however, protesters claim the costs of replacing old PUVs will be too high for transport companies to remain profitable.

Two NPA rebels killed in clashes, Capiz

Two suspected New Peoples' Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in clashes with the Filipino government security forces in Capiz. Military troops encountered a group of seven NPA rebels in the Sito Maknoy area of the Jebaca village in Ma-ayon town, leading to a 30-minute gunfight. No security troops were injured during the clash, and four weapons were seized from the site. The government security forces have been clashing with NPA rebels frequently since the end of a ceasefire agreement in early February.

One child killed, three wounded in grenade explosion, Zamboanga

One school child has been killed and three others have been wounded in a grenade explosion on school grounds in Zamboanga. The four students of the Comprehensive National High School in the Poblacion village of the Lakewood area discovered an M79 grenade in their school's grounds. The grenade exploded when the children started playing with it. The premises was cleared by military and police personnel and investigations into how the incident came about are still ongoing.

Council member killed in shooting, Pangasinan

A member of the Banaoang village council, Wilfredo de Vera, has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the Pangasinan province. Unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on de Vera in Calasiao town. It's been reported that de Vera had just arrived at his house to meet his children when he was shot dead. Police investigations are underway and no suspects have been identified yet.

Seven wounded in grenade explosion, Manila

Seven people have been wounded in a grenade attack in Manila. The explosion occurred in late Sunday evening as a male assailant allegedly threw the grenade at people in the San Andres Bukid area of Manila. The assailant was captured and mauled by a mob, and reportedly claimed he did not know why he had thrown the explosive. The suspect is now in police custody and will face at least five criminal charges.

One killed, seven kidnapped in ASG attack

One sailor has been killed and seven others have been kidnapped in the latest piracy attack in Filipino waters. The attack took place in waters near Baguan Island in Tawi Tawi - near the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) stronghold. The attack targeted a vessel crewed by 25 men - 17 of whom were rescued by the Filipino coast guards and marine soldiers. The ASG are an Islamic State-affiliated militant pirate group who operate largely in and around the Sulu Archipelago and frequently ambush, kill and abduct sailors. It's estimated the group now holds over 30 hostages.

Thousands evacuated as floods hit Compostela Valley

Thousands of people have been evacuated as floods have hit the Compostela Valley in the Davao region. Heavy rain has caused extreme floods to swamp the valley - forcing the evacuation of thousands of people to evacuation centres in southern Mindanao. One village watchman also drowned in the floods as he was swept away by floodwaters in the Maragusan area of the valley. The heavy rain has also heightened the risk of landslides int he area - with several houses already being hit by landslips. The intense rains and water levels have begun to decrease and subside, however there is a continued risk of landslides as the ground will remain excessively wet for several more days.

Five killed, 15 wounded in rebel attacks

Five people have been killed and 15 others have been wounded in a rebel attack on the Filipino military in the southern regions of the Philippines. Two Filipino soldiers were killed in the Calinan district when New People's Army (NPA) rebels allegedly targeted a military convoy with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Fifteen Filipino soldiers were also wounded in the IED explosion and two NPA rebels were killed in the gunfight which broke out after the blast. Another NPA rebel was killed in a rebel attack on a militia department in the nearby Binaton village of the Paquibato district. The military has since launched retaliatory pursuit operations against the rebels.

Militant killed in military operation, Northern Samar

A militant of the rebel New People's Army (NPA) has been killed in recent military operations in Northern Samar. The Filipino Army announced the death in a press release - confirming that the death occurred during a five-hour gunfight between military troops and the NPA rebels. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was also seized from the rebel group, along with three mobile phones. Since the ending of the ceasefire between the government and the NPA in early February, there have been frequent clashes between the Filipino military and the militants.

Earthquakes hits Central and Southern Mindanao

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake has hit the Central and Southern Mindanao areas. The earthquake occurred at 14:27 local time on Thursday 16 February. The epicentre was located in Digos City in Davao del Sur and was tectonic in origin. Tremors were felt as far as Davao City and the Sarangai province, however no major damages or casualties have been reported. The Philippine Insitute of Volcanology and Seismology has issued a low-level warning of the risk of small aftershock tremors.

Eight wounded in bus attack, Zamboanga

Eight people have been wounded after armed men opened fire on a passenger bus in Zamboanga. The unidentified assailants started shooting at the Rural Transit bus in the Barangay Muti area as it was en route to Pagadian City. Nearby Filipino soldiers immediately responded to the incident, engaging in a brief exchange of fire before the assailants fled on foot. Marine soldiers treated wounded passengers at the scene before they were transferred to hospital, and a replacement bus service was dispatched to resume the bus service as usual. 

Militants attack military convoy, Caraga

Militants of the New People's Army (NPA) have allegedly attacked a military convoy in the Caraga area. The convoy had been escorted non-governmental organisations (NGOs) en route to deliver relief to earthquake victims in the Surigao del Norte area when the NPA rebels reportedly ambushed the convoy. The military managed to repel the attack, with no military or NGO casualties. The NPA have not commented on the incident. 

Three killed in militant attack, Agusan del Norte

Three people have been killed and three others have been wounded in a militant attack on Filipino armed forces in the Agusan del Norte province. Militants of the rebel New People's Army (NPA) launched an attack on military troops in the Sitio Sarog village in the Barangay San Isidro area of the province. One soldier and two civilians were killed and three more civilians were wounded when NPA rebels opened fire on the security forces before fleeing the area.

ASG threatens German hostage execution

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has released a video of German hostage Jurgen Gustav Kantner, threatening to behead him. Four ASG militants held guns to Kantner's head as he was forced to state that unless a ransom was paid to the group by Sunday 26 February, they would execute him. The German government has yet to respond to the video. Kantner was abducted by ASG militants in November 2016 when he was sailing with his wife - who was killed by the militants - on their boat in the waters off the Sabah coast.

Two killed in shootings, Calabarzon

Two people have been killed in separate shootings in the Calabarzon area. One individual was shot by unidentified assailants on a motorcycle in Rizal, while another was shot dead by an unknown assailant in the Batangas area. Both suspects managed to flee the scenes unidentified, however it is not believed the incidents are connected. Police investigations are underway.

Earthquake kills six people in Surigao del Norte

At least six people have been killed and dozens of others have been wounded in a recent earthquake in the Surigao del Norte province of Mindanao island. The 6.7-magntiude earthquake struck the area on Friday 10 February, at a depth of 10km with the epicentre located approximately 14km from Surigao City. An estimated 126 people are thought to have been wounded in the earthquake. Public transport services have been severely disrupted and the airport was temporarily closed following the earthquake. Significant infrastructural damage has been reported and there remains a continued risk of aftershock tremors in the region.

Filipino government declares NPA terrorist organisation

The Filipino government has announced that the New People's Army (NPA) of the communist rebels is officially recognised by the state as a terrorist organisation. President Duterte prematurely ended a ceasefire agreement with the NPA rebels this week and following another clash between Filipino government forces and the NPA, Duterte has now declared the group a terrorist organisation. Citizens have been asked not to support the rebel group, and the government claims that eight rebels have already surrendered to government forces following the declaration.

Manila airport workers protest privatisation

Airport workers throughout Manila have been protesting against the privatisation of four airport terminals. Workers who are also members of the Samahang Manggagawa sa Paliparan ng Pilipinas (SMPP) union took part in the protest - which marched to Mendiola outside Malacanang to lobby President Duterte. The workers claim that the privatisation could put their jobs at risk. 

Thousands evacuated in town fire, Manila

A fire has broken out in a shanty town near the Manila docks - leading to the evacuation of 15,000 people. Seven people have been wounded during the blaze - which has swept through the Tondo town area of metro Manila rapidly, engulfing over 1,000 properties and lasting for 10 hours. Those who have been evacuated from their homes have been temporarily relocated to emergency shelters. Belongings, such as clothing and electrical goods have been left in a major road - blocking a truck access point to the port. The fire has now been contained.

Five militants killed in military clashes, Sulu

Five suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and another has been captured amid clashes with the military in the Sulu province. The Filipino armed forces encountered the ASG militants in the early hours of the morning in Omar town on Capual Island. Seven high-powered weapons were also seized by the security forces. 

Four soldiers wounded in rebel clashes, Surigao del Norte

Four Filipino soldiers have been wounded in recent clashes with rebels of the New People's Army (NPA) in the Surigao del Norte area. The NPA rebels alleged clashed with military troops in Barangay Mat-i in a 15-minute gunfight, from which the rebels fled with several wounded rebels. According to local villagers, the rebels then ambushed the military forces - wounding four soldiers before escaping. President Duterte recently prematurely ended a ceasefire - which had been agreed last year - over allegations that the rebels had violated the temporary peace agreement several times throughout January.

Grenade attack targets Lamitan Hospital

A grenade attack has targeted Lamitan Hospital in Basilan. No casualties occurred as the grenade hit an abandoned building of the Lamitan District Emergency Hospital, however there are significant material damages. Investigations are underway - authorities suspect that militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were behind the attack, as ASG militants often employ random acts of violence to terrorise local communities. 

Three rebels killed in military clashes, Northern Mindanao

Three Communist rebels of the New People's Army (NPA) have been killed in recent clashes with the Filipino government forces in Northern Mindanao. The clashes occurred in the Bukidnon area of Northern Mindanao. President Duterte announced today that the governemnt was prematurely ending the ceasefire with the rebel forces due to allegations of NPA violation of the ceasefire throughout January. The conflict broke out just hours after the announcement. No government military casualties have been reported.

President Duterte ends ceasefire with Communist rebels

President Duterte has pulled out of the ceasefire with the Communist rebels. Duterte claims that the rebels have already violated the ceasefire  throughout January - killing at least seven Filipino soldiers in clashes. The Communist rebels deny these allegations and announced that they planned to formally end the ceasefire on 10 February, however Duterte has prematurely ended the ceasefire over the disagreement.

Two killed, two wounded in drive-by shooting, North Catobato

Two people have been killed and two others have been wounded in a drive-by shooting incident in North Catobato. The assailant opened fire on two targets - who they shot dead as they rode past on a motorcycle in the Mlang area. A passer-by and a policeman were also wounded in the incident. The assailant has been detained and will face charges of murder.

Three explosions target mayor, Eastern Visayas

Three explosions have targeted the Mayor of Samar in Eastern Visayas. Two bombs were detonated at properties belonging to the mayor in the San Jorge area of Samar, and a third explosive was thrown at the mayor's main residence in Barangoy Mancol. The assailants are believed to have been riding past on a motorcycle - which they managed to escape quickly on. No suspects have been identified as of yet. While the mayor was not harmed by the explosions, a security guard and a policeman were both wounded. Investigations are ongoing.

Filipino Communist rebels to end ceasefire

Filipino Communist rebels have announced a decision to end the ceasefire with the Filipino military on Friday 10 February. The ceasefire was agreed in August 2016 on the condition that both sides would negotiate the release of political prisoners allegedly held by the Filipino Army. The Filipino military have claimed that the Communist rebels have already violated the ceasefire agreement, with an alleged nine incidents since 28 January. It is possible that the Filipino military may preemptively retaliate to the perceived violation of the ceasefire agreement by the rebels.

Drug suspect killed in police shootout, Central Visayas

A drug suspect has been killed in a shootout with Filipino police forces in Central Visayas. The shootout occurred in Barangay Cambanay in Danao City of Central Visayas, after police responded to reports of two armed suspects in the area. The police intercepted the armed suspects - who appeared to be drug dealers. The gunfight alleged broke out after one of the suspects opened fire on the police forces. Filipino police officials have stated that this was a routine police response call, and not an anti-narcotics operation - which have currently been suspended amid corruption scandals.

Five killed, nine wounded in military clashes, Sulu

Five Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and nine others - including two Filipino soldiers - have been wounded in clashes between the military and ASG militants in the Sulu province. Filipino troops of the Scout Ranger division of the army had been patrolling an area in Panamao town in the southern hinterlands of Sulu when they encountered a large ASG force. The ASG militants engaged in a gunfight with the military troops, attempting to flee after half an hour. The Filipino troops have been pursuing all-put operations against the ASG in a determined effort to release 27 hostages held by the militant group.

Filipino soldier kidnapped on peace-keeping mission in Surigao del Norte

A Filipino soldier of the Peace and Development Team (PDT) of the Philippine Army has been kidnapped during peace-keeping missions in the Surigao del Norte area. It is believed that the solder was abducted by 15 members of the New People's Army (NPA) from Barangay Budlingin in the Alegria area of Surigao del Norte. The NPA armed rebel group allegedly flagged down the troops and forcibly took one of the higher ranking soldiers. The NPA is associated with the National Democratic Front (NDF) political wing, however neither the NPA or NDF have commented on the incident or made any demands.

Suspension of counter-terrorism units to cleanse internal corruption

The Filipino police chief has announced a suspension of the counter-terrorism units to allow for the thorough cleansing of internal corruption. The suspension was decided after the families of victims killed by police officials protested for justice. One of the victims was a South Korean businessman who was allegedly kidnapped and killed by anti-narcotics police. It is generally believed that President Duterte's hardline approach to his 'war on drugs' has influenced police forces to carry out extrajudicial killings - particularly in anti-narcotics and anti-terror operations. 

Two children killed, three wounded in bombing, Basilan

Two children have been killed and three more have been wounded in a roadside bombing incident in the Basilan province. The incident occurred on Sunday in the Danapah village in the Al-Barka area of Basilan. The five children had reportedly been playing in the area when one of them tripped on a half-buried Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Police officials have stated that it is likely that the IED was planted along the trail by militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). It's believed the ASG use the strategy of planting IEDs to terrorise local communities who are not sympathetic to the terror group's cause.

Former radio star killed in drive-by shooting, Calabarzon

A former radio star has been killed in a drive-by shooting incident in the Calabarzon area. The incident occurred in the Barangay Daang Amaya II area on Saturday, when two armed assailants on motorcycles opened fire as they rode past the victim and his wife. The victim's wife was wounded in the attack and rushed to hospital. Police investigations are underway, with the case being treated as targeted killing. This is the second killing of a radio personality within two months - marking the significant increase in gun-related crime since President Duterte took leadership.

Fifteen militants killed in airstrikes, Lanao del Sur

At least 15 militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been killed in recent airstrikes conducted by the Filipino armed forces. The Filipino military conducted the airstrikes using new FA-50 fighter jets to target known positions held by the ASG and Maute group militants in the Butig area of Lanao del Sur. The Filipino Armed Forces have confirmed that the slain militants have been identified to be members of the ASG and Maute groups, and are likely to have provided a variety of services to the militant groups, including bomb experts, recruiters and religious advisers. Ground operations are ongoing. Military officials have confirmed that no ASG hostages or other civilians were caught up in the operations.

Four militants killed, one wounded in military operations, Lanao del Sur

Four militants have been killed an a militant leader has been wounded in military operations carried out in southern Lanao del Sur province. The operations were a combined effort from air and ground military forces to target a militant leader, identified as Isnilon Hapilon, in the mountainous hinterlands of Butig town in Lanao del Sur. Hapilon managed to escape the assault alive, but wounded. The militant leader is suspected of attempting to establish a new base for an Islamic State-loyalist militant alliance. The militants are believed to be associated with the Islamist Maute group. Military troops have continued their pursuit of Hapilon - those in the area should vacate the vicinity to avoid encountering the violent clashes. 

Mayor's consultant killed in shooting, Cagayan

A consultant of the Mayor of Santa Ana has been killed in a shooting in the town of Cagayan. Oscar Onate was shot dead by two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle in the Visitacion village area of Cagayan. It is believed that the gunmen targeted Onate and followed him to Cagayan quarry site - which he had been inspecting - where they allegedly spoke with him before they shot him. Investigators suspect that Onate may have known his killers. Police investigations are underway.

Four killed in police anti-drug operations, Maguindanao

Four people have been killed in ant-drug operations carried out by the Filipino police forces in the Ampatuan area of Maguindanao. The former Mayor of Ampataun Rasul Sangki was targeted by the Filipino police in an anti-narcotics operation. The former mayor is currently a fugitive in the Philippines due to his alleged involvement with drug activity. Sangki's company allegedly opened fire on the police forces, prompting a shootout in which four of Sangki's aides were killed. No police casualties have been reported. Sangki's group reportedly fled the scene once police air support arrived. The killings come amid an international cry of outrage challenging President Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs' and alleged influencing of the police forces to carry out extrajudicial killings.

Supreme Court case challenges President Duterte's 'war on drugs'

A Supreme Court case has been filed against the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects carried out by the Filipino police amidst President Duterte's 'war on drugs'. Families of drug suspects who have been killed in anti-narcotics operations have filed a case with the Supreme Court which will challenge Duterte's hardline approach to drugs. Families - supported by human rights groups - have demanded that the police provide adequate proof that each suspect was actively involved in drug activity. The police have claimed that in each incident, the suspects opened fire on the police forces - leading to fatal shootouts. However, this explanation is not widely accepted, and the lack of police casualties in such incidents has raised suspicion, leading to theories that the killings were pre-planned. More than 7,000 suspects have been killed in drug-related incidents within the last seven months. Duterte's government continues to deny involvement with extrajudicial killings and assassinations.

Key homicide witness shot dead, Bacolod

A key witness in a homicide case has been shot dead in the Granada area of Bacolod city. The victim had been a key witness in a recent murder case - in which his statement implicated a dismissed police officer and a standing police officer along with three other suspects. The victim had allegedly attempted to retract his statement after receiving death threats, however the police refused and the victim left unprotected. It's believed that the victim was shot in the head as he was getting out of the shooter's car in Granada. Police investigations are underway, with the victim's killer suspected to be one of the five suspects identified by the victim in his statement. Shooting incidents have increased significantly in the Bacolod area recently - causing many to be concerned over the city's law enforcement.

Two killed, seven wounded in drive-by shootings, Bacolod

Two people have been killed and seven others have been wounded in two drive-by shooting incidents in Bacolod city. The first incident took place on Tuesday evening in Barangay 28, when three people alighted from a motorcycle and were shot at by two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle. One victim was shot dead, while another died in hospital. The third victim has been left wounded, along with a bystander. The second incident occurred in Barangay 2, when a group of people playing a card game were shot at by two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle. Five people have been left wounded from the incident - two of whom had previously surrendered to police rehabilitation programs for those involved in drug activity. Police investigations are underway, with officers looking into links between the two cases, as both assailants wore bonnets, rode a motorcycle and used a 0.45mm pistol. It remains uncertain if the incidents were drug-related.

Three killed in shooting, Cagayan Valley

Three people have been killed in a shooting incident in the Isabela area of the Cagayan Valley. Two unknown gunmen approached the residence of the three victims on motorcycles, before dismounting and storming the property. Two people were shot dead at the scene, while the third died from his wounds in hospital. One of the victims had previously surrendered to Filipino police for the sale of unlawful drug medication. Police investigations are underway. It remains unknown if drug activity was involved in the incident.

Public transport drivers to take nationwide strike action

Public transport drivers have announced that 'Jeepney' drivers will take nationwide strike action on Monday 06 February. Jeepneys are a traditional Filipino mode of public transport, which operate in a similar system to public buses. Approximately 74,000 Jeepney drivers will participate in the strike, which will protest against the government's plans to modernise and phaseout old Jeepneys. Drivers claim that the required engine renovations and potential purchases of new hybrid or electric Jeepneys could cost franchises up to 1.6 million pesos. Metro Manila is expected to be worst hit by the strike, with significant travel disruption anticipated. Travellers should avoid large demonstrations, as protests can become violent very quickly.

Four drug suspects killed in police operations, Central Visayas

Four drug suspects have been killed in anti-narcotics operations carried out by the Filipino police in the Central Visayas area. Two operations were conducted by the same team in the Aloguinsan and Minglanilla districts on Tuesday evening. In the first operation, an undercover policemen met with two suspects to trick them into a drug deal in the Barangay Saragosa area of Aloguinsan. One of the suspects allegedly realised the person they were dealing with was with the police, and opened fire. The two suspects were killed in the shootout. The team then moved to Barangay Pakigne in Minglanilla to carry out an arrest warrant, when two suspects allegedly resisted arrest and opened fire on the police - leading to a second fatal shootout. No police casualties have been reported. Concerns have risen recently, that Filipino police forces have been encouraged by President Duterte to carry out extrajudicial killings amid Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs'.

Two wounded in shooting, Western Visayas

Two teenagers have been wounded in a shooting in the Cadiz area of Western Visayas. The incident took place on Monday, near Cabahug street, when the victims attended a school reunion. Another teenager opened fire on the victims with an improvised shotgun before fleeing the scene. Police have detained the suspect, and believe his motive was jealousy - after seeing an ex-girlfriend with one of the victims.

Three drug suspects killed in anti-narcotics operations, Metro Manila

Three drug suspects have been killed in recent anti-narcotics operations in the National Capital Region of Metropolitan Manila. Police forces were serving arrest warrants to the three suspects in the Vista Verde Subdivision Brgy. 167 in the Llano area of Caloocan city in Metro Manila, when the incident occurred. One of the suspects allegedly resisted arrest and opened fire on the police forces, prompting a shootout in which all three suspects were killed. Concerns have risen in recent months, that the Filipino police forces have been encouraged to carry out extrajudicial killings amidst President Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs'.

Earthquake detected in Davao Occidental

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has been detected approximately 172 kilometres south-east of Sarangani town in the Davao Occidental. The earthquake occurred at 01:17 local time on Saturday, at a depth of 98 kilometres. A report from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology stated that the earthquake was thought to have been tectonic in origin, and that no aftershocks are expected, and no tsunami warning will be issued. No casualties or damages have been reported. Earthquakes frequently occur in the Philippines due to the area's proximity to the seismically active 'Ring of Fire' around the Pacific plate.

Three fishermen kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group off Tawi-Tawi

Three Indonesian fishermen have been kidnapped by militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the waters off Taganak Island in the Taw-Tawi area. Coastguards and military officials have recently confirmed that ASG gunmen approached on a speedboat and intercepted the Malaysian-flagged fishing boat in the waters near Taganak Island at around 17:30 on Wednesday afternoon. The fishermen alerted the coastguard as soon as they saw the speedboat on its approach, however by the time the coastguard arrived, the fishing boat was empty and had been abandoned. The gunmen are believed to0 have taken the hostages towards the Sulu area - where the ASG are believed to have many hideouts and hostage-holding facilities. Those travelling by boat in the Filipino waters should be aware of the high risk of piracy attacks, robbery or kidnap by ASG militants.

Protests against US politics to take place in Manila

Protests have been scheduled to take place outside the US Embassy in Manila on Friday 20 January. The demonstration - organised by the leftist Bagong Alyangsan Makabayan group - will protest against the inauguration of US president-elect, Donald Trump - due to take place tomorrow. The protest is expected to start sometime between 10:00 and 13:00 and has no set end time. Up to a thousand people are estimated to participate in the protest, with Filipino police forces planning to station security personnel at key points throughout the city. It is possible that a mass protest against western politics in a city where there is already a significant risk of terrorist attack, may attract acts of militancy or violence. Travellers have been advised to avoid the large crowds and to expect severe travel disruption through the city.

Three drug suspects killed in Luzon

Three drug suspects have been killed in three separate incidents across the Luzon province. On suspect was shot dead by two unknown assailants on a motorcycle in . Two unidentified assailants also killed a second suspect in Plaridel, and a third suspect in the Bulacan area. The gunmen allegedly left a piece of paper at one of the shootings, which identified the target as a drug user and a robber. Police claim they have not identified the assailants yet, and have assumed all three incidents to be connected. Concern have risen recently that the police have been encouraged by President Duterte to carry out, and organise, extrajudicial killings amidst Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs'. 

Two kidnap hostages rescued by Filipino troops

Two Filipino nationals have been rescued by Filipino troops after they were kidnapped and held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The two hostages were rescued by two divisions of the Joint Task Force Sulu in the Barangay Tagbak area of Indanan town in the Sulu province. The hostages have been debriefed and the security troops have confirmed that the hostages were kidnapped by the ASG in October 2016, from the waters off Pangutaran in the Sulu province. The hostages were rescued as they were being transferred to an area in Parang Town and were intercepted by police forces. Both have received medical checks and are in stable health. Travellers should be aware of the continued high risk of kidnap in the Sulu area and the surrounding waters.

One missing as cargo vessel capsizes off Leyte coast

One person remains missing after a cargo vessel has capsized off the coast of Leyte. The ship sank in the water near Dawahon Island between the Bohol and Leyte province on Tuesday evening. Twenty-eight crew members were rescued from lifeboats by three other nearby vessels, and brought to the Coast Guard station in Cebu City. The ship reportedly lost balance after 160 20-foot containers collapsed, causing the vessel to start listing on the portside. Rescue operations to locate the missing crew member are underway.

Five dead, three missing in flash floods, Zamboanga

Five people have been killed and three people remain missing amid flash floods hitting the Zamboange del Norte area. The area was recently advised to evacuate ahead of severe weather warnings of heavy rainfall across the region - leading to the evacuation and temporary relocation of around 1,500 people to flood shelters. Of those missing, one is thought to be a seven-year-old boy. It has been estimated that many low-lying areas have experienced flood waters of up to six metres in depth. The heavy rainfall is expected to continue for the next few days.

One killed, one wounded in knife attack, La Trinidad

One person has been killed and one other has been wounded in a knife attack at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post. The unknown assailant allegedly followed the victims before attacking them with a knife near the trading post. The assailant reportedly stabbed both victims repeatedly before fleeing the scene. Police have launched an investigation into determining the motive behind the attack, as well as a manhunt in the surrounding area to identify the attacker.

President Duterte orders bombing of militant groups

President Duterte has ordered the Filipino Armed Forces to bomb militant groups. Duterte has demanded that all militant groups who resist capture should be bombed. Supposedly, those who surrender will not be bombed, however there has been no promise that militants who surrender will be granted a fair trial. Furthermore, Duterte has shown no concern for the safety of the hostages - the loss of whom, he allegedly described as 'collateral damage'. Many have feared that Duterte has encouraged police forces and the armed forces to carry out extrajudicial killings in line with his hardline approach to militancy and drugs. 

South Korean hostage found dead in central Luzon

A South Korean male has been found dead in central Luzon, after he was kidnapped by policemen October 2016. The victim was kidnapped by three policemen and one former policeman under the pretense of a local drug investigation. The four kidnappers then continued to extort approximately five million pesos (USD100,000) from the victim's family in ransom demands. It has become clear however, that the victim was strangled to death not long after his abduction. South Korean officials have urged the Philippine government to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, and may demand compensation to the victim's family for the crime committed by Filipino government employees.

Thirteen people killed in flash floods

At least 13 people have been killed in flash floods cause by heavy rainfall across parts of the Philippines. The areas of Mindanao and Zamboanga are thought to have been worst affected by the flash floods, with all deaths coming from these areas. Over 5,000 people have been evacuated from Cagayan de Oro City, and the floods have caused extensive infrastructural damage to roads and buildings. Many main roads have been officially closed until further notice as they have become impassable. People have been advised to avoid unnecessary travel along smaller roads, tracks and pathways which may be dangerous. The heavy rain and floodwaters are beginning to subside, however travellers should expect severe disruption to public services, with limited transport options to continue for the next few days.

Philippines government issues note verbale to China

The Filipino government has issued a note verbale to China, detailing the Filipino government's complaint regarding China's alleged installation of defence weaponry on man-made islands in the strategically important South China Sea. China has reportedly installed anti-aircraft and anti-missile defences to guard against attack. The Philippines has issued the complaint as an informal way to notify China that the Philippines disagrees with the building up of weapons systems in the area, and to suggest an alternative procedure, without inciting a deterioration in diplomatic relations, or worse, war. 

Flooding causes suspension of public services, Cebu

Flooding in the Cebu province has causes a temporary suspension of public services. The Mayor announced the suspension on Monday morning - stating that the public schools would be closed until further notice, due to reports of rising levels of floodwater in some schools. The Mayor stated that more extensive suspensions will be in order should the flooding continue to worsen. Those in the area should be prepared for public transport suspensions and should listen to the local media and news outlets for updates.

One killed in drive-by shooting, Tuguegarao City

One man has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the Centro Uno village of Tuguegarao City. The victim was allegedly shot seven times by teo unidentified gunmen on motorcycles. Police suspect the incident could have been drug-related, due to the discovery of what is thought to be 'Shabu' (methamphetamine hydrochloride), and significant sums of cash in the victim's pockets. Police investigations are ongoing.

One killed, one wounded in roadside bomb explosion, Basilan

One person has been killed and another has been wounded in a bomb explosion in the Sabong village of Lamitan City in the Basilan province. Military and police officials have confirmed that the roadside landmine had been planted at the side of the Basilan circumferential road. Police believe the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) are behind the incident, as the group are thought to strongly oppose the concreting of the road, as it will make it easier for government troops to pursue them into their hideouts in the hinterlands of the Basilan province. Travellers have been advised to take extreme caution if visiting the Basilan area, as the risk of terrorism and kidnap is very high due to the presence of the ASG.

Five people killed over the weekend in Calabarzon shootings

Five people have been killed over the weekend in separate shootings across the Calabarzon area. Councilor Lauro Vicencio, an ex-Army soldier, was killed by an unknown assailant in the Baramgay Pantay Matanda area on Friday - the assailant allegedly introduced himself as an inspector of the Commission on Audit before he opened fire on Vicencio. Nearby, another man was shot dead in Malvar town. The victim was killed by two unidentified gunmen on motorcycles in a drive-by shooting on Friday. Another man was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in the Rizal area on Saturday evening - the assailants were confirmed to be two unknown gunmen on motorcycles. Also on Saturday evening, a man was killed by unidentified assailants in the Barangay Tanagan area of Calatagan in Batangas. Finally, another victim was shot dead by a lone, unidentified assailant in the Barangay Cotta area of Lucena City in Quezon. Police investigations are underway, with investigators treating the cases as unconnected. Those in the areas should be aware that five armed and dangerous assailants may be at large.

One killed, one wounded in shooting, Ilocos

One person has been killed and another has been wounded in a shooting in the Pangasinan district of the Ilocos region. The victims have been identified as a retired soldier and his wife. The ex-soldier was shot dead as his wife was wounded in a shooting carried out by unknown assailants in the Bayambang town of Pangasinan. The victims had allegedly been driving through the town on a motorcycle when gunmen overtook them in a four-wheel drive vehicle and shot them down. Police investigations are underway, however no motive has been determined as of yet and the perpetrators remain at large.

Three women killed in Bulacan province in last 24 hours

Three women have been killed in separate incidents in the Bulacan province within the last 24 hours. Two women have been shot dead in a drive-by shooting in the Plaridel area as an armed motorcyclists opened fire on the women in the early hours of the morning. A woman was also found decapitated and with multiple stab wounds in Santa Maria. Police investigations are underway to identify the perpetrators of the attacks, which are not though to be connected. The motives for the attacks also remain unknown.

Three drug suspects killed in police operations, Bulacan

Three drug suspects have been killed in anti-drug operations carried out by the police in the cities of Malolos and San Jose del Monte. Two suspects were killed in a police drug operation in the San Jose del Monte area late Thursday evening - one of which has been identified as a confirmed drug suspect. Another man has been killed in anti-drug operations carried out in Malolos. The suspect allegedly engaged in a gunfight with police forces during a raid. The man has also been identified as a confirmed drug suspect. Concerns have risen recently in the Philippines that police forces have been encouraged to carry out extrajudicial killings in anti-drug operations as part of President Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs'.

One killed, four wounded in anti-terror operations, Basilan

One Filipino military officer has been killed and four other soldiers have been wounded in recent anti-terror operations carried out by the Filipino armed forces in the town of Sumisip in the Basilan province. The military forces of the Army's 19th Special Forces Company and the 4th Special Forces Battalion had been pursuing Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants in the Cabcaban area of Sumisip town when the gunfight broke out. Reinforcement was called in from the 64th Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion to block potential ASG escape routes. It remains unknown how many casualties the ASG suffered.

Abu Sayyaf Group release hostage video

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has released a hostage video, threatening to kill German citizen Jurgen Kantner. The video allegedly features Kantner standing in a dug-out grave, as ASG militants surround him, holding up an Islamic State flag. The militants reportedly threaten the German government to adhere to the ransom demands made by the ASG, or they will behead Kantner. The ASG kidnapped Kantner from his yacht in the southern Sulu waters in November 2016. Kantner's wife was killed during the incident. The ASG are believed to be holding 15 hostages altogether, including seven Filipino citizens, five Malaysian citizens, two Indonesian citizens and one German citizen (Kantner).

Village chief killed in shooting, Ilocos

A village chief has been killed in a shooting in the Pangasinan area of the Ilocos region. The victim, Rolando Mejia, had been the village chief of Barangay Calaocan in San Nicolas town, eastern Pangasinan. Mejia had parked his motorcycle to take a call when another motorcyclist driving by and opened fire on him. Investigators believe the assailant then got of his motorbike to shoot Mejia several more times to make sure he was dead. Police believe the attack was a targeted killing and have launched a manhunt for the perpetrator.

Street vendor killed in shooting, Central Visayas

A street vendor has been killed in a shooting in Cebu City of Central Visayas. Two unidentified armed men shot the cigarette vendor in the Colon Saint area of Cebu City. The assailants are thought to have been on a motorcycle and managed to flee the scene following the incident. The victim was reportedly notorious among the police for gun-related criminal activity - leading investigators to suspect the attack was gang-related. 

Bomb scare near National Police headquarters, Quezon City

A fake bomb has been discovered by street cleaners in a street bin near the National Police headquarters in the Camp Crame area of Quezon City. The package reportedly resembled a dynamite bomb with wiring and a timer, prompting concern the package could detonate at any moment. The bomb was removed by the Filipino Explosives and Ordnance Division (EOD), who were called to the scene. It has since been confirmed that the package, although designed to look like a bomb, contained no explosive material no digital wiring was connected. A chief officer of the EOD stated that the fake bomb was similar to props used in police training exercises and that the incident would be investigated by the Quezon City Police District as a bomb scare.

Two ex-policemen killed in anti-drug operations, Davao del Norte

Two former policemen have been killed in anti-drug operations carried out by the Filipino police forces in the Carmen area of Davao del Norte. The ex-policemen were allegedly involved in illegal drug activity and had been on the police's High Value Targets (HVTs) list for a while. The suspects allegedly resisted arrest by opening fire on the police forces - prompting a fatal shootout. The incident is the second of its kind in which former police officers have been killed in the Davao del Norte area. The increased frequency of drug suspects being killed in alleged arrest operations has raised concerns that President Duterte's hardline 'war on drugs' has encouraged the police to target individuals with little evidence and to perform extrajudicial killings. 

Eight fishermen killed in piracy attack off Zamboanga coast

Eight fisherman have been killed in a piracy attack off the coast of the Zamboanga peninsula. Five armed men allegedly attacked the fishing boat as it was operating near the island of Laud Siromon off the Zamboanga peninsula. While eight crew members were killed, seven others managed to escape by jumping overboard and swimming to the nearby island. The attackers managed to flee on the vessel -  coastguards have since launched a search in the area. It is suspected that Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants were behind the attack, as the surrounding waters have become notoriously dangerous due to their activity in the area. The incident has come as the Filipino security forces have been ordered to end Islamist militancy and piracy within six months. The ASG have not yet commented on the incident, or claimed the attack.

Earthquake detected in Celebes Sea

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has been detected off the coast of the Philippines in the Celebes Sea. The earthquake occurred at 06:13 UTC with a depth of approximately 380 miles. The epicentre of the quake was located 138 southeast of the Sulu province of the Philippines. It is believed that the earthquake was set off by the movement of oceanic plates along the Cotabato trench, approximately 378 miles under the seabed. Due to the deepness of the earthquake, no damages or casualties have been reported and no tsunami warning has been issued, however experts have advised people to anticipate aftershock tremors. 

Earthquake detected near Laoag City, Ilocos

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake has been detected near Laoag City in the Ilocos region. The earthquake occurred at 09:20 UTC, with a depth of 27km. According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the earthquake was thought to have originated from a tectonic shift. No major damage or casualties have been reported and there has reportedly been no cause for tsunami concerns, although some small aftershock tremors may be experienced.

Two militants killed in police operations, Central Mindanao

Two militants have been killed following an incident in the central region of the Mindanao Island. Police forces had allegedly been carrying out search operations for members of the militant Ansarul Khilafa Philippines (AKP) in the central region, when two suspected militants resisted arrest by throwing a grenade at the security personnel - who responded to the attack with deadly fire. One of the militants has been reported to be a foreign militant - indicating the AKP are receiving assistance, or instruction, from foreign militant groups.

Thousands evacuated amid tropical storm, Siargao Island

Over 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on Siargao Island as a tropical storm has hit the island. Tropical storm 'Auring' is expected to move westwards over the next 24 hours, covering the central and southern islands surrounding the main southern island of Mindanao. All southern islands have been advised to prepare for evacuations if necessary. Winds of up to 44mph have been predicted, and the islands have also been warned that the storm will raise the likelihood of flash floods as heavy rains are brought in over the archipelago. Sea travel has also been suspended by the government in some areas. The tropical storm is expected to leave the islands by Tuesday 10 January. Until then, local residents and travellers in the area should remain cautious, follow the advice of local authorities and avoid unnecessary travel unless they have been advised to evacuate.

Traslacion of the Black Nazarene procession takes place, Manila

The annua Traslacion of the Black Nazarene is taking place today through Manila. The procession has recently been the subject of terror threats, prompting security forces to enforce strict security measures throughout thr city. Access to the capital city has been strictly regulated by security checkpoints, and all mobile signal has been turned off, to prevent mobile communications being used by terror networks to coordinate an attack. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in the procession, which has occurred without incident so far. Travellers have been advised to expect severe travel and communication disruption int he city, and should aoid large demonstrations where possible.

High risk of terror threat to Black Nazarene procession, Manila

A high risk of terror threat has been issued in advance of the Black Nazarene procession, scheduled to take place on Monday 09 January in Manila. Intelligence has reportedly been received by government officials that terror threats have been made toward the procession. People should expect major road closures, severe travel disruption and increased security presence throughout the city. Travelelrs have been advised to avoid large crowds and to follow the advice of local authorities.

Drug suspect killed in anti-drug operation, Eastern Visayas

A drug suspect has been killed in recent anti-drug operations carried out by the Filipino police in the town of Macrohon in the Eastern Visayas area. Police forces were undertaking a drug raid operation when the suspect opened fire on police officers and started a shootout. Incidents in which drug suspects have been shot down have increased recently, raising concerns that the police have been performing extrajudicial killings in line with President Duterte's hardline approach to his 'war on drugs'.

Four drug suspects killed in police operations, Central Luzon

Four drug suspects have been killed in undercover anti-drug operations carried out by the Filipino police forces in the Barangay Bagbaguin area of Pandi in the Bulacan district of Central Luzon province. The policemen allegedly attempted to arrest the suspects after they sold drugs to an undercover policeman, however a shootout broke out which resulted in the killing of the four suspects. Incidents such as this have become increasingly common in the Philippines, as extrajudicial killings appear to be unofficially supported by President Duterte's hardline approach to the country's 'war on drugs'.

Militants attack Army detachment, 130 residents evacuated

Militants have attacked an Army detachment in the Zamboanga del Norte province, prompting the evacuation of at least 130 residents from the nearby area. Heavily armed militants allegedly attacked a detachment of the Filipino Army's 42nd Infantry Battalion in the Barangay San Vicente area. The militants are believed to have been rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), however no one from the MILF group has commented on the incident, or claimed responsibility for the attack. The residents have been temporarily transferred to the government gymnasium in the town of Sirawai. No civilian, militant or military casualties have been reported so far.

Terror suspect killed in police operations, Sarangani

A top terror suspect has been killed and three others have been arrested in counter-terrorism operations carried out by the Filipino police forces in the town of Kiamba in the Saragani province. Counter-terrorism police officers had been arresting four terror suspects when one of the detainees allegedly resisted arrest - resulting in his death as he was shot dead by police officers. The dead suspect has been identified as a top leader of the Islamic State-loyalist 'Ansar Al Khilafah Philippines' militant group. Counter-terrorism operations are often violent and deadly in the Philippines due to President Duterte's hardline approach - which has raised concerns recently over the state of corruption within the Filipino security forces due to an increase in alleged extrajudicial killings.

Drug suspect killed in drive-by shooting, Western Visayas

A major drug suspect has been killed by six unidentified assailants on motorcycles in a drive-by shooting in the Barangay Lalong area of Calatrava town in Western Visayas. Principles Vicera, 36-years-old, was the top drug suspect on the local police's drugs target list.  Police are currently investigating gang-related motives behind the attack. However, some reports have speculated that the killing may have been orchestrated by hitmen commissioned by the government as part of President Duterte's 'war on drugs'.

Five killed, three wounded in anti-drug operations, Central Luzon

At least five drug suspects have been killed and three police officers have been wounded in anti-drug operations carried out by the Filipino police forces in the Camiling area of Tarlac in Central Luzon. Police officers had a warrant for Enrico Gil Magarde's arrest for possession of firearms, explosives and illegal drugs. Magarde and his accomplices opened fire on the police forces when they raided his hideout in the Barangay Cacamilingan Norte in Camiling. Police forces often undertake anti-drug operations in the province - which can often become violent.

Abu Sayyaf Group suspect killed in military operation, Basilan

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) suspect has been killed in military operations carried out by the Filipino Army in the Barangay Sapah Bulak area in Sumisip, Basilan. Military officials have confirmed that soldiers conducted an operation in which military forces clashed with the group of militants - believed to be associated with the ASG. The clash led to the death of one militant, whilst the rest of the militant group fled. People in the area should be aware of the high risk of violence whilst counter-terrorism operations are being carried out by the military.

Six killed, 150 prisoners escaped in Mindanao jailbreak

Six prisoners have been killed and approximately 150 other have escaped during a jailbreak at North Cotabato District Jail near Kidapwan city on Mindanao island. A group of gunmen allegedly opened fire on the prison, starting a gunfight which would last two hours. In the confusion, prisoners stacked bedding against the back wall of the prison in order to escape. Most escapees are throught to be opportunists, however police suspect the attack was staged by Islamist rebels as a distraction to free a number of jailed rebels. The police have launched a joint searching-operation with the Filipino military to hunt down the escapee prisoners in the surrounding area. Those in the surrounding area should be cautious of dangerous criminals on the loose and have been advised to report an suspicious sightings to the local authorities.

Attempted seajacking foiled by Filipino Navy, Basilan

An attempted seajacking has been foiled by the Filipino Navy off the coast of Basilan. The incident occurred near the Sibago island - where the Navy responded to distress calls of a hijacking attempt from the ship. Six armed militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) had been attempting to hijack a container vessel on its way from Zamboanga City to Davao City. The ASG militants aborted the hijacking attempt and are thought to have fled towards the Moro Gulf. No casualties have been reported and the 28-member crew has been praised for quick thinking and vigilance in alerting the Navy to the incident. Ships and crew have been advised to take extreme caution when travelling these routes, as the ASG is known for attacking ships sporadically throughout the waters in the Basilan, Zamboanga and Sulu areas.

Dozens wounded in IED explosions, Leyte

At least 33 people have been wounded as two Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs) exploded during a boxing match in the town of Hilongos in the central province of Leyte. It is believed the assailants detonated the IEDs from mobile phones and fled the scene. The boxing match was part of Roman Catholic holiday festival celebrations, and is the second attack of its kind on civilians within the last week, after a bomb attack wounded 16 people on Christmas Eve. Police investigations have found no evidence to link the attacks, however it is suspected that a separate group of Islamic militants were behind the boxing match attack. Travellers to the Philippines have been advised to take extreme caution during the Christmas and New Year holiday season.


Seven wounded in roadside bombing, North Cotabato

Seven people have been wounded in a roadside bombing in the Barangay Pahangan area of Aleosan town in North Cotabato. Two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were remotely detonated on the Davao-Cotabato highway as a hauler truck passed by. The driver, the driver's helper, and five hitchhikers they had picked up were all wounded by shrapnel from the IEDs. The Islamic State-loyalist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are thought to be behind the attack, as such incidents are often attributed to the outlawed BIFF militants.

Dozens wounded in bomb explosions, Leyte province

At least 33 people have been wounded in two bomb explosions at an amateur boxing match in the town of Hilongos in the Leyte province. The boxing match had been part of an annual Roman Catholic holiday festival celebration. Th assailants were thought to have detonated the bombs via mobile phones, and managed to flee the scene unidentified. Police investigators believe the perpetrators may have been Islamic extremists targeting Catholicism - a minority religion in the Philippines. 

Sixteen wounded in church bombing, North Cotabato

At least 16 people have been wounded in a church bombing in the North Cotabato province. Two armed assailants allegedly threw a grenade at the Catholic Sto. Niño church in Midsayap town, North Cotabato province. Police investigations believe that the attack was intended to target police officers who had been near the church at the time. 

Storm Nina to develop into a typhoon

Storm Nina is predicted to intensify and develop into a typhoon. The typhoon is expected to hit north-eastern island of Catanduanes by Christmas Day. The town of Virac has been predicted to be particularly effected by the severe weather conditions, as the Filipino government has issued an imminent threat of danger to the area. Travellers have been advised to avoid all but necessary travel and to stay away from the coastal areas. 

Four drug suspects killed in police operations, Calabarzon

Four drug suspects have been killed in police operations in Calamba City in the Calabarzon region. Anti-narcotics police were carrying out raids and making arrests when the suspects opened fire on the police forces  and prompting a fatal shoot out. The police forces seized a cache of weapons and a large supply of narcotic drugs from the property. No civilian or police casualties have been reported.

Avoid all unnecessary travel to the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea

The US Embassy has issued a travel warning to avoid all unnecessary travel to the Sulu Archipelago and the southern Sulu Sea. The warning has been issued amidst the increasing risk of kidnap and piracy from the militant Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) - who have a significant prominence in the area. Since January 2016, at least 13 separate cases of kidnap have been reported in the area. Most recently, four Filipino fisherman are feared kidnapped by the ASG near the southern Sulu Sea, when their vessel was found abandoned and stripped of radio or GPS equipment. 

Four Filipino fishermen feared kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group

Four Filipino fishermen are feared to have been kidnapped by militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Celebes Sea off the coast of Sulu. The Filipino military have undertaken immediate searched for the four missing fishermen after reports came in of an abandoned vessel, found in the Celebes Sea. Two crewmen, a skipper and a mechanic are missing and the vessel's radio and GPS equipment were also gone - prompting concerns that the men had been kidnapped. The Sulu province and surrounding waters have been an ASG stronghold with frequent incidents occurring. Search operations are being conducted in the Sulu province - where ASG militants are known to be holding other hostages in jungle encampments.

Two killed, seven wounded in shootings, Bacolod

Two people have been killed and seven others have been wounded in shootings in Bacolod City. The first incident occurred in the Barangay 28 area - where two people were shot at and killed, and two others were wounded by two gunmen on a motorcycle. The second incident occurred a matter of mere minutes later in Barangay 2 - where five people were wounded by two gunmen on a motorcycle. Police are investigating links between the two shootings, as witnesses' descriptions of the gunmen correspond and the same type of gun was used in both cases. Those in the area should be on high alert as the gunmen remain loose in the city and are armed and dangerous.

One killed in drive by shooting, Bicol

A newspaper publisher has been killed in a drive by shooting in the Catanduanes area of Bicol province. The victim had recently published an article criticising the government's carelessness in allowing a meth lab to operate from the province, when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire on the publisher. The assailant managed to escape from the scene and has not been identified as of yet. It has been reported that pro-government or Chinese criminals could be responsible for the attack if the motive is found to be related to the recently published article - which criticised the government and local Chinese residents as being responsible for meth labs operating from the area.

One wounded in explosion, Basilan

One person has been wounded in an explosion in the village of Sabong near Lamitan City in the Basilan province. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was detonated near a family farm. Filipino police have attributed the IED explosion to militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), as it is believed the ASG have been trying to target vehicles and soldiers patrolling the area. Local residents and travellers should be aware of the increasing risk of violent clashes in the area, between the Filipino security forces and the ASG.

One killed, eight arrested in anti-drug operations, Davao del Norte

One drug suspect has been killed and eight others have been arrested in anti-drug operations carried out by Filipino security forces in the Santo Thomas area of the Davao del Norte province. Search operations were carried out by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office Public Safety Command - resulting in the arrests of nine suspects. One of the detained suspects was killed when he attempted to break free and opened fire on the security forces. The seized drugs are being analysed by the laboratory service of the PDEA-Davao for quantitative and qualitative assessment, with current street value estimations of around PHP1.9 million (GBP30,000 or USD38,000).

Strengthened security against Abu Sayyaf militants in Sulu province

The Filipino police and military forces have announced that strengthened security measures will be deployed for health workers in the Sulu province, as a precautionary measure against the threat of kidnap from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Approximately 7,000 security personnel have been deployed to the area, where the ASG have been holding at least 23 hostages ransom.

Three drug suspects killed in drive-by shooting, Laguna

Three drug suspects have been killed in a drive-by shooting in the Barangay Aplaya area of Santa Rosa City in the Laguna province. The drug suspects were shot down in front of a store by four assailants on motorcycles. The three drug suspects were on Police watchlists and were also believed to have been involved in robberies. The assailants managed to escape from the scene, with Police investigations underway. It is suspected that the killing was a result of inter-gang violence.

Two drug suspects killed, three arrested, Central Luzon

Two drug suspects have been killed, and three others have been arrested in separate incidents in Central Luzon province. The suspects have both been identified as top drug suspects wanted by the police. Jovette Talens was killed in the village of Niyugan during a raid carried out as part of a joint operation between the Public Order, the Safety Battalion and the Provincial Intelligence Bureau. Reagan Ligon Mesde was also killed during a raid on his house - Mesde's brother and two others were also arrested. Weapons have been seized and no civilian or security forces casualties have been reported. Travellers in the Philippines have been advised to anticipate intense clashes between security forces and drug criminals.

Foreign terrorists being harboured by ASG and Maute group, Mindanao

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the militant Maute group in the Philippines are believed to be harbouring foreign terrorists in southern and central Mindanao. A Filipino military official confirmed the information today, however it has not yet been confirmed how many foreign terrorist groups the military believe are being harboured in the areas. Ground forces have been deployed on clearing operations to neutralise the opposition before the threat further develops. Travellers have been advised to avoid areas affected by the conflict between Filipino militant groups and the Philippines government - particularly the Mindanao and Sulu areas, where the ASG frequently operates and there is high risk of kidnap.

Police security to increase over the holiday season

The Philippine National Police has confirmed that there will be intensified police security in main towns and cities during the holidays season. Crowded public places such as churches, malls, ports, markets and public transport terminals will be secured with strengthened security measures. Travellers should expect frequent security checkpoints and should ensure they are always carrying the appropriate travel documents.

Abu Sayyaf release two hostages, Sulu

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has released two hostages to the Filipino military forces in the region of Sulu. The returned hostages have been identified as 62-year-old Mohammad Nazer and 32-year-old Robin Peter - who are the last of seven crew members to be released after they were kidnapped in June 2016. The Filipino military has attributed the ASG's decision to release the victims to President Duterte's hardline approach to exterminating the ASG militants. Mohammad and Peter have been transferred for medical examination.

Thirteen killed, 27 wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf, Patikul

At least 13 people have been killed and 27 others have been wounded in clashes between the Filipino military forces and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants. The military engaged in an almost two-hour-long firefight with approximately 150 ASG militants in the Patikul village of the Sulu province. The ASG were thought to have suffered 10 fatalities and six casualties, whilst the military are thought to have suffered three fatalities and 21 casualties. President Duterte has ordered a strict approach to exterminating the ASG forces in the Philippines - which has resulted in various violent clashes across the country. Travellers have been advised to avoid ASG stronghold areas, such as the Sulu province, as there is a high risk of violence.

President Duterte signs proposal to amend Filipino constitution

President Duterte has signed an executive order propsal to amend the Filipino consitution. The proposed amendment plans for the presidential style of government - established under authoritarian dicatcor Marcos Ferdinand - to be replaced by a federal style of government. President Duterte has announced that if the federal system can be set up within two years, then he will stand down as president - allowing more democratic elections for the new government to take place. The reforms will allegedly boost the Filipino economy and stabilise conflicted areas in the country.

Improvised Explosive Device found in Bulacan

An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been found in the Barangay area of Bulacan. The IED has been confirmed to be very similar to another IED found in a rubbsih bin near the US Embassy in Manila last week, as both devices have used similar 81mm mortar rounds. The IED has been safely detonated by the Explosive Ordnance Division of the Bulacan Provincial Police Office. Four militant suspects have been arrested in association with the IED discovered outside the US Embassy.

Three wounded in City Plaza bombing, Mindanao

Three people have been wounded in a bomb explosion outside the City Plaza, next to the police station in Iligan City, northern Mindanao. Reports have claimed that a hand grenade was thrown at the plaza - investigations into the explosion by Filipino Army are ongoing. No fatalities have been reported so far and no militant group has claimed responsibility for the bombing yet.

Six killed, three wounded in anti-terror operations, Lanao del Sur

Six people have died and three others have been wounded in anti-terror operations against the Maute terrorist group in Butig, Lanao del Sur. One security forces Scout ranger and five Maute militants have been killed, while three more rangers have been wounded in the ongoing gunfight - which has seen government security forces encounter a defensive Maute force of over 100 militants strong. President Duterte's administration has warned militant groups that there will be no mercy if they do not surrender. Travellers have been advsied to avoid the Lanao del Sur region where possible, due to the high risk of getting caught in the fighting.

Vice-president of the Philippines resigns

The vice-president of the Philippines, Leni Robredo, has announced her resignation from President Duterte's cabinet and has promised to lead the opposition party in challenging Duterte's controversial law-and-order policies. Robredo's opposition party had been under professional obligation to respectfully receive the President's policies whilst she had been vice-president. Now that Robredo has resigned, she has become the highest ranking official to take a firm stance against the President's hardline anti-crime policy. Foreign travellers in the area have been warned to expect a rise in political tensions, with the potential for disruptive demonstrations in the capital.

Eight-year-old boy killed in military operations, Basilan

An eight-year-old boy has been killed in military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Barangay Beggang area of Al-Barka town on Basilan Island. The boy was reportedly struck outside his home by an explosion fired in the fighting between the ASG militants and the Filipino military. It is not yet known which side the explosion responsible for the boy's death was fired from. The Filipino military have promised to investigate the issue and have warned local residents and travellers to anticipate violence whilst militants remain in the area.

Imminent threat of terror issued in Pangasinan

The terror alert in Pangasinan has been raised to Level 3: Imminent threat. The heightened state of alert has come after the arrests of two terror suspects linked to the failed bombing attempt on the US Embassy in Manila on 28 November. Security measures will be reinforced throughout the capital city and in areas terrorist attacks are likely to occur - such as popular tourist sites. Travellers should expect more thorough security checks, plan journeys to allow more times for checks and report any suspicious behaviour to the security authorities.

One killed in armed robbery, Laguna

One woman has been killed in an armed robbery in the Riverina subdivision of San Rafael village in San Pablo City of the Laguna province. The woman, a dentist, was shot when she tried to intervene the armed assailants attempts to rob her family, and later died in hospital. The robbers remain unidentified as of the moment, with police investigating the incident. 

Four killed in drive by shooting, Pangasinan

Four people have been killed in a drive by shooting in the Barangay Malanay area of Santa Barbara in the Pangasinan province. The main target of the attack has been confirmed by Filipino police as the Barangay village chairman, Cecelio Garcia-Ballesteros. The chairman's son, brother and brother-in-law have also been killed in the attack. The gunmen drove by on a motorcylce, shooting at close range. Investigators have no yet uncovered the motive behind the attack but believe it could be gang-related as the chairman was vocal in anti-drug campaigns. Police have warned local residents and travellers in the area to avoid involvement in gang-crime and to report any suspicious sightings.

Bomb checkpoints re-installed throughout Manila

Bomb checkpoints have been re-installed throughout Metro Manila after a bomb was discovered in a rubbish bin outside the US Embassy earlier in the week. The checkpoints will be carrying out thorough security checks and strategic points in the city. The checkpoints will be mobile checkpoints, moving station daily. Travellers should expect some traffic delays where checkpoints are installed, and should expect the location of hold ups to change day-to-day.

Piracy warnings issued to ships in the Sulu and Celebes Seas

Warnings have been issued to ships sailing in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, of high levels of piracy, armed robbery and kidnap and ransom. Commercial shipping companies have been advised by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to exercise extreme caution when travelling through these waters. 

Protest to take place in Manila

A protest has been confirmed to be scheduled to take place in Manila on Wednesday 30 November. The demonstration is expected to last from 8.00am to 5.00pm local time. Protesters will rally from Plaza Lawton to the US Embassy and the People's Power Monument. The motive behind the protests has not yet been confirmed, however travellers are advised to avoid the demonstrations and expect traffic disruptions in the capital city.

Forty killed and 20 wounded in militant clashes, Lanao del Sur

Approximately 40 Maute Group militants have been killed and 20 Filipino soldiers have been wounded in clashes with the Filipino Army in the Butig area of Lanao del Sur in the Mindanao region. The fight begun over the weekend and continues as Filipino forces re-capture areas occupied by the Maute Group, including an abandoned municipal town hall. People have been advised to be on alert for breakaway militant groups seeking to hideout in nearby areas.

Two militants killed and one wounded in police clashes, Tungawan

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed and one ASG leader has been wounded in clashes with the Filipino police. At least seven ASG militants have allegedly attempted to ram a police checkpoint in Tungawan town of the Zamboanaga Sibugay province in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. The leader of the group, identified as Roger Tiguan, has been wounded in the subsequent clashes and has fled the scene with four other militants. People travelling in the area are advised to be on alert for militant activity.

Nine wounded in bomb attack, Marawi City

Nine people have been wounded in a bomb attack, targeting President Duterte's visit to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, of the Mindanao province. Seven members of the Philippines presidential security guard and two Filipino soldiers were wounded in the blast at around 10.30am local time, ahead of the president's visit. People in the area have been warned to stay on alert for further attacks throughout the day.

Two Abu Sayyaf militants killed, Zamboanga City waters

Two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants have been killed in a clash with the Philippine Navy just outside of the Zamboanga City waters. The Navy had been patrolling in the Barangay Muti area off the coast of Sitio Niyog when the ASG militants were spotted and identified on a motorised speedboat nearby.  The Philippines Navy forces have been on high alert for ASG militants responsible for multiple kidnappings in the waters between the Philippinbes, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Five fishermen missing, Scarborough Shoal

Five Filipino fishermen have gone missing after sailing from the disputed Scarborough Shoal last week. The fishermen reportedly set sail during bad weather after news of an incoming typhoon prompted them to leave the Chinese controlled area. Other boast and ships sailing in the surrounding waters have been alerted to watch out for the men and their vessel. Chinese authorities have been requested to assist in search efforts. The disappearances are not though to be associated with kidnapping groups at the moment, however it has not been ruled out completely.

Eleven killed, seven wounded in militant clashes, Mindandao

At least 11 people have been killed and seven others have been wounded in clashes between the Philippines' Army and an Islamic State (IS) loyalist militant group. The IS militants have been identified as the Maute Group - who claim to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The ISIL faction had taken over parts of a municipality in Lanao del Sur in the southern Mindanao province. The IS militants have reportedly raised an ISIL flag in an abandoned town hall as the fighting continues. At least four soldiers have been wounded in the clash. Travellers and civilians have been advised to avoid the area completely.

Bomb defused near US Embassy, Manila

A bomb has been discovered and defused near the US Embassy in Manila. The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) has been found in a trash bin near the embassy and has now been defused by the police in a controlled explosion. The IED was allegedly similar to another device used in an attack in Davao earlier this year, which killed 14 people. Investigations are ongoing, with the incident being treated as a terrorist attack attempt.

Thousands protest former dictator's burial

Thousands of people have gathered in Manila to protest the burial of former dictator, Marcos Ferdinand, in a heroes' cemetery. President Duterte's decision to allow Ferdinand to be buried in a respected cemetery has been taken as an insult by those who were victims of Ferdinand's authoritarian regime. Dozens of university students also protested nude. The protest has been peaceful so far with no casualties reported.

Five killed, one wounded and one arrested in drug incidents

Five drug dealers have been killed and one more has been wounded in various drug-related incidents across the Philippines. Two suspects have been shot in Las Pinas City by an unknown assailant riding a motorcycle. Two others have been killed and one person was wounded in a shoot out in a restaurant in Barangay Talon Singko. One more drug suspect has also been killed in Barangay Bayanan.

Five killed, three wounded in military operations, Maguindanao

Five people have been killed and three others have been wounded in a clash between the Filipino military and militant groups in Talitay, Maguindanao. Four Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) militants and one Filipino Army Special Forces personnel died in the cross-fire, and three militants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have been wounded. The BIFF originated as a breakaway group from the MILF, and both have been suspected to be in close connection with the Daesh militant group. 

Abu Sayyaf Group demands $10m ransom for German national

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) issued a ransom demand for a German national, Juergen Kantner, abducted by the group last week. The ASG demanded PHP 500 million ($10m). The ASG did not issue a time limit on payment or any threat of violence, torture or death if the ransom was not paid. The Filipino military allegedly doubt whether or not Kantner is still alive.

Twenty-three kidnapper suspects identified

Twenty-three Filipino nationals were identified as kidnapper suspects by Malaysian authorities. The Philippines government committed to trilateral international efforts to catch kidnappers operating in the waters between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Filipino officials promised to collaborate with Malaysian officials to bring the identified suspects to justice. Six of the identified suspects already had arrest warrants issued by the Philippines government, and 16 others were being pursued by Filipino police.

Thousands to protest against Ferdinand Marcos' burial, Luneta

Reports indicate that thousands of people plan to protest against the burial of former dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. People were outraged when Marcos was given a formal burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City last week, as it was seen as a slight to thousands of people who were victims of his authoritarian regime. The protest was due to take place in Luneta, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mendiola or Makati at around 16:00. The protest is expected to be peaceful, however, those in the area should be aware fo the potential for violence to break out. Travellers were also advised to expect traffic disruptions.

High threat of terrorism in the Cebu province

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued a high threat of terrorism for the Cebu province. The FCO advised against all but essential travel to the region, which includes Dalaguete and Badian.

Fourteen killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf Group

At least 14 people were killed and nine others wounded in military clashes with the militants of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The shoot-out killed approximately 10 ASG militants and four Filipino soldiers in the village of Buhanginan near Patikul town in the Sulu Province - an ASG stronghold. The military planned the attack on 150 ASG militants after a freed Filipino captive provided key intelligence regarding ASG operations. The ASG was reported to still hold at least 22 captives, including Dutch, German, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Filipino nationals.

Four soldiers wounded in bomb explosion

Four Filipino soldiers were wounded when a bomb exploded on a routine area patrol in the Barangay Sabong area of Lamitan City, Mindanao province. The wounded received medical attention soon after the explosion, with no civilian casualties. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet.

Philippines may withdraw from the International Criminal Court

The Philippines might withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), following Russia's official withdrawal. President Duterte faced criticism through the court from western states over 'extrajudicial' killings in his crack down on drug crime. The president reportedly stated that withdrawal was on the cards because the ICC was useless and wouldn't listen to, or understand, the reasoning behind the drug war in the Philippines.

Four-hundred migrants deported to Philippines

Four-hundred undocumented Filipino migrants have been deported from Sabah in Malaysia, back to the Philippines. The Malaysian State National Security Council placed the 400 migrants on the MV Lady Mary Joy 3, in a mass-transit operation which was delayed after the original vessel scheduled to take the illegal migrants sank on September 22.

BIFF militant killed in shootout in Mindanao

Mohammad Nur Hassan was killed in a shoot out with Philippines security forces in North Cotabato province, Mindanao. The man was a bomb maker known to be linked with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). Hassan was shot after he opened fire on security forces in what started as an arrest operation. A PHP1.2 million ($24k) bounty was on Hassan's head, dead or alive, for his involvement in developing Improved Explosive Devices.

Abu Sayyaf Group releases Filipino hostage

Philippines government employee, Elmer Ybanez Romoc, was released today after he was kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) with his wife and son in August. Romoc's wife was released earlier in the year, however their eight year-old son remains a hostage of the ASG in Sulu. It is not yet clear whether or not a ransom was paid.

Drugs seized at Manila Airport

Manila Airport security seized 4.6kgs of Cocaine. Twenty-two year-old Malaysian, Nasiruddin Bin Mohd Hasnan, came from Kuala Lumpur and was en route to Togo with 216 pellets of high grade Cocaine hidden in chocolate canisters. The drugs have a street value of over 23 million pesos ($469,000). The Philippines government commenced a brutal crack-down on the illegal drug trade this year which has killed 1,300 in police anti-drug operations.

Six kidnapped, one wounded in Abu Sayyaf Group attack

Six Vietnamese sailors were kidnapped and one was wounded in an attack by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The cargo vessel was intercepted in the Basilan strait, an ASG stronghold, by 10 ASG gunmen off the coast of Basilan Island. One sailor was shot and was transported to the local hospital, the status of the other six sailors remains unknown. Authorities warned that the ASG target any type of vessel and any persons sailing in the area should avoid kidnapping hotspots, such as the Basilan strait, where possible.

Abu Sayyaf Group to be beaten by 2017

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief, Ricardo Visaya, reportedly hopes to defeat the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in December 2016. Visaya is due to retire on 9 December, however, following a series of successful operations against the group, he is allegedly optimistic that the ASG will be finished by the time his retirement comes. 

Malaysian and Indonesian pursuits authorised in Philippine territorial waters

The Philippines government has granted authorisation for Malaysian and Indonesian officials to enter its territorial waters as part of a trilateral effort to tackle kidnappings and piracy in the area dominated by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). The announcement follows the kidnapping of a German national, and killing of another last week by the ASG. It is believed that the ASG is still holding another 15 captives - including seven Filipinos, five Malaysians, two Indonesians and a Netherlands citizen.

Earthquake detected in Quezon, Philippines

An earthquake was detected in the Philippines, with a magnitude of 4.9mbw and a depth of 52km. The earthquake occurred at 07:11:05 UTC with the epicenter thought to be located in General Nakar in the Quezon province. Shaking was also felt in Antipolo City, Quezon City, Marikina, Manila, Makati, Tarlac City and San Juan City, ranging from Intensity I to Intensity V. Intensity V shaking means the likelihood of any casualties is very low, however there is the possibility of minor cuts, grazes or bruises from unexpected lighter items falling off shelves. No casualties have been reported.

Philippines not severing ties with US military

The Philippines military will not be severing ties with the US military as previously expected; however, they will be scaling back joint operations and training exercises. Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, said the security alliance with the US would not be scrapped, but they will reduce the number of activities involving US forces. President Duterte had announced last week that the Philippines would severe ties with the US military after Washington criticised his counter-drug strategy, which has killed thousands of drug suspects.

Bomb hoax in government offices in Quezon City

The offices of the Department of Interior and Local Government, in Quezon City, were evacuated due to a bomb threat which was later revealed to be a hoax. Interior Secretary Mike Sueno, stated that the hoax seriously disrupts their important work schedules and that regional offices had also received bomb threats which similarly never materialised. Impeding government officials ability to carry out their work is likely what those responsible for the bomb threats set out to achieve.

One arrested in association with Abu Sayyaf Group kidnappings

One woman was arrested on suspicion of aiding Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member in the kidnappings of two Canadians, John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Seddingstad, and Filipina Marites Flor, from a resort in Samal Island. The woman arrested was Barangay Chief, Fauzia Abdulla of Barangay Niyog Sangahan - whose arrest was a large blow to the ASG leaders. The arrest came as part of President Duterte's strengthened effort to take down the ASG: a kidnapping force of approximately 350 personnel still holding fourteen hostages.

Convicted Mayor shot dead in prison raid

Mayor Rolanda Espinosa Sr. has been shot dead in his prison cell during a raid. Rolanda handed himself into police after President Duterte ordered his death for involvement in illegal drug-orientated activities. Reports claim Rolanda opened fire on the officers during a firearms and drugs raid, however police also confirmed there was no way Rolanda could have had a gun in his cell, or organised anything of the sort in the short time he was detained. Whilst it is possible Rolanda could have acquired one of the officers firearms to open fire, the death is currently being treated as 'suspicious' with investigations set to look into his death.

One killed, one kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group, Sulu

One female German tourist has been killed and another suspected kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Philippines military discovered the body of a German women on an abandoned yacht in waters south of Philippines. The woman, who is unnamed as of yet, was found naked with gunshot wounds - the shotgun was found near her body - on the yacht docked in the Sulu archipelago islands. A 70 year-old companion, also a German national, is thought to be kidnapped by the Islamist group. One of the ASG leaders, Muamar Askali, claimed they were holding a German after intercepting the yacht in Sabah, eastern Malaysia.

Six police officers suspended for extortion

Philippines National Police Director General, Ronald dela Rosa, ordered the immediate transfer of a police major and five others from Manila to Jojo, after it was revealed they had extorted nearly $20,000 from a Singaporean businessman. The six threatened to post the businessman on a list of drug suspects if he did not make the payment. 

Two drug users killed in police operations, Calamba City

In anti-drug operations, Philippino police obtained warrants to search seven properties on suspicion of illegal drug activity in Calamba City, Laguna province. In two of the properties shooting broke out, in which two suspects were killed in separate properties. Approximately 100 officers were involved in the operation, including personnel from the anti-drug task force and the Philippine Drug Enforcement.

Counter-drug operation launched

Mindanao police have launched a counter-drug trafficking operation. Project Double Barrel Alpha is aimed to tackle high-value targets suspected to be involved with illegal movement of drugs inside the government, military, business and police. The new project aims to reduce killings and instead target the arrests of prominent, high profile individuals engaged with illegal drug activity.

US Embassy issues high risk of kidnap warning around Cebu Island

The US Embassy issued a warning to US citizens today alerting them to the high risk of kidnap around Cebu Island, in particular, the southern region around Dalaguete and Santander; areas highly frequented by tourists and Westerners. The embassy suggested anyone visiting the area should avoid public transport and crowded places, stay aware of personal surroundings and listen to local news for updates.

Philippine rebel leader emerges from hiding to talk with President Duterte

Nur Misuari, Chairman and leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), has come out of hiding for the first time in three years after the Philippines Court suspended his arrest warrant for six months in order for President Duterte to host talks with Misauri. The warrant for Misauri's arrest was issued after members of his Muslim rebellion sieged several southern villages in 2013, killing more than 200 people. It is hoped that the talks will be progress towards a calming of tensions between the two sides.

Philippines to buy assault rifles from Russia, following US suspension

In response to the suspension of 26,000 assault rifle sales to Philippino local police from the US over human rights concerns, President Rodrigo Duterte is rumoured to be planning to strike a deal with Russia instead. President Duterte is reported to have said that the Philippines do not need to buy from the US, as they are willing to engage with Russia as an alternative. According to reporters, an unnamed Russian diplomat allegedly told President Duterte to 'come to Russia - we have everything you need'.

Five dead in masked attack, Mandaluyong

Five suspected drug users have been killed in one of their homes by six masked attackers. The attackers broke in and opened fire, killing the five immediately. Police have not identified the attackers yet, however it is speculated that robbery was the motive for the attack.

Seventy ASG militants killed by Philippines military

The Philippines military states it has killed 70 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants and captured 32 others as part of an operation which commenced in July, 2016. Military spokeman, Col. Edgard Arevalo, stated that 34 other militants surrendered to military pressure in the southern provinces of Sulu and Basilan. President Rodrigo Duterte has committed the Philippines to a joint-strategy with Malaysia and Indonesia in a bid to tackle the threats of piracy, kidnap and general criminality presented by the ASG.

Security forces clash with Abu Sayyaf in Sulu

Philippine security forces have clashed with members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the southern Sulu province.  Two militants were killed and eight soldiers were wounded in the fighting, which took place in Indanan early on Sunday.  Military spokesman Major Filemon Tan Jr. said the 21st Infantry Battalion was attacked by 100 ASG fighters while carrying out operations in Barangay Panglayahan.

Filippino mayor killed by anti-drug police

A town mayor and nine of his men have been killed by anti-drug police in North Cotabato.  Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town was targeted during an operation of Friday.  “The suspects were heavily armed and fired on the law enforcers, which prompted them to fire back,” Chief Inspector Elias Colonia said.  The mayor was identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of 150 officials involved in the drug trade.

Local councilor shot dead in Manila

A barangay councilor was shot dead in the Philippine capital, Manila, on Saturday.  Edmund Caranza, 42, was killed by a lone gunman outside his house on M Natividad street in the Calzada district as he talked to friends.  Investigators said a motive for the killing has not yet been established.

Abu Sayyaf Group fighters surrender in Basilan

Eleven members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to the Philippine military in the southern Basilan province.  The group included a sub-leader, Moto Indama, 26, and a 12-year-old boy.  Colonel Thomas Cirilo Donato, commander of the Philippine Army's 104th Sultan Brigade, said the detainees would be sent “for rehabilitation and integration into the mainstream of our society".

Two kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf off Bongao Town, Tawi-Tawi Island

On 20 October, two crew members were kidnapped when alleged Abu Sayyaf militants hijacked a South Korean vessel off Bongao town in Tawi-Tawi island. The vessel was reportedly attacked by ten armed men in a speedboat and the captain of the vessel, Park Chul Hong, and a Filipino crew member, Glenn Alindajao, were abducted. Military units have reportedly launched search operations to try and recover the two men. 

Several wounded during anti-US protest in Manila

Several people have been wounded after a police van rammed into a crowd during an anti-US protest outside the US embassy in Manila.  Police also used tear gas to disperse a crowd of around 1,000 people on Wenesday.  Ten people needed treatment at hospital, while 29 people were arrested.  "There was absolutely no justification (for the police violence)," said Renato Reyes, secretary general of left-wing activist group Bayan (Nation). "Even as the president avowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S."

High alert declared as Typhoon Haima expected to hit

On 19 October, the Philippine government declared a high alert on Luzon Island as Typhoon Haima is expected to hit. The northern coastal, low-lying and mountainous areas have been evacuated and disaster response troops, equipment and supplies have been prepositioned in disaster-prone areas. Some flights and classes have been suspended and the Philippine Coast Guard has banned sea travel and fishing until the storm has passed.

Vice Mayor wounded and bodyguard killed in shooting in Maguindanao

On 16 October, unidentified gunmen opened fire, wounding Samsudin Sangki, the Vice Mayor of Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, and killing his bodyguard. House owner Melchor Tagle was also wounded in the shooting. Sangki was visiting Tagle when then gunmen arrived and opened fire on the house, killing Harold Kalon, Sangki's bodyguard. Police state that the motive and identities of the three attackers are still unknown and have launched an investigation into the attack. 

Typhoon Sarika kills four in north-eastern Philippines

At least four people have been killed after Typhoon Sarika hit north-eastern Philippines.  The typhoon hit Aurora province on Sunday with 220kmp/h winds and torrential rain on Sunday, knocking out power and toppling trees across the region.  Around 15,000 people have been displaced and an estimated 250,000 left without power.

Anti-drug crackdown has killed more than one thousand people

On 29 September, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that 1,296 suspects had been killed and 19,907 had been arrested. The deaths and arrests come as part of Operation Double Barrel, aimed at eradicating drug crime in the country. Thirteen police personnel have been killed and 36 others wounded during the operations, carried out from 1 July to 29 September. Three soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines have also been killed in action, with eight others wounded. 

Abu Sayyaf releases Norwegian hostage

The Abu Sayyaf militant group has released a Norwegian hostage in the southern Philippines.  Kjartan Sekkingstad, 56, was released to the Moro National Liberation Front on Jolo island following the reported payment of a $630k ransom.  Sekkingstad was abducted along with two Canadians and a Filipino woman in September, 2015 from a tourist resort in Davao. Both Canadians were beheaded by the militants earlier this year.

US President calls off meeting over recent insult from Philippine leader

US President Barack Obama called off his scheduled meeting with the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, over a renewed diplomatic downturn. The decision comes after President Duterte publicly insulted Obama over America's concern for human rights violations in Duterte's hard-line war on drugs. Duterte had previously offended heads of state and diplomats; however the latest comments led to a diplomatic embarrassment between both countries. This comes as the US President is in Laos to attend the ASEAN summit, days after the G20 meeting held in China.

Fourteen killed and seventy-one injured in bomb attack in Davao city

Fourteen people have been killed and 71 others injured in a bomb attack at a busy market in Davao city, southern Philippines. The explosion, allegedly caused by an improvised explosive device (IED), took place at 22:00 hours local time on Friday. President Rodrigo Duterte condemned the attack and ordered a full investigation over the incident, which he considers to be terrorist-related. Despite no group having yet claimed responsibility for the attack, Duterte believe the act was carried out by local extremist groups. The region is known to be targeted by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), which is the local affiliate of the Islamic State (IS).

Twelve soldiers killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf

At least 12 soldiers from the Philippines were killed in heavy fighting with Abu Sayyaf militants on Monday. A spokesman for the army has stated that the soldiers were killed while fighting 70 Abu Sayyaf militants near Barangay Maligaya. At least five other soldiers were wounded in the fighting. The deaths reportedly come after the army killed 21 militants, including an influential commander, on Friday and Saturday. President Duterte ordered troops to "eradicate" the militants last week after they beheaded a kidnapped villager who's family were too poor to pay a ransom.

Clashes with Abu Sayyaf injures several officers in Sulu

Clashes between Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) militants and government soldiers caused at least 23 casualties in Sulu province, southern Philippines. At least six insurgents were reported dead, while 17 security officers were injured during the battle in Patikul town. The move comes as President Rodrigo Duterte launched a crackdown on the ASG after they beheaded a Filipino hostage on Wednesday.

Government signs ceasefire agreement with communist rebels

A ceasefire agreement was signed on Friday as part of the ongoing peace talks between the government and communist guerrillas. The Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) agreed to establish an indefinite extension to the ceasefire. The peace talks are being monitored by Norway, where the signing ceremony took place. The deal comes as part of the efforts carried out by the hard-liner President Rodrigo Duterte to re-ignite the peace talks with communist rebels and end the nearly 50-year old conflict that already claimed thousands of lives.

One soldier killed amid clashes with ASG militants in Basilan

Clashes with Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) militants led to the death of one police officer on Tuesday morning in Basilan, southern Philippines. According to the Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, Major Filemon Tan, the encounter took place in Barangay Dugga village in Tuburan town. Three soldiers were also wounded and an unknown number of assailants were shot dead. The casualties come amid ongoing offensives carried out by security forces to oust ASG terrorists from the region.

Ten dead in Manila prison blast

Ten people have been killed after a grenade exploded inside a prison in the Philippines on Thursday night.  All of the victims were inmates, including two Chinese drug traffickers, while the prison warden was also wounded in the blast at the Paranaque City jail in Manila.  Senior Inspector Xavier Solda, spokesman of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, said investigations are underway into incident.  

Four Abu Sayyaf militants killed in clashes with MNLF rebels in Sulu

Four members of the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf group have been killed during clashes with the rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The clash happened during negotiations over the hostages taken by the Abu Sayyaf on Jolo island in the southern Sulu province. Major Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military in the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the incident. The MNLF claim to be responsible for the release of 14 Indonesian sailors taken by the Abu Sayyaf in late March. The government of Rodrigo Duterte is set to proceed with the peace deal with the group led by Nur Misuari.

Abu Sayyaf militants kill two soldiers in Sulu ambush

Two soldiers have been killed and two others were injured after being ambushed by suspected Abu Sayyaf fighters in Sulu, autonomous Mindanao region. Western Mindanao Command spokesman, Major Filemon Tan Jr., said that the intelligence officers were on their way to the provincial capital Jolo, when they were attacked by heavily armed militants in Patikul town. The incident comes days after hard-line President Rodrigo Duterte declared a crackdown on Abu Sayyaf militants by carrying out an intense anti-terrorist campaign.

Police officer killed during search operation near Manila

A police officer has been killed during a search operation in Makati city on the outskirts of Manila. Edgar Bumagat and his team were heading to arrest Angelo Tampos, a suspected hit-man involved in the local drug-trade. Tampos was also killed during the clashes. Bumagat is the first Manila Metro Police officer to die since the start of the new government crackdown on illegal drugs across the Philippines. The policies of recently elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, have been generating criticism from several international organizations over the alleged violation of human rights and freedoms through extrajudicial killings.

Grenade attack wounds five in Davao

A grenade explosion on Thursday afternoon left five people injured in Davao, eastern Philippines. Security forces confirmed the attack, which happened in the village of Lamanan in Calinan district. Davao's Mayor, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, said that the incident was 'purely isolated' and ordered the police to open an investigation. Davao City is the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has openly declared a war on drugs and organized crime across the Philippines.

Soldiers clash with BIFF rebels in Maguindanao

The Philippine army has clashed with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao province in southern Mindanao.  Three soldiers and at least six BIFF militants were killed in the fighting in Barangay Pamalian, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.  The 6th Infantry Division called in MD-520 attack helicopters to support the ground operations amid "heavy clashes" on Tuesday. The BIFF is the splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Soldier killed by IED in southern Philippines

A scout ranger was killed and five others injured on Tuesday in the southern Philippines. Army Major Filemon Tan said the casualties were caused by an improvised explosive device (IED), which exploded during several operations targeting Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) insurgents in the region. The two-week-long operations on the Basilan and Jolo islands already has already resulted in the death of two soldiers, while 11 others have been wounded.

Philippines wins South China Sea case against China

The Philippines has won a ruling at an international tribunal against China over rights in the South China Sea.  The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague said: “The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line’.” The ruling is binding but the tribunal has no powers of enforcement, while China has described the ruling as "ill-founded".

Several Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Sulu

A fierce confrontation between Philippine forces and Abu Sayyaf militants led to the death of nine people on Thursday. As the Regional Military Spokesperson Major Filemon Tan stated, the clashes involved over 130 Abu Sayyaf Jihadists stationed in the jungle near Patikul town, Sulu province. Abu Sayyaf is an insurgent group mainly based in the Sulu and Basilan provinces, where militants often carry out kidnappings against foreign nationals.

Scores killed in anti-narcotics operation

Over 30 suspected drug-dealers have been killed during a four-day anti-narcotics operation across the Philippines. At least eight people were shot dead in Manila and 20 others killed outside the capital. Aside from the casualties around $20m worth of drugs were seized by security forces. The country-wide operation was part of the set of policies established by recently elected President Rodrigo Duterte, who has declared a war on drugs. Edre Olalia, secretary-general of the National Union of People's Lawyers, condemned the killings and called for the indiscriminate executions to be halted.

BIFF militants kill two soldiers in North Cotabato

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) group have carried out an attack against a military convoy in North Cotabato. BIFF members remotely exploded an improvised explosive device (IED) on a road near a high school in Midsayap town. Two soldiers were killed and one student was injured by the blast. The group's spokesperson said the attack was in retaliation against government military operations in the province of Maguindanao. BIFF was established in 2008 after a disagreement within the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which demands the independence of the country's Muslim south.

Three Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Sulu

Three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were shot dead by security forces in Sulu, southern Philippines. The confrontation happened when Philippine soldiers were carrying out operations at Bud Dawa Bayho in Patikul town. The spokesperson for the Western Mindanao Command, Major Filemon Tan, said that an encounter with nearly 200 militants led to fierce clashes that left 16 government troops wounded. The operation comes as efforts to rescue two foreign hostages taken in 2012 and 2015 by ASG insurgents continue.  Two Canadian hostages have already been killed by ASG militants in Jolo.  

Eight wounded by grenade blast in Sarangani

Eight people have been wounded in a grenade attack in Maasim town, Sarangani province. The incident happened on Monday evening during the Kestebeng Festival - a Catholic celebration - when six police officers and two civilians were attacked by unknown men. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, although police sources suspect local Islamist groups such, as the Adbdullah Maute and the New People's Army (NPA).

Seven suspected robbers shot dead in northern Philippines

Seven suspected robbers have been killed in clashes with police in the northern province of Pampanga.  Officials said the incident happened on the Angeles-Magaland Road in the town of Mexico on Monday.  Police launched an operation after they received a tip-off that an armed group was preparing to rob a company in Pandacaqui.

Abu Sayyaf execute second Canadian hostage

The Abu Sayyaf militant group have executed the second of three foreign hostages captured last September on Samal island.  The beheaded body of Canadian Robert Hall was found on Monday on Jolo island in Sulu province after the deadline for a $18m ransom payment expired.  In April another Canadian, John Risdell, was beheaded by the group, who are still believed to be holding Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor.

Philippine army in deadly clashes with rebels in Lanao del Sur

The Philippine army have killed at least 54 suspected rebels in fighting in the southern Lanao del Sur province. Military spokesman Major Filemon Tan said troops had been clashing with Maute rebels - a little-known group affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) - in the town of Butig since last Wednesday.  Two soldiers were also killed and 10 others wounded, while around 2,000 local residents were displaced by the fighting.  Dozens of people were killed in similar clashes back in February.

Seven rangers wounded in Sulu grenade attack

Seven Army Scout Rangers have been wounded in a grenade attack on Jolo island in the southern Sulu province.  The troops were on patrol when an unidentified assailant threw the device at them in Barangay Walled City on Wednesday morning.  Major Filemon Tan, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the soldiers didn't open fire as civilians could have been hit.  No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local councillor shot dead by armed men in Maguindanao

Hadie Nmli Malaguial, newly proclaimed Councillor of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, was shot dead by men armed with assault rifles on Wednesday. Malaguial was attacked in his back yard, moments after his proclamation ceremony. He was a member of the Liberal Party and his family believe that the attack was politically motivated.

Populist mayor wins presidential elections

Rodrigo Duterte has won the Philippine presidential elections following the withdrawal of his opponents.  The populist mayor, who campaigned on an anti-crime platform, said he accepted the mandate with "extreme humility".  During his time as mayor of the southern town of Davao, Mr Duterte was nicknamed "The Punisher" for his tough stance on crime and corruption.

Mayoral candidate among election violence dead

A mayoral candidate in Lantapan is among 22 people who have been killed in election-related violence in the Philippines.  Armando Ceballos was shot dead at his home in Barangay Balila by a group of 10 masked men on Saturday morning.  Elsewhere seven people were shot dead in Rosario town in Cavite province early on Monday morning.  The latest deaths add to the 14 already confirmed since the election campaigns began in January.

Politician targerted by bomb in Basilan

An improvised bomb has exploded outside the residence of the governor of Basilan, an island province located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The device targeted the house of Jum Akbar in the provincial capital, Isabela City, on Wednesday evening. Reports state that Akbar was not in the house at the time; however her son, Al-Qaid, who is running for governor in the province, was inside and escaped unharmed.  In 2007 Akbar's husband, former congressman Wahab Akbar, was killed in a bomb attack outside the House of Representatives in Quezon City.

Abu Sayyaf release hostage video

The Abu Sayyaf militant group have released a video of the three foreign hostages abducted near Davao last September.  In the video Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, Canadian Robert Hall and Philippine national Marites Flor were seen pleading for their respective governments to meet the captors' demands.  The militants beheaded Canadian John Ridsdel, who was abducted with the other hostages, on 25 April after a ransom deadline passed.

Army targets Abu Sayyaf kidnappers in Jolo

The Philippine military have carried out a series of air raids against Abu Sayyaf militants in a remote area of Jolo island in the southern Sulu province.  A military spokesman said troops fired artillery and dropped bombs on militant camps, killing at least 14 insurgents.  President Benigno Aquino vowed to "neutralise" the militants after the severed head of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel was dumped near Jolo's city hall on Monday.  Abu Sayyaf are believed to be holding around 20 other hostages, including a number of foreign nationals.

Abu Sayyaf executes foreign hostage in Sulu

The Abu Sayyaf militant group have executed one of their foreign hostages in the southern Sulu province.  Local police said a severed head was found in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, on Monday night.  Dr. Raden Ikbala told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the victim was Kjartan Sekkingstad, a Norwegian national kidnapped from the resort of Samal last September; however other media outlets claim the victim was Canadian John Russel, who was taken along with Sekkingstad, another Canadian and a Philippine woman.  The group had demanded a $6.3m ransom for each of the hostages to be paid by 25 April.

Seven soldiers wounded in Sulu clashes

Seven Philippine soldiers were killed in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern province of Sulu on Friday.  The fighting took place in the village of Batungan when the troop were ambushed while on patrol. Major Filemon Tan, spokesman for the military's Western Mindanao Command, said the militants were under the command of sub-leader Hairullah Asbang.  The group are holding dozens of foreign hostages in the region, including two Canadians, a Norwegian, Malaysians, Indonesians and a Japanese man.

Troops clash with Abu Sayyaf in Basilan

Four Philippine soldiers have been wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern province of Basilan.  The fighting took place in the village of Umalon in the Ungkaya Pukan district.  The clashes came after an IED exploded in the nearby town of Lamitan, causing damage to property but no injuries.

Eighteen soldiers killed in Abu Sayyaf clashes

Eighteen Philippine soldiers have been killed and more than 50 others wounded in clashes with Abu Sayyaf militants.  The army said five militants also died during heavy fighting on the southern island of Basilan on Saturday.  "The enemy had the high ground so no matter where our soldiers fled to seek cover, they could still be hit by the heavy firepower and improvised explosive devices," said Colonel Benedict Manquiquis.  The troops were reportedly targeting Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon, who recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).

One killed during rice farmers protest in Cotabato

One person was killed and 13 others wounded at a protest in Cotabato on Friday.  Police clashed with rice farmers at the rally in Kidapawan City, which was held to demand relief and subsidies for farmers affected by the recent severe drought.  Norma Capuyan, leader of Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa sa Cotabato, said police started the violence when they used water cannons and fired live rounds; however, the local governor said farmer attack police and social workers.

Indonesian sailors kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants

Ten Indonesian crew members have been kidnapped by suspected members of the Philippine-based militant group, Abu Sayyaf.  The crew were travelling on a Taiwanese-owned tugboat, the Brahma 12, from Borneo to the southern Philippines when they were captured on Saturday evening.  An individual claiming to be from Abu Sayyaf contacted the shipping company to demand a ransom - reportedly $1.5m - in exchange for the 10 sailors.

Senior NPA member arrested in Matanao raid

Security forces killed one insurgent and arrested another during an operation in the southern Philippines on Wednesday. Joan Casamorin, known as Alvin, vice-commanding officer of the Guerrilla Front 72 of the New People Army's (NPA) Far South Mindanao Regional Committee, was arrested on charges of robbery, kidnapping and murder. The other militant, identified as Jebjeb, was killed after a gunfight with the military. The NPA is an armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and has been confronting the government since the 1970s.

Police foil bomb plot in Sultan Kudarat

Police in the Philippines have disarmed a powerful bomb in the Sultan Kudarat province.  The device had been left in a suitcase along a stretch of national highway in the town of Isulan.  Superintendent Joefel Siason, chief of the Isulan municipal police, said two men had been arrested on suspicion of planting the bomb.

Militants killed during army operations on Mindanao

More than 40 militants have been killed in army operations in the southern province  Lanao del Sur in Mindanao.  Three soldiers were killed and 11 others were wounded in five days of fighting, which targeted the Islamic State affiliates, Jemaah Islamiah.  "Our troops were able to seize a stronghold of the terrorists on Thursday night," said army spokesman  Major Filemon Tan.

Boy killed and dozens wounded in grenade attack

A six-year-old boy has been killed and 38 other people wounded in a grenade attack in the southern Philippines.  The incident happened at a carnival in the town of Esperanza in Sultan Kudarat province on Sunday night.  Local authorities said they are investigating the suspects and the motivation behind the attack.

Four killed in bomb attack in Maguindanao

Suspected members of the terrorist group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) killed four people in an IED attack on Tuesday. The device  went off as the victims were passing in a van. According to the authorities the blast was targeting security forces in the area. Despite peace talks between BIFF members and the government, there are still hard-line rebels within the group who carry out isolated attacks.

Radio broadbaster shot dead in Zamboanga

A radio broadcaster was shot dead in his home in Zamboanga del Sur province on Tuesday night.  The National Union of Journalists said Elvis Ordaniza, who was in his 50s, was shot twice in the chest in the town of Pitogo.  He had been reporting on illegal drugs and gambling for his radio station dxWO before he was killed.

Six police officers killed in rebel ambush

Six Philippine police officers have been killed and eight others wounded in a rebel ambush on the main Luzon island.  The officers, who were members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), were targeted by New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the village of Sta Margarita on Tuesday morning.  "We were hit hard by the first burst of fire," interior and local government minister Mel Sarmiento told reporters.

Philippine mayor wounded in pre-election ambush

A Philippine town mayor has been shot and wounded in an ambush in the south of the country.  Mayor Jasper Que was travelling with his two bodyguards when he was shot by a gunman on a motorcycle in the port city of Zamboanga on Sunday morning.  The incident came two days before the official campaign for the general elections in May is due to begin.

Seven marines wounded in Sulu bombing

Seven members of the Philippine Marine Corps have been wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Sulu province.  The troops were travelling in a convoy when the IED exploded near the town of Talipao on Thursday. Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of Joint Task Group Sulu (JTGS), claimed that the militant group Abu Sayyaf carried out the attack.

Two NPA rebels killed in Camarines Sur clash

Two New People's Army (NPA) rebels have been killed in clashes with Philippine army troops in the northern province of Camarines Sur.  A military spokesman said the fighting erupted near the town of Caramoan at around 10:20 on Monday morning.  A third rebel was captured during the incident, while the army did not report any casualties.

Militant groups pledge allegiance to Islamic State

Four Islamic militant groups in the southern Philippines have merged and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).  One of the groups involved in the merger is Abu Sayyaf, which has kidnapped several foreign nationals across the southern Philippines and nearby Malaysia.  The group's leader, Isnilon Hapilon, appeared in a video posted online last week with other militant leaders.

Nine people killed in Abu Sayyaf clashes

A Filippino soldier and eight suspect Abu Sayyaf militants have been killed in clashes in the south of the country.  The fighting took place on the southern Island of Jolo late on Wednesday evening.  In a statement the army said the group are holding several tourists who were kidnapped from a resort in Samal Island in September.

Deadly clashes between rebels and troops in south

Two Philippine soldiers and 13 suspected militants were killed in clashes in the south of the country on Tuesday.  A spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command said fighting erupted in the village of Makalang in Basilan province at around 05:00.  The security forces recently launched a major offensive against the Abu Sayyaf militant group over the beheading of a Malaysian restaurant owner last month.

Typhoon Melor hits the central Philippines

Around 750,000 people have been evacuated from coastal regions of the central Philippines as Typhoon Melor made landfall in the country.  The typhoon struck with winds of around 150km/h near Sorsogon on the main island of Luzon.  Schools have been closed and around 40 domestic flights have been cancelled.

Troops clash with NPA rebels in Negros Occidental

Two suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels and a Philippine soldier were killed in clashes in Negros Occidental on Friday.  Colonel Francis Delfin said his troops were on patrol in Sitio Bugtong Lubi when they were ambushed by 12 armed men.  Another soldier was wounded in the gunfight, although the army said he is now in a stable condition.

Six killed in Mindanao clashes

At least six people have been killed in clashes between Muslim rebels and Christian villagers on Mindanao.  A group of around 30 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) attacked the southern town of Tulunan on Tuesday.  The town police chief, Senior Inspector Ronnie Dillera, said the incident was linked to a land dispute in the area.

Village councilman killed in Barangay San Isidro

A village councilman has been killed in a shooting in Barangay San Isidro.  Eduardo Alibutdan, 50, was targeted by three gunmen near Sitio Stop Aguinaldo on Sunday. Chief Inspector Roberto Mansueto, police chief of the town of Toboso, said three suspects have been identified in connection with the attack.

Eight rebels killed by security forces in Sultan Kudarat

Eight suspected rebels have been killed in a security operation in the southern province of Sultan Kudarat.  Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said the rebels were members of the Ansar Khalifah Philippines (AKP) militant group, which is linked to the Islamic State (IS). The men were killed in a firefight in the early hours of Thursday morning near the town of Palimbang.

Security forces fire water cannon at anti-APEC protesters

Security forces in the Philippines have fired water cannons at protesters during a mass rally against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the capital, Manila.  The clashes took place in the Manila Bay area of the city on Thursday morning, where regional leaders are meeting. "These demonstrations will not stop, even if it means we have to go head-to-head against the entire police force and we have to break through all the barriers," Charisse Bernadine Banez, spokeswoman of the League of Filipino Students, told the Reuters news agency.

Muslim cleric shot dead in Mindanao

A Muslim cleric has been shot and killed in Cotabato City in central Mindanao.  An unknown gunman opened fire on Imam Abdulkadir Sumael, 40, in the Purok Islam area of the city on Wednesday.  Elsewhere a four-year-old girl was wounded when a grenade exploded in Kabacan town.  The device appeared to have been targeting a nearby army patrol.

Two Abu Sayyaf militants killed in Sulu clashes

Two suspected Abu Sayyaf militants have been killed in clashes with government security forces in Sulu province.  The commander of Joint Task Force Group Sulu said fighting erupted around 07:30 on Thursday morning in the Patikul area.  No troops were wounded in the gunfight, which lasted for around 30 minutes.

Four dead in Arayat shooting

Four people have been killed and four others wounded in a shooting in the Arayat municipality in Pampanga province.  Local police said the victims were at a house in Barangay San Juan Bano when five unidentified gunmen opened fire on them, while officers later recovered 37 shells from M-16 assault rifles at the scene of the shooting.

Three dead in village outpost shooting

Three people have been killed in a shooting at a village outpost in Barangay San Pablo.  Police said unidentified gunmen armed with automatic rifles opened fire on the post on Tuesday night.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

NPA rebels clash with soldiers in Sorsogon

Three communist rebels have been killed and two Philippine soldiers wounded in clashes in the Sorsogon province of Luzon.  Around 15 members of the New People's Army (NPA) battled troops from the 31st Infantry Battalion in the Barangay Tinago early on Wednesday morning. Government forces also seized two AK50 rifles, one cal .45 pistol, two laptop computers and other similar equipment.

Philippines mayor, son killed by NPA

Suspected members of the New People's Army (NPA) have kidnapped and killed a mayor and his son in Agusan del Sur.  Dario Otaza and his 27-year-old son Daryl Otaza were found tied up and with multiple gunshot wounds in southern Butuan City on Monday.  They were seized by gunmen disguised as government agents from their home in the city.

Two Chinese diplomats killed in restaurant shooting

Two Chinese diplomats have been killed and another wounded in a shooting at restaurant in the central city of Cebu.  A Chinese man and woman were arrested in connection to the attack, which happened around lunchtime on Wednesday. "We're still trying to determine the motive for the shooting," Chief Superintendent Prudencio Banas said.

Typhoon Koppu kills two in Philippines

At least two people have been killed and five others wounded after Typhoon Koppu hit northern Philippines over the weekend.  More than 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and rescue teams have been deployed to reach people stranded on rooftops.  The storm made landfall in the northern town of Casiguran on the main island of Luzon on Sunday, delivering sustained winds of nearly 200km/h.

 

Philippines prepares for tropical storm Koppu

Tropical storm Koppu is heading towards the northern Philippine island of Luzon, gaining in strength as it passes through the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.  The storm is currently expected to make landfall near Ilagan City on Sunday and could become a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 210km/h. "A total of 300 to 600 mm (12 to 24 inches) of rain is expected to be widespread," said Adam Douty, meteorologist at AccuWeather.

IED hits civilian bus in South Cotabato

At least 18 people have been wounded after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside a civilian bus on South Cotabato.  Local police said the device was inside an overhead compartment when it exploded on Thursday.  The bus was in Polomolok en route to General Santos City at the time of the blast.

Four killed in Basilan blast

Four people have been killed and six others wounded after an improvised explosive device (IED) went off in Basilan province on Thursday afternoon.  The device exploded as the convoy of Isabela City Vice-Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibon was passing in the Sunrise Village area.  Ajibon was wounded in the attack, while the deceased where members of his security team.

Tourists kidnapped in southern Philippines

Two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipino woman have been kidnapped from a tourist resort in the southern Philippines.  The four were abducted at gunpoint from the Holiday Oceanview resort on Samal Island, Mindanao on Monday night. "It appeared the foreigners were the targets, they were not taken at random," said Philippines army Captain Alberto Caber.

Bomb explodes on passenger bus in Zamboanga City

One person has been killed and 32 others wounded after a bomb exploded on a passenger bus in Zamboanga City on Friday afternoon.  Local police said the device exploded at a bus terminal at Tomas Claudio Street. Chief Inspector Joel Tuttuh said the militant group Abu Sayyaf were among the immediate suspects.

Two police officers killed in NPA ambush

Two officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been killed in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels in Suriago del Sur.  Gunmen opened fire on a patrol car near the Cortes Municipal Police Station on Friday morning.

Three Islamic militants killed in clash with Philippine military

Three Islamic militants were killed on Friday after the Philippine military launched an operation to rescue hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf rebels. This was the second attempt in two weeks. About 300 Abu Sayyaf fighters retreated after the hour-long firefight in the jungles of Jolo. The military has not yet disclosed whether any of the hostages were freed or injured in the clashes, or how many hostages they believe were being held at the rebel camp. Ten Philippine soldiers were wounded in the fighting. The rescue operation was launched after the discovery of the decapitated remains of a hostage, Rodolfo Boligao, were found on a deserted Jolo highway. 

Typhoon Goni kills 10 in Philippines

Ten people have been killed in torrential rainfall from Typhoon Goni which triggered landslides and floods across the northern Philippines. Several were killed when houses were submerged under rocks and mud. Others are reported missing in flooded areas. Thousands of people have been evacuated to higher ground and some domestic flights were cancelled.

Abu Sayyaf hostages escape in Philippine raid

The Philippine army has said two coast guard personnel kidnapped and held hostage by Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf managed to escape during a raid. The two men fled the jungle camp in the southern province of Sulu on Wednesday night during the two-hour gun battle. The army attacked the camp to free them and other hostages, killing at least 15 Abu Sayyaf militants in the process.

Five communist guerrillas killed in shootout with Special Forces

Five communist guerrillas have been killed in a clash with special forces in the Philippines, a military spokesman has said. The clash broke out on Tuesday near the town of Pangatucan, on the main southern island of Mindanao. It is one of several areas where the decades-old New People's Army (NPA) rebellion is still active. "It was really an ambush but our special forces returned fire," said local military spokesman Captain Alberto Caber, describing the rebel band as about 60-strong. "There were reports of the NPA in the area so our special forces went their to verify," he told reporters. The bodies of five guerrillas were recovered after the clash.

Four suspected Islamist militants escape jail

Four suspected Abu Sayyaf Islamist militants escaped from jail in the southern Philippines, a regional Navy commander said. The four suspects escaped before dawn from the detention centre of Isabela City in Basilan province, about 900km south of Manila, by cutting off the iron grill of their ventilation window with a hacksaw. Two of the suspects were being tried for murder and attempted murder, one was facing drug-related charges and one is being tried for car theft. Security forces have launched a search operation to hunt down the suspects.

Ex-MMA champion shot dead

Unidentified gunmen shot dead a former mixed martial arts (MMA) champion in Barangay Ulas yesterday. Ale Cali, 25, was about to get into his car when he was shot three times in the head by an unknown assailant. Police have yet to determine the motive behind the murder.

One killed, three wounded in firefight with Abu Sayyaf in Basilan

On August 14, Abu Sayaff militants were involved in an intense firefight with Philippine Army soldiers, resulting in the death of one militant, and two others wounded. A soldier was also wounded in the exchange of fire. The incident happened when an army patrol encountered about 15 Abu Sayyaf militants in the Sumisip jungle, Basilan province, at about 05.00 local time.

Abu Sayyaf militants kill two soldiers in southern Philippines

Abu Sayyaf militants killed two soldiers in a market, but army reinforcements retaliated with an assault that may have killed an unspecified number of the attackers in the southern Philippines. About ten heavily armed militants opened fire on the soldiers on Sunday and stole one of their motorcycles before fleeing into the jungle in Sulu province. The victims were in civilian clothes and had pistols but were killed before they could return fire. Army troops later caught up with the attackers and engaged them in a brief gun battle that may have killed some of the militants, Sulu's military commander, Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, said. A military report stated that the attackers belonged to an Abu Sayyaf faction led by Moammar Askali.

NPA rebels clash with troops in Masbate

About 20 New People's Army (NPA) rebels fired on a platoon of Philippine army troops and police on two trucks, triggering a 15-minute clash that left four rebels and one soldier dead in the north-eastern Masbate province. Army Colonel Cesar Idio said the government troops killed four rebels in the ambush in Masbate's Cawayan township. A soldier was killed and three others were slightly wounded. The troops were ambushed as they were returning to their headquarters after arresting two rebels earlier in the day. Additional forces and armoured military vehicles were deployed following the clash. 

Three soldiers killed in ambush

Three soldiers have been killed and 13 wounded in an ambush by the New People's Army (NPA) in Pinupuk town, Kalinga province. The NPA used landmines to attack three trucks carrying 30 soldiers.

Clashes ahead of president's speech

Left-wing protesters clashed with riot police when they attempted to storm barriers ahead of the Phillipine president's final head of the nation address. At least six police officers and protesters were injured in the violence, which saw police use water cannons to push back stone throwing demonstrators.

New MERS case confirmed by Philippine Health Authority

A second case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has been confirmed in a foreigner who arrived from Dubai. The 36 year old man tested positive last Saturday and has been quarantined near Manila.  

At least 36 dead after passenger boat capsized off Ormoc city port

At least 36 people are confirmed dead and 19 others are reported missing after a motor banca bound for Camotes Island in Cebu province capsized off Ormoc city port. A coastguard spokesman said 118 were rescued from the incident. 

MILF rebels hand over arms in peace deal

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have started to hand over weapons as part of a peace process.  The event in Maguindanao, Mindanao and was attended by President Beigno Aquino and MILF leader Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.  Seventy-five assault weapons were handed over along with the identification of 145 fighters, the first group who will return to normal life with government support.

NPA leader arrested in the Philippines

The highest-ranking leader of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), has been arrested.  Adelberto Silva assumed leadership of the NPA after former CPP chairman Benito Tiamzon was arrested in March, 2014. "He is the overall orchestrator of rebel movements in the entire country. He organises the activities of the rebels," military spokesman Brigadier-General Joselito Kakilala told AFP. "This (arrest) will have a huge impact. This will disrupt their strategic direction and programmes," Kakilala added.

Twin blasts wound 15 in Sulu province

At least 15 people have been wounded after two bombs exploded at a police camp in the southern province of Sulu.  The Provincial Police director, Abraham Orbita, said the blasts occurred at Camp Kasim in Jolo, the provincial capital. "It seems the [first] explosion was set up to draw responders as the target," he said.

Philippine mayor admits links to Davao Death Squad

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has admitted to having links with an infamous death squad, which is suspected of killing more than 1,000 people in the city since he came into office in 1988. In an interview on the local television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” Duterte admitted his link to the infamous Davao Death Squad (DDS). "They say I am the death squad? True, that is true,” Duterte said.  He also vowed to "kill" more if he is elected president in 2016. "I do not want to commit a crime but if by chance, God will place me there, you all better watch out. That 1,000 will become 100,000. I'll dump all of you into Manila Bay, and fatten all the fish there." he added.

Dozens killed in Philippines factory fire

At least 31 factory workers have been killed and dozens more wounded in a fire in the Philippine capital, Manila.  The fire gutted the footwear factory in the Valenzuela, with reports suggesting it was started by a spark during a welding job at the building's entrance.  A firefighter told the Reuters news agency that more people could be trapped under debris at the site.

Typhoon Noul makes landfall in north-eastern Philippines

Typhoon Noul has smashed into the north-eastern Philippines, prompting evacuations and warnings of floods and landslides.  The storm made landfall in Cagayan province, bringing with it winds of up to 220km/h. "This is a very dangerous storm. It is the strongest so far this year," said Rene Paciente, head of the Philippines' marine weather department.

Two soldiers killed in clash with NPA rebels

Two soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in clashes with the leftist New People's Army (NPA) rebel group in the southern Philippines.  An army spokesman said the troops were conducting a patrol in a village near Lagonglong town in Misamis Oriental province when they were ambushed by a group of 20 rebel fighters.

Military ends offensive against BIFF rebels

The Philippine military has ended its five-week offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). “After the relentless operations against the BIFF we have achieved our objectives: the neutralization of more than 50 percent of their ranks, the capture of bomb factories, and seizure of enclaves and safe havens in different Maguindanao localities,” said military spokesman Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc.  At least 139 rebels and 53 civilians have been killed in the recent fighting in Maguindanao.

Army kills 14 BIFF rebels in Mindanao

Philippines soldiers have killed 14 guerrillas from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the south of the country.  The military carried out air strikes and launched a major ground assault against militant positions in the Mindanao archipelago on Sunday morning.   An army spokesman said 13 soldiers were wounded in the clashes.

Police commandos killed in clashes with MILF militants

At least 30 police commandos have been killed in clashes with militants from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the southern Philippines.  Fighting erupted as the police carried out a dawn raid to arrest a bombing suspect in the village of Tukanalipao in Maguindanao on Sunday.  The fighting is the worst outbreak of violence since MILF signed a peace agreement with the government last year.

One person killed in Zamboanga car bombing

A car bomb has exploded in the southern port city of Zamboanga, killing one person and wounding at least 37 others.  The blast occurred on Friday afternoon at the Fantacy Bar, outside a bus terminal in Barangay Guiwan.  Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said local authorities suspected that the Abu Sayyaf militant group were responsible for the blast.

Typhoon Jangmi leaves 55 dead in Philippines

At least 55 people have been killed after typhoon Jangmi hit the Philippines, causing widespread flooding and landslides.  More than 110,000 people have been evacuated from central and southern provinces of the country, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Jangmi made landfall in Hinantuan in Surigao del Sur on Saturday.

Government agrees one-month ceasefire with NPA rebels

The Philippine government has agreed a one-month ceasefire with the New People's Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). "The declaration of the suspension of military offensive against the New People's Army will highlight the government's sincerity to pursue peace," said the military in a statement. The ceasefire will begin at midnight on 19 January and end at midnight on 19 January.

Deadly blast hits bus in southern Philippines

At least nine people have been killed and 17 others wounded after a bomb hit a commuter bus in the southern Philippines on Tuesday.  The bus was travelling through the town of Maramag on the island of Mindanao went the device exploded.  Security services have claimed that the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were responsible for the attack.

Typhoon Hagupit death toll hits 23 in central Philippines

At least 23 people have been killed across the central Philippines after Typhoon Hagupit hit over the weekend.  Around one million people were evacuated to temporary shelters in the Eastern Samar and Albay provinces.  Hagupit has now been downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it heads towards the capital, Manila.

Swiss hostages escapes form Abu Sayyaf

A Swiss hostage has escaped from the Abu Sayyaf militant group on the remote island of Jolo.  Lorenzo Vinciguerra, who was abducted nearly three years ago on Tawi Tawi island, fled as government troops attacked the jungle camp. "He found an opportunity to escape because of the running gun battle with our troops," Colonel Restituto Padilla told the AFP news agency.

Philippines prepares for Typhoon Hagupit

The Philippines are preparing for the arrival of Typhoon Hagupit, which is expected to make landfall on Saturday.  The typhoon, which is expected to be a category 4 or 5 storm when it reaches the country, is currently heading towards the Eastern Samar province.  Schools and offices in the region have been closed and residents living in temporary shelters have been told to go to evacuation centres.

BIFF rebels ambush army convoy in south

Members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have killed an army major and two soldiers in an ambush in the southern Philippines.  The troops were travelling on a road near Datu Piang in Maguindanao when they were targeted by a number of BIFF fighters.  An army spokesman said the rebels opened fire without provocation, adding that the wallets and valuables of the victims were also stolen.

Abu Sayyaf release German hostages

The Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf have released two German hostages in the southern Philippines.  The group claimed that they received a $5.6m ransom to free Stefan Okonek and Henrite Dielen, who had been held since April.  A police spokesman said that the two were released on Jolo Island and had been transferred to an army camp. 

Abu Sayyaf threaten to kill German hostages

The militant group Abu Sayyaf have threatened to kill the two German hostages it captured in April.  In a statement the group said it would kill one of the hostages within 15 days unless Germany pays a ransom and ends its support for US-led military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq.  The German nationals, Stefan O and Henrike D, were abducted from their yacht in the Palawan province.

Deadly flooding hits Manila

At least three people have been killed after torrential monsoon rains caused widespread flooding across the capital, Manila.   Thousands of people have been evacuated after a river burst its banks in the east of the city, while schools and government offices have been closed.  Government forecasters said nearly a month's worth of rain had fallen overnight as tropical storm Fung-Wong hit the country, which was still recovering from last week's Typhoon Kalmaegi.

Evacuations ordered near Mount Mayon volcano

Thousands of people in the Philippines have been forced to evacuate after the Mount Mayor volcano started erupting.  The alert level has been raised to three on the five-point scale, with scientists warning that a major eruption could occur at any time.  Regional civil defence director Bernardo Alejandro said around 50,000 people within an 8km radius would be forcibly evacuated within three days.

Five NPA rebels killed in Abra clashes

Five fighters from the New People's Army (NPA) rebel group have been killed during clashes with security forces in the Philippines.  An army spokesman said the firefight erupted in the village of Guinguinabang in Abra province on Thursday morning.  Lt. Col. Virgilio Noora said that the rebels had been extorting money from local residents.

Car bomb found at Manila airport

Filipino security forces have arrested four people after a bomb was found in a parked van at Manila's international airport.  The device was discovered at the airport's terminal three car park at around 01:45 local time on Monday; however, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that there were no ongoing safety threats for travellers.

Abu Sayyaf kill 16 villagers in roadside ambush

At least 16 villagers have been killed and 13 others wounded in an ambush by suspected Abu Sayyaf gunmen in Sulu.  A police spokesman said that 50 fighters ambushed the group in Barangay Lower Talipao at around 08:30 local time.

Philippines seize 11 Chinese fishermen

The Philippine government has seized a Chinese fishing boat and its 11 crew members on charges of catching endangered sea turtles in the South China Sea.  The boat had more than 250 turtles on board when it was seized in an area known as Half Moon Shoal, which is claimed by both countries.  China has demanded the boat and crew be released immediately, and that the Philippines government "stop making further provocative actions".

NPA rebels seize Philippine soldier in Davao del Norte

The New People's Army (NPA) has announced that it has captured a Philippine soldier in Davao del Norte for alleged links to illegal logging in southern Mindanao.  An NPA spokesman said Cpl. Rogelio Rosales of the 60th Infantry Battalion was helping to transport illegally cuts logs when he was "arrested".

Deadly clashes leave 15 dead in southern Philippines

Philippine troops have clashed with rebel fighters in the south of the country, leaving at least 15 people dead.  The fighting erupted when militants from Abu Sayyaf tried to regain control of a training camp near the town of Patikul in Sulu province.

Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila

A group of protesters have gathered at the US Embassy in Manila to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama.  There was a heavy police presence at the scene and water cannons were used to push back the crowds.  Mr Obama is scheduled to fly into the country next week to discuss increasing America's military presence.

Expatriate worker shot dead on Malapascua

A British man has been shot dead by one of his employees on the island of Malapascua over the weekend.  Tony Gilchrist was shot six times by a local man who he had sacked for turning up drunk at work for a second time.  Local police have arrested 42-year-old security guard Melchor Alciso Jr, from Hinundayan in Southern Leyte.

Gonzaga mayor shot dead at town hall

The mayor of Gonzaga has been shot dead by unknown gunmen after a flag-raising ceremony in front of the town hall.  Carlito Pentecostes Jr was preparing to give a speech when the assailants, who were wearing military uniforms, opened fire on him before fleeing in a commandeered police car.  No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Philippines signs peace deal with Muslim rebels

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebel group has signed a landmark peace deal with the Philippine government.  President Benigno Aquino and MILF's leader, al-Haj Murad Ebrahim, confirmed the agreement at the presidential palace in the capital Manila.  "This agreement stands as a testament to how far trust and earnestness can move humanity forward. It shows how righteousness, reason and goodwill are the mightiest of instruments in ending conflict", said President Aquino.

Two killed in Mindanao violence

A police officer and a guerrilla fighter have been killed in a gun battle in the restive southern island of Mindanao.  The fighting erupted when Philippine security forces attempted to serve an arrest warrant against a suspected rebel commander from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Sarangani province.

Bombing suspect killed in clash with police

A bombing suspect has been killed in a gunfight with police who were trying to arrest him in the southern Philippines.    A police spokesman said that Yusop Kusain was wanted for his alleged involvement in a 2007 bombing which killed four people in General Santos city.

Bomb blasts wound six in Mindanao

At least six people were wounded when an improvised explosive device exploded on the restive southern island of Mindanao.  Two journalists from the ABC-5 TV station were among those hurt in the blast in the town of Saudi Ampatuan, and comes after days of fighting between the Philippine army and separatist BIFF rebels in the region.

Military offensive kills 37 in Maguindanao

At least 37 suspected rebels have been killed during clashes with Philippine security forces in the southern province of Maguindanao.  Earlier this week the military launched a major offensive against insurgents from the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), who oppose the recent peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Army launches assault of BIFF rebel group

The Philippine army has launched an operation against an Islamic splinter rebel group on the southern island of Mindanao.  Troops fired mortar rounds on guerrillas from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the remote border of Maguindanao and North Cotabato on Monday morning, forcing hundreds of civilians to flee to safety.

Government agrees peace deal with MILF rebels

The Philippine government has agreed the final details of a peace agreement with the country's main Islamic insurgency group.  The accord will see the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who have been fighting a separatist insurgency since 1977, decommission its 11,000-strong forces in exchange for amnesty and the creation of a larger autonomous region in the south of the country.

Southern Philippines hit by deadly flooding

The Philippines government has said that 22 people have been killed and almost 200,000 evacuated after the south of the country was hit by fresh flooding and landslides.  Days of torrential rain on the southern island of Mindanao have brought more misery to an area which is still recovering from Typhoon Bopha, which killed more than 1,900 people in December, 2012.

Grenade attack wounds 24 in Philippine school

A grenade attack has wounded at least 24 people at a school in the southern Philippines.  Emergency responders were attending to a fire at the state-run school in the town of Arakan when an unknown assailant threw a grenade.  In November police found a home-made bomb in the grounds of the school.

Mayor killed in Manilla airport shooting

Four people have been killed, including a town mayor, in a shooting at an airport in the capital Manila.  Ukol Talumpa, mayor of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur province, was shot at close range outside the airport terminal before the gunmen fled the scene on motorbikes.

Government signs power-sharing accord with rebels

The Philippine government has announced that it has signed a landmark power-sharing accord with the country's main Muslim rebel group.  The deal was signed by negotiators from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and paves the way for a final and "comprehensive peace agreement" by January, 2014.  An estimated 150,000 people have been killed in the decades-long Muslim insurgency in the southern Bangsamoro region of the country.

Death toll soars in Philippines as clean-up begins

Officials in the Philippines estimate that as many as 10,000 people have been killed in Tacloban city, capital of Leyte province, as the scale of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan becomes apparent.  A further four million people have been affected by the storm, with rescue workers struggling to reach badly hit areas.

Typhoon Haiyan batters the eastern Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan has struck the eastern coast of the Philippines, killing at least four people and threatening as many as 12 million others across the country.  Meteorologists have said that with sustained winds of 314km/h it is the strongest typhoon of the year, and possibly the most powerful ever to make landfall.

Abu Sayyaf kidnap two workers in Sulu province

The Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf have kidnapped two workers from the mountainous town of Patikul in Sulu province.  The victims, who were employees of a telecommunications company, were travelling on motorcycles to a transmission facility when they were ambushed by around 10 gunmen.

Philippines prepares for super Typhoon Haiyan

Officials in the Philippines have urged residents to prepare for evacuations as a powerful storm storm heads towards the country.  Typhoon Haiyan is expected to make landfall in the eastern provinces of Samar and Leyte on Friday, threatening to bring with it winds of 240km/h and up to 200mm of rainfall.

Deadly earthquake hits central Philippines

At least 85 people have been killed and more than 100 others wounded after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the central Philippines.  The victims died when buildings and structures collapsed on the island of Bohol and in the nearby Cebu province.

Typhoon Nari hits the Philippines, leaves 13 dead

At least 13 people have been killed in severe flooding and landslides after Typhoon Nari hit the Philippines, bringing with it widespread devastation.  According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council more than 40,000 people were displaced across 11 north-eastern provinces, while thousands of homes have been left without power.

Flash flooding kills 30 in Philippines

At least 30 people have been killed after heavy rains caused flash flooding and landslides across the Philippines.  Rescuers are still searching for survivors in the heavily hit Zambales Province, about 138km south of the capital Manila.

Typhoon Usagi heads towards northern Philippines

A tropical cyclone, dubbed a "super typhoon", is forecasted to hit the northern coast of Luzon on Friday and Saturday.  Typhoon Usagi has intensified in strength in recent days, reaching speeds of up to 175km/h.  The Philippine authorities have issued storm warnings for flash flooding, landslides and storm surges for several northern provinces. 

Philippine troops close in on rebels in Zamboanga

Philippine soldiers have surrounded the remaining MNLF rebel fighters in the southern city of Zamboanga following a week of deadly clashes.  The army said that 50 rebels had been killed and a further 40 captured in the fighting, while the majority of the hostages seized by the rebels on Monday are now reported to have been freed.

MNLF rebels attack town of Lamitan as clashes continue

Fighters from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have attacked a second town in the southern Philippines as clashes with government troops continue across the region.  Three soldiers were wounded and five people are missing after the rebels entered the town of Lamitan in Basilan province on Thursday morning.

Philippine rebels continue to clash with troops in Zamboanga

Clashes between members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government troops have continued in the southern port city of Zamboanga.  Thousands of people have fled the city since fighting began on Monday, while at least nine people have been killed.  The rebels are also reported to be holding dozens of civilian hostages across various locations in the city.

MNLF rebels take 200 people hostage in southern Philippines

Rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have taken at least 200 people hostage and killed six others during a raid on Zamboanga City on the island of Mindanao.  The rebels attempted to march to the city hall to raise their flag before they were confronted by Police commandos.  Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said that the hostages were being used as a "human shield" and that clashes were still being reported across the city.

Radio journalist shot dead in Iligan City

A Filipino radio journalist has been shot dead in Iligan City in the northern Mindanao region.  Fernando Solijon, a regular critic of local politicians, was walking to his car when two unidentified gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on him.  He is the fourth journalist to be murdered in the country over the past month.

Bomb kills eight in southern Philippines

At least eight people have been killed after a large bomb exploded in the southern city of Cotabato on Mindanao Island.  A further 30 people were wounded in the blast, which appeared to have been targeting the city's administrator, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi.

IED kills six in Cagayan de Oro

At least six people have been killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the southern city of Cagayan de Oro.  A further 48 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred outside a row of expensive bars and restaurants in the city.

New People's Army rebels kill seven marines in ambush

Seven Filipino marines have been killed in an ambush by suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the northern town of Allacapan in Cagayan province.  According to a local police spokesman the troop's vehicle hit a roadside bomb before a group of 30 rebels opened fire.

New People's Army rebels kidnap six civilians

A group of suspected New People's Army (NPA) rebels have kidnapped six civilians in Tagum City, Davao Oriental province.  Around 30 rebels, who were dressed as police officers and members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), used the victim's cars to carry out a raid on a security agency in the city.

Taiwan carries out military drills amid Philippine row

Taiwan's military has carried out a series out a naval drills in the Bashi channel, close to where a Philippine coast guard shot dead a Taiwanese fisherman last week.  The issues has caused a serious diplomatic row between the two countries, with Taiwan rejecting an apology by the Philippine president yesterday, calling it "unacceptable".

Philippine mayor wounded in deadly ambush

Gunmen have killed at least 10 people in a deadly ambush on a mayor in the southern Philippines.  Abdulmalik Manamparan, mayor of Nunungan town, survived the attack although a number of his close relatives were reportedly killed.

Dozens killed in casino attack attempt, Manila

Dozens killed in casino attack attempt, Manila

Philippines Data Sheet

Population:
97.7 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity (80% Roman Catholic), Islam
International dialing code:
+63
International dialing prefix:
00
Emergency services:
117
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Tropical
Ohter Major Cities:
Quezon City, Caloocan, Davao City
Borders: