The Philippines is in the news this morning with a large (but not unusual) prison break.

These things happen now and then, and there are no reports if those escaped were dangerous prisoners or simply normal MILF supporters.

Then there was a terrible explosion of a truck carrying liquid petrolium gas. This was in Zamboanga, so early reports worried about a bomb, but it was, alas, only a normal traffic accident, with high casulaties in a passing bus. Reports suggest 20-30 casualties.

But the most ominous story is not getting much notice, at least on Google: The threat of bombs in the Manila area from sleeper cells, in revenge for last week’s killing of several Abu Sayyaf leaders.

The Philippine police raided a sleeper cell in a town outside of Manila, killing one and capturing two after a firefight. Bomb Making materials and a partly assembled bomb were found at the site.
And the background for the raid is the worry that Manila will be the site of more terrorist attacks. There had been earlier reports that Abu Sayyaf had obtained bomb making training via Indonesian terrorist who had fled to the Philippines after the Bali bombing. There are also reports that Islamic converts from Luzon, who know the language and the culture, might cooperate with the MILF in planting these bombs.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind CLinic and Fishmarket

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