World Politics After the War in Afghanistan: U.S. Allies Part 1: The Philippines

Media Options

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo is arriving in the U.S. for meetings next week with President Bush and other officials. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo is “very hopeful” two American hostages held captive by Muslim Abu Sayyaf gunmen in the south will be rescued before her meeting with US President George W. Bush next week, her spokesman said Friday.

Arroyo, who is to meet Bush Tuesday, has also ordered troops to intensify their operations against the Abu Sayyafthrough the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, presidential spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao told reporters in a teleconferencefrom the US.

The announcement came a day after seven Filipino hostages were recovered unharmed by pursuing troops, leaving the AbuSayyaf with three hostages — Christian missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham of Kansas and a Filipina nurse.

President Arroyo is expected to ask Bush for Huey helicopters (made by Bell Textron), Cobra helicopter gun ships andC-130 troop transports to help the Philippine military in its war against the Abu Sayyaf guerrilla movement on thesouthern island of Mindanao. Abu Sayyaf Guerrillas released seven hostages from months of captivity today to mark thestart of the holy month of Ramadan.

Since September 11 the Philippines has opened the Clark and Subic Bay air bases as staging points for the U.S.-ledcampaign against Afghanistan, ten years after the Philippine Senate voted to close the bases and kick the US out.

Philippines Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona Jr. also said the Philippines would beprepared to join a United Nations-sponsored peacekeeping force in Afghanistan and that the military’s war in Mindanauhad prepared it for action in Central Asia.


  • Potri Rankamanis, Muslim Philippino activist.
  • Johanna Carling, with the Cordellira Peoples Alliance in the Philippines.
  • John Gershman, Asia Pacific Editor for Foreign Policy in Focus.

Related Story

Video squareStoryMay 20, 2015Sgt. James Brown, 26, Survived Two Tours in Iraq Only to Die Begging for His Life in Texas Jail
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop