Philippines. President Fidel Ramos and the leader of one of the island’s Mindanao Muslim guerrillas, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Nur Misuari, announced on August 19 that they had agreed a peace agreement, which would end 26 years of war in the southern Philippines. Ramos and Misuari met in a fishing village where fierce fighting was going on. The Parties agreed to establish the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development. The council was to “guide and coordinate the peace work” and got three members with Nur Misuari as chairman. The peace agreement was signed by the parties on September 2. Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, who had a key role in the negotiations, also became one of the signatories. The agreement received no undivided positive reception in the country. When President Fidel Ramos visited an air base near Zamboanga in the southern Philippines the following day, he was met by close to 10,000 protesters protesting the peace agreement. During the more than quarter-century war, about 50,000 people were killed.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does PH stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Philippines. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
Even in the armed conflict with the Communist-led guerrilla National Democratic Front (NDF), a peaceful solution came closer, after the government confirmed on June 19 that peace talks were resumed in the Netherlands. This was made possible by a court in Manila ordering the release of Sotero Llamas, a veteran of the Communist New People’s Army (NPA). The negotiations had broken down in June 1995, when the government refused to release Llamas.
One of the two government parties, Laban ng Democratic King Pilipino (LDP), left the government on May 31. However, President Ramo’s Christian Democratic Party, Lakas ng EDSA, had its own majority in the House of Representatives. LDP’s resignation was considered by outside judges to be an introduction to the campaign ahead of the 1998 presidential election. Earlier, in April, President Ramos appointed two women ministers: Carmensita Reodica as Minister of Health and Mina Gabor as Minister of Tourism.
An outbreak group from the Muslim MNLF guerrilla resumed fighting against the army in October. During the army’s shooting of some villages with artillery and grenade launchers, 750 families in the southern Philippines were forced to flee. The guerrillas attacked a military base and the army attacked a guerrilla base with helicopters. Hard fighting continued during the late autumn on the island of Basilan in the southern part of the country, and government troops entered three guerrilla camps. A summit with leaders of 18 countries in the APEC cooperative, including US President Bill Clinton, China’s President Jiang Zemin and Japan’s Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, was held in late November at the former US Navy base Subic Bay.
A declaration for a continued path towards full free trade until 2020, the Manila Action Plan for APEC, was adopted, as was a statement on free trade with computers, electronic components, telecommunications equipment and other information technology. This trade turns around $ 500 billion each year in the countries around the Pacific. In November, the Philippine company Napacor placed an order with ABB on a power line worth SEK 600 million. US Motorola received an order worth over $ 100 million to deliver a mobile telephone network in the southern Philippines.
Vaccinations have been initiated without an approved vaccine
Some Philippine military and ministers have already been vaccinated against covid-19, although the vaccine has not yet been approved by the authorities. At the same time, the Ministry of Health declares that no vaccinations should be allowed before the vaccine, nothing is said about which, has received the green light from experts. Earlier, President Duterte said that almost all soldiers were vaccinated by a vaccine from China.
New indictment against Ressa for libel
Journalist Maria Ressa, from the online magazine Rappler, is charged for the second time with online defamation. It is the businessman Wilfredo Keng who reacted to a twitter post from 2019 with a screenshot of a newspaper article about Keng from 2002. The post was later deleted. Ressa, who believes that the prosecution against her is absurd, was convicted in June of a similar crime (see June 2020) and is free on bail. Even then, it was a complaint from Keng, about an article from 2002 that concerned the businessman’s contacts with a high-ranking judge.
At least 67 dead in new storm
At least 67 people die in a new storm in the Philippines. Typhoon Vamco is causing severe flooding around Manila and low-lying provinces around the capital. Marikina City, a suburb of Manila, is hardest hit. The storm also causes power outages that affect 100,000s of people.
The Philippines extends defense agreement with the United States
The Philippines will extend its defense agreement with the United States for another six months, Defense Minister Teodoro Locsin announced. The decision comes after President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the US presidential election and said he wanted close cooperation with his administration.
The corona crisis is hitting the Philippines’ economy
The corona crisis is hitting the Philippines’ economy hard. During the third quarter of the year, GDP fell by more than 11 percent, which was still lower than during the second quarter when the corresponding figure was almost 17 per cent, with a loss of 0.3 percent during the first quarter of the year. This is the first time in 30 years that the Philippines has experienced a recession. In addition, the economy is affected by the fact that Filipinos abroad do not send home as much money as before. Up to and including August, the referrals were 2.6 percent lower than the year before and thousands of Filipinos who lost their jobs have returned to their home country. However, there are some signs that the economy has begun to recover, albeit at a slow pace.
At least 20 dead in storms in the Philippines
At least 20 people are killed when typhoon Goni sweeps across the Philippines. The material damage is also great and tens of thousands of people are losing their homes. The most vulnerable are the Catanduan Eagles and the Albay Province on the island of Luzon. In the city of Virac, between 80 and 90 percent of all buildings have been destroyed. At most, wind speeds of 225 kilometers per hour are measured. The winds along with torrential rains caused floods and landslides. Some 347,000 people had been evacuated from their homes before the typhoon reached the Philippines. Preparations for the storm have been complicated by the ongoing corona pandemic. To date, the Philippines has had nearly 380,000 confirmed cases of covid-19 and over 7,000 people have died from the disease.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Philippines in 1996 was 69,783,977, ranking number 14 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.430% yearly, and the population density was 234.0413 people per km2.