Philippines. When a barely-majority of the Senate voted in January against the corruption-accused President Joseph Estrada to face trial, this led to mass protests in the capital. The demonstration trains gathered above all the Filipino middle class, while the poorer section of the population, where the president obtained his main support, was largely absent. After four days, the military withdrew its support for Estrada, triggering mass shootings from the government. Estrada was deposed and Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who headed the protests, stepped into his place. Arroyo belongs to the country’s traditional political elite.
In March, it was clear that Estrada would face trial when the Supreme Court took away his immunity from prosecution. He was arrested in April and charged with forfeiting the equivalent of $ 80 million during his 30 months in power as well as for perjury and forgery.
Parliamentary elections were held on May 14 and Arroyo’s party alliances managed to gain control of the Senate. The election campaign became violent and required sixty lives. Muslim guerrilla groups’ struggle for an independent state created concern in the south.
The government army continued its offensive against the militant Abu Sayyaf guerrilla, which committed several new acts of violence. At the end of May, the rebels kidnapped 20 people, including three Americans. Several in the hostages were later found dead. Abu Sayyaf was later reported to have ties to the al-Qaeda network, which was suspected of the terrorist attacks in the United States in September.
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However, the Arroyo government held peace talks with the MILF guerrilla, and in August the parties agreed to cease fire. The sensitive negotiations then continued during the fall.
Struggles erupted in the islands of Mindanao and Jolo in November after rebels from yet another Muslim group, the MNLF, had attacked army posts on the islands. In 1996, the MNLF made peace with the government in exchange for self-government in a region of Mindanao.
Behind the attacks was a faction of the MNLF who was loyal to Governor Nur Misurai who opposed elections being held in the Muslim region. Misurai had led the movement during many years of guerrilla struggle and had recently been ousted by his own from the MNLF chairmanship because of allegations of incompetence and corruption. Misurai was arrested within a week in Malaysia, but the unrest did not end. The elections in the region were held as planned on November 26. However, few people voted.
In November 2013, the country was hit by typhoon Yolanda. The worst typhoon in history in the country with wind speeds of up to 315km/h over 1 minute. In comparison, a hurricane starts at gusts of 120km/h. Yolanda hit the Visayas, where it particularly affected Samar and Leyte. About DKK 11 million people were affected by the typhoon, which cost at least 6,300 lives and caused $ 2.86 billion in damage. US $. The exceptionally violent typhoon was seen as an expression of global climate change, which increases the sea temperature and thus contributes to more extreme weather.
In March 2014, a peace agreement was signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) after 17 years of negotiations. As part of the peace agreement, an autonomous Bangsamoro region was established in the southern part of the country, in return for the rebel movement to abandon its claim to an independent Islamic state. Another rebel movement led by Abu Sayyaf was strongly opposed to the peace agreement. In July, it swore allegiance to IS in Iraq and carried out attacks in the Sulu province that cost 21 lives. In December, another 10 were killed and 30 injured when a mortar grenade hit a bus in Bukidnon province.
That same month, the Philippines renewed its claim on the Spratly Islands. Both Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam had similar demands on the archipelago.
In April, the President of the United States visited the country. On that occasion, a new military cooperation agreement was signed between the two countries that allowed the United States to use military bases in the Philippines.
In August, former General Jovito Palparan was arrested, charged with kidnapping and torture. It was the first time a senior officer was arrested for human rights violations. It gave hope that the country would begin to depart from the traditional impunity for human rights violations committed by security forces.
Journalist Nerlita Ledesma was assassinated in January 2015. The country’s journalists’ association calculated that 30 journalists had been killed since Aquino came to power in 2010. Only in 6 of the cases had the authorities made arrests. The rest was unsolved. Ledesma was murdered the day after 12 journalists and magazine comic strips were murdered in the French Charlie Hebdo, but while the French killings caused the Western press to go self-inflicted, the murder of Ledesma did not even trigger a note in the European newspapers.
According to Countryaah, the population of Philippines in 2001 was 86,326,139, ranking number 12 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.050% yearly, and the population density was 289.5202 people per km2.