Oct 262014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/01/07MANILA255.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA255 2007-01-22 09:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO4140
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0255/01 0220947
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220947Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4855
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 9523
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 3040
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNS/COMSOCPAC HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000255

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, PM, S/CT, AND EAP/MTS
USPACOM ALSO FOR FPA HUSO AND J5
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP (TOOLAN/BAILEY)
JOINT STAFF/J5 (WILKES/ROBINSON/CLEMMONS)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER MARR MASS MOPS MCAP PREL EAID RP
SUBJECT: THE USG IS HELPING DEFEAT THE TERRORISTS ON JOLO

REF: A. MANILA 241
¶B. MANILA 196
¶C. 06 MANILA 786

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The deaths of Abu Sayyaf Group leaders
Khadaffy Janjalani and Jainal Antel Sali AKA Abu Solaiman at
the hands of the Philippine Armed Forces represent a
significant victory for President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and
the people of the Philippines. This achievement is also a
testimony to the effectiveness of our comprehensive
Mission-wide effort to improve the capacities of the
Philippine military and, through civil military operations,
USAID assistance, and public diplomacy, to shrink the Abu
Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists’ margin of maneuver
into an ever-diminishing physical and psychological space.
Leaders of the Philippine government and armed forces have
publicly and effusively praised U.S. support and assistance
as crucial in these efforts. Our combined efforts will need
to continue until all key terrorists here are captured or
killed. Final eradication of terrorists from the Philippines
will required continued intensive engagement and support from
a wide range of USG agencies. END SUMMARY.

CIVIL-MILITARY OPERATIONS CAMPAIGN
———————————-

¶2. (SBU) In November 2005, we and the Philippines faced a
significant challenge on Jolo, which had been a long-time Abu
Sayyaf recruiting ground and was considered its most
impregnable redoubt. Janjalani, Abu Solaiman, and the 2002
Bali bombers Dulmatin and Umar Patek from the Jemaah
Islamiyah had fled to the island in the belief that they
could operate from there with near-impunity. In a carefully
coordinated effort, Joint Special Operations Task
Force-Philippines and USAID worked together to build upon
existing USAID projects in a coordinated civil-military
operations campaign aimed at driving a wedge between the
terrorists and the population on whom they depended for
support. Beginning with the February 2006 Balikatan
Exercise and bolstered by the May-June 2006 deployment of the
USNS MERCY, these activities succeeded in isolating the
terrorists, who found — to their surprise — the population
of Jolo was not sympathetic to their cause. A USAID-funded
$1 million road now links the former Abu Sayyaf stronghold of
Indanan to Jolo City. A region that once took Philippine
soldiers days of hard fighting to reach is now only a
20-minute drive from Jolo’s capital.

BACKING UP THE TROOPS ON THE GROUND
———————————–

¶3. (SBU) Philippine troops have demonstrated impressive
tenacity and aggressiveness during “Operation Ultimatum,” the
ongoing effort since August 1, 2006 to eliminate the Abu
Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah leadership on Jolo. U.S.
assistance has helped build the Philippine military into an
increasingly formidable force. Joint U.S. Military
Assistance Group efforts in support of defense reform and the
maintenance and mobility program have provided key training
and equipment. Backing up the Filipino soldier on the ground
are OV-10 aircraft, MD-520 gunships, and UH-1H helicopters
with improved readiness rates. U.S.-trained pilots equipped
with night vision goggles have evacuated wounded from jungle
battlefields, while Light Reaction Company snipers firing
from helicopters have used U.S.-taught skills and SR-25
rifles to decimate fleeing groups of Abu Sayyaf terrorists.
The U.S. Naval Special Warfare teams and vessels of Joint
Task Force 515 have provided the intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance support that has enabled the Philippine
Navy to keep intact the maritime cordon around Jolo and to
conduct over 5100 maritime interdictions. The engagement of
Joint Special Operations Task Force personnel on the ground
with their Philippine counterparts has provided critical
intelligence and planning assistance, and Federal Bureau of
Investigation agents have helped with sensitive site
exploitation, evidence handling, and DNA analysis. Armed
Forces Chief of Staff General Esperon has been unstinting in
his public praise, saying that Philippine troops were getting
“very critical, very substantial” intelligence support from

MANILA 00000255 002 OF 002

the United States. President Arroyo and other senior leaders
have publicly praised U.S. cooperation and underscored the
importance of our “strategic alliance against terrorism and
poverty.”

ACTIVE PUBLIC DIPLOMACY
———————–

¶4. (SBU) Public diplomacy has played an important role in
changing perceptions. Through the International Visitor
Program we have brought young and dynamic Jolo leaders to the
United States to learn from U.S. counterparts how to improve
their island’s governance and development, as well as learn
more about the United States and its people. Jolo Provincial
Administrator Don Loong proudly notes on his business card
that he was a 2006 Leadership Fellow. The Strategic
Speaker’s Initiative brought a U.S. imam to Jolo, where he
engaged the local Muslim community and demonstrated that
Islam can co-exist and thrive in a modern, secular society.
The Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission have both made a
dozen trips to Jolo to open USAID infrastructure projects and
internet classrooms and to participate in medical and
engineering civic action programs. The Ambassador joined
Governor Ben Loong in April 2006 in a public commemoration of
the victims of the March 2006 Jolo City bombing perpetrated
by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

A TEAM EFFORT
————-

¶5. (SBU) The war on terrorism in the southern Philippines is
not yet over. Dulmatin and Umar Patek remain at large, and
other Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf Group operatives are
still actively plotting to attack U.S. and Philippine
targets. We cannot let down our guard. Nonetheless, we can
take satisfaction in Philippine successes and in the
knowledge that many elements of our Mission have played a
role in this effort. Final eradication of terrorists from
the Philippines will required continued intensive engagement
and support from a wide range of USG agencies.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm
KENNEY

   

 

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.