THE PHILIPPINES: The Limits to Martial Law

When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law 17 months ago, one of his major justifications was that only drastic measures could crush the insurrections that were plaguing the islands. Since then he has suppressed all political opposition, imposed strict press censorship and outlawed private possession of guns. Yet violent opposition to his regime has not only continued but burgeoned.

Moslem insurgents in the southwestern Sulu Archipelago, where the population is 95% Moslem, have recently mounted their largest attacks ever against the Manila government. Early last month the insurgents occupied the towns...

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