Military authorities in the Philippines have begun arming hundreds of civilians for operations against guerrillas in the southwestern Philippines.
GV: Troops and civilians in military camp.
SV: Major Mass Bawang briefing commanders and civilians. (TWO SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW: Forest land.
SV: Supervisors arrive and meet assault military personnel and armed civilians. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: 105 mm artillery fired.
LV ZOOM: Target hit.
LV: Troops and civilians after assault with machine gunfire in background. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: Dead and wounded after assault. (TWO SHOTS)
GV & SV Captured prisoners.
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Background: Military authorities in the Philippines have begun arming hundreds of civilians for operations against guerrillas in the southwestern Philippines. Some are joining a combined military and police force which is being formed to mount a full-scale offensive against the guerrillas, while others are being formed into Civilian Home Defence Forces.
SYNOPSIS: For six years the southern Moslem rebellion had dragged on and the country now seems set to resume a full-scale conflict after almost a-year-long shaky truce. Major Mass Bawang is one officer who was now taken civilians under his command to reinforce the Filipino push, especially in the heavily wooded terrain where the rebels have a major redoubt.
The military in the region are known to have been chafing at restrictions which limit their action to retaliatory strikes - especially since last month's killing of seven senior officers, including a general. And now the troops, backed up by civilians and reservists, many of whom were once themselves guerrillas, have mounted an attack on a camp reportedly manned by 2,000 secessionists.
Government forces are reported to have sealed off approaches to the rebel stronghold. The cameraman who shot this film was especially invited to do so by the military authorities apparently to combat film being shot by another crew with the rebels in JOLO.
According to the Government forces, eight rebels were killed during the exercise-but they said nothing about any casualties they had suffered. In addition, said the military, another six M M L F rebels were taken prisoners. To date, the death toll on both sides in the southern Philippines fighting mounts to over 10,000