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When the Police are the Problem: The Philippine Constabulary and the Hukbalahap Rebellion

Walter Ladwig

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Abstract: The issue of policing lies at the heart of the Hukbalahap Rebellion (1948–1954), in large part because the indiscriminate and heavy-handed tactics employed by the country’s national police force, the Philippine Constabulary (PC), was a leading factor driving support for the Huk movement. A key turning point in the campaign came with the reform and reorganization of the PC, as a result of which the bulk of the PC’s personnel were transferred into the Army, which was given the lead for the COIN campaign. Although the idea of a military-led COIN campaign, with the police in a supporting role, would appear to run counter to the assumptions that inspired this volume, the example of the Philippine Constabulary illustrates the damage that an ineffectual police agency can do in counterinsurgency and the lengths that a country may have to go to ameliorate the situation.

Date: 2019-12-23
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DOI: 10.31219/

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