Terror, insurgencies and alleged presidential corruption have wracked the Philippines in recent years, and the government continues to battle all three. Here is a look at a sitting president and a deposed one, alleged terrorists and a separatist leader.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Arroyo, who was vice president under President Joseph Estrada despite belonging to a separate political party, ascended to the presidency after Estrada stepped down under public pressure. Born April 5, 1947, the American-educated Arroyo's father, Diosdado Macapagal, was president of the Philippines from 1961-65. Before entering politics, Arroyo taught economics. She was appointed undersecretary of trade and industry by President Corazon Aquino in 1986, and was elected to the senate in 1992. She became vice president in 1998.
Former President Joseph Estrada (imprisoned) Born April 19, 1937, Estrada, a former actor known for playing swashbuckling action heroes, was elected president in 1998, but removed from office in January 2001 amid corruption allegations. He was indicted in April 2001 and charged with plunder, defined as a series of criminal acts resulting in at least $1 million in illegally acquired wealth, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of death. Officials allege he amassed $77.7 million in payoffs from illegal gambling operators, kickbacks from tobacco taxes and questionable government investments. Estrada denies wrongdoing and has challenged the legitimacy of Arroyo's presidency, but was placed on trial in October 2001.
Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani (deceased) A Libyan-trained Islamic preacher from Basilan who led the Abu Sayyaf group as it emerged in the Philippines around 1991, after fighting in Afghanistan's war to expel Soviet troops. The group started with the stated goal of being a fundimentalist band of Muslim separatists, but as the group's activities grew to include attacks on citizens, kidnappings for ransom and killings, the government dismissed Abu Sayyaf as a band of bandits. Janjalani died in a police shootout in 1998.
Khaddafy Janjalani Authorities believe Janjalani, younger brother of former Abu Sayyaf leader Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, took the helm of the outlaw group upon his brother's death in 1998. He reportedly got his first name because of his father's admiration of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Mohammad Jamal Khalifa (inactive) The Saudi-born brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden is married to a Filipino and headed the Philippine office of the Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization charity from the late 1980s until the early 1990s. Although he denied it, Philippine officials have alleged Khalifa funneled funds to Abu Sayyaf that were ostensibly intended for orphanages, mosques and other charitable endeavors. Khalifa is believed to have left the Philippines.
Galib Andang (a.k.a. "Commander Robot") A local Abu Sayyaf leader on the Philippine island of Jolo believed to have participated in numerous kidnappings, including one in April 2000 in which Westerners, Malaysians and Filipinos were snatched from a resort on the Malaysian island of Sipadan. He also is known by the alias "Commander Robot."
Nadzmie Sabtulah (a.k.a. "Commander Global")(imprisoned) When Sabtulah, also known as "Commander Global," was captured in July 2001, a Philippine military official described him as a leading Abu Sayyaf tactical commander and said his capture was "a major blow" to the group. "He plans everything for the Abu Sayyaf," another official, Lt. Col. Danilo Servando, told Reuters. "The other commanders of the group are executioners of his plan." He has been charged with murder for the killing of a tourist resort worker.
Nur Misuari (imprisoned) Diminuitive leader of the Moro National Liberation Front, a Muslim separatist group activated in the early 1970s. Misuari signed a peace deal with the Philippines government in 1996, ending more than two decades of a sometimes-violent struggle for an autonomous Muslim state in the southern Philippines, and even won the prestigious international Felix Houphouet Peace Prize for his peace efforts. However, he was jailed in Malaysia late in 2001 after renewing his separatist fight, and the governments of Malaysia and the Philippines were attempting to work out a deal on who should take custody of him and prosecute him. Some call Abu Sayyaf a splinter group of MNLF, but Misuari's older, larger group has denounced and denied any current connection to the more radical Abu Sayyaf.