The Philippines has been fighting a decades-long insurgency. But a cease-fire is holding and peace talks are advancing. What makes this possible is commitment from the top and the bottom: Leaders insist on moving ahead, and warring families want peace for their children.
US troops in the southern Philippines work to undercut militancy with projects such as better roads, fatter cattle, and a new school, which opened last week.
Philippines political violence claims 35 lives on the southern island of Mindanao. An adviser to President Gloria Arroyo calls it a "massacre... unequaled in recent history."
Philippines government alleges MILF involvement in a firefight last week with members of the militant Abu Sayyaf, calling into question a cease-fire with the rebel group.
Wednesday's firefight was the bloodiest battle involving the Abu Sayyaf in at least two years. It also raises questions about the effectiveness of US support to Filipino troops.
Renewed violence on the island shows the challenge of wiping out militant groups for good.