The dreaded Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) is the urban operations unit of the leftist New People's Army. They operate primarily in Metro Manila, the capital of the Philippines, although they have carried out operations in other large cities. The group is named for a prominent labor leader, sympathetic to the NPA, who was allegedly killed by the military during the Marcos administration.
They were formed in the mid-1980's, after the Aquino assassination, in the years leading to the Marcos ouster. They have claimed responsibility for over a hundred assassinations within Metro Manila alone, and is best known overseas for the 1989 killing of US Army Colonel James Rowe, who was undertaking high-level negotiations with the government at the time.
They operate in small, 2-6 man "sparrow units", usually executing their victims in drive-by shootings (with automatic weapons). Their targets are primarily high-ranking military or police officers who are known to engage in drug smuggling, graft and corruption, or other organized crime (and thus are convicted by the ABB of "crimes against the people"). They also, on occasion, hit industrialists or businessmen who are perceived to oppress laborers (and labor unions); sometimes, the threat of an ABB attack is enough to end a strike. They have apologized publicly at times to families of innocent victims killed alongside their targets.
Due to this, the ABB has won the support of a number of citizens from the middle and lower classes, who are believed to supply the group with both money and safe houses.
In 1997, during the period of internal dissension within the Communist Party of the Philippines, the ABB announced it had broken away from the NPA, and had formed an alliance with the Rebolusyong Partido ng Manggagawa-Pilipinas (RPM-P). (loose translation - Revolutionary Party of Workers - Philippines)
They are currently undergoing peace talks with the Arroyo administration in Oslo, Norway.
Some facts checked with the Philippine Daily Inquirer and local newscasts.