U.S. Philippines relations. What is that? What’s the Philippines? These may be some questions you have but I think it’s important that you understand this.
The Philippines is a nation in Southern Asia, close by countries like Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and to a certain extent, Australia and Japan. The Philippines has had an interesting history full of foreign powers influencing it as well as being a key battlefield is several wars. The modern history of the Philippines began around the time the Spanish colonized the Philippine islands, in the 1500’s. From there they saw the conversion to Catholicism and by the time the 1700’s rolled around, it become the setting for a European game called war.
As the French and Indian War wreaked havoc across the America’s, the Seven Year’s war spread across Europe and Asia, including the Philippines. From 1762 to 1764, the British occupied Manila and the surrounding area’s. The Spanish were able to recover the lost territory with the conclusion of the war, but their inability to defend their colony had been revealed. It would only be exploited a bit more than a century later.
In 1898, following the conclusion of the Spanish American War, the U.S. asserted its control of the Philippines islands and it effectively became a colony. Over the years, the U.S. grew more and more attached to the nation. They helped modern structures and standards of living to the islands, and one of the most famous and prestigious American generals of all time, General Douglas MacArthur, even made it his home. Indeed, he made his home and his pride, which was why it was so important to him defending it in 1942, when it was invaded by the Imperial Japanese Army.
The American-Filipino garrison stationed there under General Douglas MacArthur fought, bled, and died together on those islands, defending it with everything they had. Two years later General MacArthur would return and with the full strength the United States Army, Navy and Air Force to help him liberate the islands from the Japanese occupation. This was an important time for the United States and the Philippines, especially for their relationship. A year after the war ended the United States would release the island colony and the Philippine Republic would be born. As time went by the U.S.-Philippines relations would stay quite good as they worked closely economically, politically, and militarily. The Philippines even leased military bases to the United States until 1992! However exactly 100 years after the United States released the Philippines, a new leader came to power and with him the sour of the American Filipino relations.
On June 30th 2016, Rodrigo Duterte became the 16th President of the Philippines. What makes him so important and such an iconic leader is his domestic and foreign policy. For years the Philippines has been fighting a drug war, a terrorism, while maintaining strong relations with the United States, allowing them to aid in the conflicts within the Philippines. Duterte quickly made his mark by mercilessly cracking down on the Drug Crisis, using methods that lead many International Leaders to Question his respect of human rights. This along with his decision to remove all U.S. troops from the islands as well as turn his focus to good relations with China and Russia, the relationship soured. Still, Americans and Filipinos still has great relations. Many ethnic Filipinos live within the U.S.. In 2002 90% of Filipinos looked upon the United States favorably and 91% Of Americans viewed the Philippines favorably. The Philippines is currently the most U.S. loving country in the world. It is my hope that us and our former colony can mend ties and once again become close partners. President Trump has warmed relations with their leader but still the Philippines issues only grow as drugs, terrorists, and even typhoons cause the Filipinos to suffer. Hopefully in the near future we can mend relations and once again help the island nation across the pacific and make our great ally even better than before.