A Brief History
MIDN 1/C Connor
MIDN 1/C Teal
Origins of the Philippines
• Inhabited for more than 30,000 years
• Chinese settle islands in the 10th Century
• 14th Century Muslim traders bring their religion
and culture to the islands
Portuguese Explore Ferdinand Magellan arrives
March 15, 1521 and brings the first exposure to
Western culture
Magellan killed one month after arriving in a
dispute with a local tribe
Armed Forces of the Philippines
• Army
• Navy:
–Coast Guard
–Marine Corps
• Air Force
Military Power Today
• Military branches:
Army: 73,000
Navy (includes Marine Corps) 24,000
Air Force: 16,500
Paramilitary: 44,000 active
• Primary military equipment
65 tanks
42 combat aircraft
97 armed helicopters
Military Power Today
• Military expenditures: $995 million
• Military manpower
Age of service: 20
Military manpower, availability:
– Males ages 15-49
– 21,220,191
Philippines Today:
• Population: 87,857,473 (July 2005 est.)
• GDP: $451.3 billion (2005 est.)
• Industries:
– electronics assembly, garments,
footwear, pharmaceuticals,
chemicals, wood products,
food processing, petroleum
refining, fishing
• Naural Resources:
– timber, petroleum, nickel,
cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper
(2000 census)
• Roman Catholic 80.9%
• Evangelical 2.8%
• Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%
• Aglipayan 2%
• Other Christian 4.5%
• Muslim 5%, other 1.8%
• Unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1%
• Two Official Languages:
• Filipino: eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano,
Ilocano, Hiligaynon or
Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray,
Pampango, and Pangasinan
• English
Terrain of the Philippines
• mostly mountains with narrow to extensive
coastal lowlands
• The Climate is:
– tropical marine
– northeast monsoon
(Nov to Apr)
– southwest monsoon
(May to October)
Major Cities
• The Philippine Islands became a Spanish
colony during the 16th century
• Given to the US in 1898 following the
Spanish-American War
Unrest among the Filipinos
• Revolutionary Filipino leader Emilio
Aguinaldo takes steps for independence
• June 12, 1898 Declaration of
• September 15, 1898 convening of a
revolutionary congress and proposal for a
new constitution
America takes control
• December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris is
• Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico are
given over to the United States
• Cuba was granted independence
• February 4, 1899 hostilities breakout as a
result of the actions of two American
• Fighting broke out for more than 2 years
• Around 125,000 American soldiers
committed to the effort
• Estimated 16,000 Filipino casualties
• 4,234 American casualties
End of War
• Aguinaldo captured on March 23, 1901
• Forced to swear allegiance to the United
• Insurgent activities continued until 1903
• Replacement of the Sharia or Islamic law
with United States rule
• Non-Muslim curriculum schools established
• In 1934, United States
Congress passed a law
granting Philippine
• In 1935 the Philippines
became a self-governing
– Manuel QUEZON
was elected President
• In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese
occupation during WWII
• US forces and Filipinos
fought together during
1944-45 to regain control
The Battle of Leyte Gulf
• October 23-26 1944
• Largest naval battle in history
• Last use of “ship of the line” tactics
• First appearance of kamikaze attacks
• Philippines a vital island chain maintaining
the supply line for the Japanese
The Battle of Leyte Gulf
• 4 Distinct engagements
• Battle of the Sibuyan Sea- carrier air attack
• Battle of Surigao Strait- Japanese Battleships
meet with American battlegroup
Battle off Cape Engaño- Carrier battle, Japan
loses 4 carriers
Battle off Samar- American destroyers used
torpedo and air attacks to run off the Japanese
World War II:
Fledgling Filipino
• It consisted highly maneuverable motor
torpedo boats known as Q-boats
• The squadron was nicknamed the
“Mosquito Fleet”
• 65% of its men were awarded the Silver
Star Medal and other awards
20th Century
• On 4 July 1946 the Philippines attained their
• Newly elected President Quezon hired retired US Army
Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur to prepare the
Philippines’ Defense System
• The defense system was patterned so that there would
– 200,000 citizen army
– 250 planes of the Philippine Army
Air Corps
– 50 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB)
International security issues:
• The Philippines is involved in a dispute
over the Spratly Islands with:
– China
– Malaysia
– Taiwan
– Vietnam
– possibly Brunei
Sources of Instability:
• Separatist activities
• Moro Islamic Liberation Front
• Abu Sayyaf
• Moro National Liberation Front
• Human Rights
Current Status
• Democracy led by their 14th elected
• Constitution and government similar to
our own
• Muslim Separtist group, Abu Sayyaf,
operating out of the Southern Philippines
• American forces supporting the search and
capture of Abu Sayyaf members
So What?
• Vital shipping lanes
• Chain of Islands
• Exposed coast with mountainous interior
• Basis for Muslim extremist groups
• Unconstitutional for foreign militaries to
conduct operations on the islands