The legacy of American occupation in the Philippines is complicated. According to experts, the public's impression of the new accord may be impacted by the U.S.'s strong influence in forming the contemporary nation. According to Vicente Rafael, a history professor at the University of Washington, the unequal relationship between the two countries stemmed from the U.S. colonial authority from 1898 and 1946.
Rafael asserts that the Philippines' commercial links with the United States are essential to its economic well-being. The military relies on the U.S. for guidance, assistance, and used weapons.
Since assuming control of the Philippines from Spain at the turn of the 20th century, the U.S. has had a strategic military relationship with the Philippines. According to Rafael, "the United States established a native, colonial militia to help them put down the Philippine Revolution that was raging at the time. It grew into the military defense force that works with the United States, particularly with domestic dangers."
Along with a civil government and the establishment of English-language public schools nationwide, an import substitution economy that kept Filipinos reliant on American aid was also implemented.
According to Richard Chu, a history professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, "The Philippines was unable to create its goods for its needs." The Philippine economy became reliant on the American one as a result.
But not everybody harbors resentment. According to Chu, schools in the Philippines emphasized American history and Western culture over Filipino history and culture. "A generation of Filipinos was raised to believe that American colonization was beneficial to the nation."
Many Filipinos would still favor the establishment of military stations today since they see China as the Philippines' nemesis and the United States as having their best interests in mind.
It’s been more than 30 years since Philippine lawmakers moved to end the permanent U.S. military presence in the country. Previously, the U.S. operated two major bases, but many Filipinos saw the bases as a legacy of U.S. colonialism, and wanted to assert their independence.
Now, the Philippines is inviting the U.S. to increase its military footprint in the country again—giving access to four new military bases amid rising tensions with China