Philippines

Philippines

Philippines After four hundred years of colonialism, the Philippines was granted independence by the USA on 4 July 1946. The country was ruled by Spain before becoming an US protectorate in 1898. During the Second World War, the Philippines came under a short-lived Japanese occupation which naturally ended with the defeat of Japan in 1945.

The vast majority of the population has been united by a common cultural and religious, mainly Roman-Catholic, background. The most significant minority group is the Muslims in Southern Philippines (primarily in Mindanao); Islam reached the South as early as the 14th century.

There have been three types of intrastate conflicts since 1946: one with communist insurgency groups over government; another of territorial nature with various Muslim separatist organisations in Mindanao and lastly a series of military coup attempts in the late 1980s. The first had its beginnings in the first decade of independence; repression of dissent and a mishandled land re-distribution policy set the stage for an intensification of the Hukbalahap (Huk) Rebellion which begun in 1946 and ended in 1954, led by activists from the Filipino Communist Party, PKP. In the early 1960s, increasing criticism of U.S. involvement in Filipino affairs and the inspiration of successful revolutions in China and Cuba incited young PKP members to continue the armed struggle against the government. These activists decided to establish the Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) in 1968 and the group has engaged in armed struggle from its inception and well into the 21st century.

The second type of intrastate conflict dates back to colonial times and the formation of the Moro (the term comes from a Spanish Reconquista-period term for Arabs or Muslims) identity and the idea of an independent Moro homeland in Southern Philippines. However, it was not until the 1970s and 1980s that Moro nationalists organised into various rebel groups, infused with Islamist ideology. The most significant rebel groups involved in the Moro struggle have been the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Both Muslim and Communist rebels have employed one-sided violence as a part of their tactics.

In 1986-1990, a conflict subsisted between disgruntled factions of the Filipino armed forces and the government, following the successful popular uprising against the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

Since independence, the Philippines has not been a primary party in any interstate conflict. However, due to the strong military and economic ties to the United States, Filipino troops participated in the Korean War (1950-1953), and non-combatant engineers later augmented U.S. forces in Vietnam. Crucial to U.S. military action in the Vietnam war were bases located in the Philippines; these bases came courtesy of a (later-amended) 99-year lease on a number of Philippine military and naval bases in which U.S. authorities had virtual territorial rights.

Since 1946 the Philippines has experienced the intra-state, non-state and one-sided categories of UCDP organised violence.