As China continues with its militarization of the contested West Philippine Sea, a majority of Filipinos continue to believe that the United States would defend the country in case of foreign invasion.
At least that’s according to a survey released by Social Weather Stations yesterday, which found that 61 percent of those surveyed think that the U.S. will defend the Philippines.
This belief is stronger among those who are aware of the Mutual Defense Treaty signed between the Philippines and the U.S. in 1951.
Signed by then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo, the treaty states that an attack on one country is considered an attack on another. It also said that both countries will “separately and jointly by self-help and mutual aid maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.”
In the survey, 80 percent of those who were aware of the defense treaty before the survey was conducted strongly believed that the U.S. will defend the country. 58 percent of those who are aware of the treaty reside in Metro Manila, and many of them are from classes A, B, and C.
Majority of those who believe that the U.S. will come to the Philippines’ aid are residents of Luzon (70 percent), followed by Metro Manila (64 percent), and the Visayas (54 percent). Residents of Mindanao were least likely to believe, with only 48 percent of the respondents there saying that the U.S. would fend off foreign invaders.
SWS’ survey, conducted on June 27 – 30, involved face-to-face interviews with 1,200 adults living all over the country.
The results of their survey aren’t that surprising. Many Filipinos hold a favorable view of the U.S. According to a study conducted in 2017 by the Pew Research Center, 78 percent of Filipinos surveyed think highly of the U.S.
At one point, specifically in 2014, the Pew Research Center found that 92 percent of their then Filipino respondents had a favorable view of the U.S., much higher than 82 percent of the Americans surveyed who think highly of their own country.
While the numbers of America-loving Filipinos have shrunk dramatically in Pew’s research, the fact remains that Filipinos still think of the U.S. as allies. In fact, Filipinos trust the U.S. more than China despite the Duterte administration’s warming relations with the latter.