The Philippine Question

Yesterday’s excitement in Manila raised concerns on Guam about the stability of the island nation’s government and the safety of relatives. Guam is tightly bound to the Philippines by bonds of history, geography, and family. Fully 40% of Guam’s population is Filipino, and they contribute immensely to the life and diversity of the island.

This latest unrest in the Philippines underscores long running problems in that nation. The continuing insurgency in Mindanao and the southern islands is sapping the nation’s sense of security and pride. Filipinos never forget they were once a colony of the United States, and the presence of U.S. military advisors on Filipino soil deeply rankles many in the government and military. Add to that a long history of abuse and corruption by the military and national police, and the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seems a little unsteady. She has already survived a several crises though, and it appears that yesterday’s situation was resolved peacefully.