Country Assessments and the Philippines

by Jeffrey D. Simon


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The collapse of Marcos's regime in the Philippines caught most observers off guard. Country assessments produced by U.S. government, Congressional, and private business sources before that downfall were examined to determine their usefulness for forecasting short-term developments. There was a remarkable consensus regarding the future of the Philippines, but none of them predicted Marcos's immediate downfall, which resulted from three factors: widespread corruption in the presidential elections, the defection of the military to the Aquino camp, and the role the United States played in pressuring Marcos to hold the elections and then to step down. Many of the issues identified as relevant to the Marcos regime are also relevant for the future of the Aquino administration. The insurgency poses a long-term threat. Immediate threats are civil unrest, military and governmental factionalism, and polarization among different political groups. Economic developments could also threaten the government's stability.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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