Rebellion and Repression in the Philippines

Richard J. Kessler, Author Yale University Press $37.5 (256p) ISBN 978-0-300-04406-5
Opposing other studies of the revolutionary struggle in the geographically and socially fragmented Philippines, Kessler--Senate Foreign Relations staff member responsible for Asian issues--argues that future stability in this nation depends as much on the evolving character of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as it does on the strategy of the Communist Party and its New Model Army. Looking closely at the histories and present status of both adversaries (``like scorpions, they are locked in a deadly embrace''), he examines how the Manila government has allegedly used the AFP to protect the interests of the elite. The government's counter-insurgency program ``guarantees'' insurgencies to come, claims the author, tracing the development of the pattern through the Huk rebellion, the Marcos era and into the present Aquino government. U.S. security and economic interests in the Philippines are substantial, but Kessler believes that Americans ``lack the financial resources, the will, and even the right'' to interfere directly in the reform of the AFP. He hopes that Washington aid programs will ``help clarify'' the means by which Filipinos can determine their own destiny. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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