HISTORY: FROM ITS ORIGINS TO 1521
Formerly inhabited since the Palaeolithic era by almost certainly indigenous peoples, the islands that now form the Philippine archipelago were repeatedly invaded by populations from Malaysia and Indonesia (from the 2nd to the 15th century AD). Unlike Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia, according to Softwareleverage, the Philippines were not influenced by Indian culture, but were populated by artisans and merchants from Japan, China and Muslim lands. In fact, at the beginning of the 15th century, the archipelago was Islamized and several sultanates were created with which the first Portuguese sailors came into contact in the early 1500s.
HISTORY: FROM MARCOS TO THE PRESIDENCY OF ARROYO
The Communist-oriented Hukbalahaps were overwhelmed in the mid-1950s. However, the social malaise did not disappear and the president F. Marcos (in office since 1965), faced with the revival of the guerrilla warfare, a communist in the north and a Muslim in the south, proclaimed martial law in 1972; nor the launch of a new Constitution (1973), the subsequent abolition of martial law (1981) and the presidential elections of the same year (which confirmed Marcos in office) changed the dictatorial character of the regime. The murder (1983) of Senator B. Aquino, leader of the democratic opposition, who returned to his homeland after three years of exile, on the other hand marked the beginning of a rapid collapse of the dictatorship of Marcos, which after the presidential elections of February 1986, held in a climate of violence, he was forced to leave the country, having also lost US support.
Marcos fled, power was assumed by B. Aquino’s widow, Corazón, which initiated a difficult process of normalization, opposed by the supporters of the old regime and complicated by the persistence of the guerrilla warfare. Engaged in the difficult confrontation with such different forces, the new government was comforted during the following year by two popular consultations which earned it the majority of seats and allowed Aquino to confirm the presidency. To the continuous activity of the guerrilla, interrupted only by short truces, in 1987 were added five coup attempts, thwarted solely thanks to the loyalty of the army complex. The death of Marcos and the 1989 elections, which saw the success of the government structure, therefore consolidated the political stability of the country, supported more strongly by the United States, Fidel Ramos, marked by suspicions of electoral fraud. Under the leadership of Ramos, the country was moving towards a certain normalization and even the “ghost” of Marcos was slowly disappearing. Pressed by the fundamentalists, Ramos in October 1994 managed to define a truce agreement with the most important of the Islamic opposition movements, the Moro National Liberation Front, operating in the south of the country. The elections of May 1995 recorded the success of the parties in favor of Ramos, even if on the occasion the wife of the former president Marcos managed to get himself elected deputy. Strong, therefore, of the renewed consent, the president closed the still open dispute with the military involved in the coup attempts, administering them and reintegrating them into the army. The confrontation with the guerrillas also proceeded positively and, while serious blows were dealt to an armed group born from a split of the Communist Party, negotiations with the Moro National Liberation Front (June 1996) for the creation of an autonomous zone reached maturity. Muslim in the South of the country. In 1998 with the election to the presidency of the Republic of a outsider such as Joseph Estrada, a former film actor, very popular among the less well-to-do but disliked by the ruling class, the Philippines was soon facing a new political instability.
Estrada, in fact, was the least suitable person to solve the problems presented by the serious economic crisis, which had hit all the countries of Southeast Asia, and by the internal tensions deriving from the resumption of clashes with the Moro National Liberation Front and the terrorist actions by other Islamic groups, which required the creation of an independent Islamic state on the island of Mindanao. In this climate of tension, aggravated by a now stagnant economy, at the end of 2000 the president was accused of racketeering and corruption, causing numerous popular uprisings. Abandoned, therefore, Gloria Arroyo. The consensus for the new president’s policy came soon: the legislative elections of May 2001, in fact, assigned the victory to the Arroyo coalition, a success confirmed in the presidential elections of 2004, in which Arroyo was reconfirmed. In 2006 Arroyo, following an attempted coup, proclaimed a state of emergency, and signed the law that abolished the death penalty, transforming more than a thousand death sentences into life sentences. The activity of armed groups of Maoist and Islamist inspiration in the south of the country continued and there were numerous clashes between the army and the gurriglia of the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front); this situation led the Philippine parliament to pass an anti-terrorism law (2007). The legislative elections of April 2007 confirmed the majority of the Lakas-CMD, the party of President Arroyo, which merged with the other large party of the country, the KAMPI, forming the Rainbow coalition. The government’s talks with the MILF rebels broke off in August 2008, after the Supreme Court declared the plan to grant wide autonomy to the Mindanao region unconstitutional. In May 2010, the presidential elections won by Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, son of the two former presidents, took place in a climate full of political and social tensions. after the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the plan to grant a large autonomy to the Mindanao region. In May 2010, the presidential elections won by Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, son of the two former presidents, took place in a climate full of political and social tensions. after the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the plan to grant a large autonomy to the Mindanao region. In May 2010, the presidential elections won by Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, son of the two former presidents, took place in a climate full of political and social tensions. Corazón and Benigno. In May 2013, the legislative elections gave a large majority to the coalition led by the Liberal Party, which supports President Aquino; in November the country was brought to its knees by the passage of typhoon “Haiyan” which caused thousands of victims. China’s growing interest in exploiting the resources of the South China Sea resulted in closer military ties with the US, which in 2014 were allowed to use other Philippine military bases.