United States Reactions
Given its past colonial association and continued security
and economic interests in the Philippines, the United States
never was a disinterested party in Philippine politics. On June
1, 1983, the United States and the Philippines signed a five-year
memorandum of agreement on United States bases, which committed
the United States administration to make "best efforts" to secure
US$900 million in economic and military aid for the Philippines
between 1984 and 1988. The agreement reflected both United States
security concerns at a time of increased Soviet-Western tension
in the Pacific and its continued faith in the Marcos regime.
The assassination of Aquino shocked United States diplomats
in Manila, but conservative policy makers in the administration
of President Ronald Reagan remained, until almost the very end,
supportive of the Marcoses, because no viable alternative seemed
available. In hindsight, United States support for the moderate
People's Power movement under Corazon Aquino, backed by church
and business groups, would seem to be self-evident common sense.
Yet in the tense days and weeks leading up to Marcos's ouster,
many policy makers feared that she was not tough or canny enough
to survive a military coup d'état or a communist takeover.
Data as of June 1991