Since January 2002, US Special Operations Forces (SOFs) have been stationed in the southern Philippines and have not left since then.
Initially the deployment sparked controversy and stirred opposition given that a long-standing campaign against US military presence in the country had earlier resulted in the insertion into the post-Marcos 1986 Constitution of provisions limiting the presence of foreign troops and in the eventual closure of US military bases in 1992. While a subsequent treaty paved the way for the re-entry of US troops to take part in so-called training exercises, the deployment of the US SOFs was a big step farther: For the ﬁrst time, US troops were openly going to a combat-zone with real enemies. In an attempt to stop the deployment, a petition invoking the constitutional provisions on foreign troops was lodged before the Philippine Supreme Court.1 It was junked. While the Court agreed with the petitioners that US troops are indeed constitutionally banned from engaging in an “offensive war” in the country, it held that whether they are actually doing so is “a question of fact” that has to be proven. Five years after the initial deployment, this video, bundled with a printed report shows the available information and evidence regarding this “question of fact” with the intention to show that there are grounds for revisiting the role and actions of the US military in the Philippines, both in terms of its constitutionality and in terms its impact on regional peace and stability