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Philippine Counterinsurgency during the Presidencies of Magsaysay, Marcos, and Ramos: Challenges and Opportunities

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Communist insurgency had been a national security problem of the Philippines since the American colonial period. When the Philippines earned their independence in 1945, communist insurgency rapidly grew in Luzon due to the Philippines worsening condition caused by the aftermath of Second World War and political instability. In the early 1950s, the communist insurgents would have succeeded in taking power but Ramon Magsaysay was appointed as Secretary of Defense. In 1955, Magsaysay became president and defeated the communist insurgents. In 1969, a new Maoist-inspired communist insurgency prevailed replacing the old Soviet model. President Marcos declared martial law to stop the growing communism and transformed the democratic system into a new Philippine society in 1972. In a decade, the Philippine economy collapsed and corruption in government became worse while the communist insurgency grew in an unprecedented heights. Marcos was unseated by a People Revolution and democracy was restored in 1986. In 1992, President Ramos instituted economic reforms and implemented reconciliation and talks to end communist insurgency. This thesis will assess and determine the factors that led to the successes or failures of the government policy and security strategy during Magsaysay, Marcos and Ramos presidencies in fighting communist insurgency.

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