Interface of Security and Development: The Bases
However much grumbling there was nationally about the extent of U.S. assistance to the Philippines, within the armed forces there was always a businesslike attitude and gratitude for American weaponry and training. The military, as columnist Tony Abaya put it, “rightly or wrongly, is perceived to be pro-American.”1 Although the roots of this perception are in the nature of the connection, the practical spirit of this cooperation was always a function of senior AFP and civilian DND leaders. During the 1960s and into the 1970s it was Alejandro Melchor, an Annapolis graduate, who incarnated this. As under secretary of DND and then executive secretary at Malacañang Palace, Melchor made it his business to know all the key American military personnel in the Philippines—as well as their bosses back home. Several CINCPACs (Commanders in Chief, Pacific) were personal friends. He came to know weapons issues intimately.
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- 5.Bonifacio S. Salamanca, “Quezon, Osmena, and Roxas and the American Military Presence in the Philippines,” Philippine Studies 37 (1989), p. 314.Google Scholar