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Indonesia: The Philippines
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Foreign Policy > Relations with Neighboring Nations > The Philippines


Although a contiguous state and an ASEAN partner, Indonesia's relations with the Philippines were more distant than with its other immediate neighbors. The Philippines' aligned status with the United States and its simmering territorial dispute with Malaysia over the sovereignty of Sabah inhibited a close relationship with Indonesia and other ASEAN members. Most worrisome for Jakarta was the seeming inability of the Philippines' government to put an end to its internal wars. Indonesia viewed the growth of the communist New People's Army as destablizing for the region. Moreover, the Muslim insurrection in the Philippines' south had implications for regional territorial integrity as well as Indonesian Muslim politics.

As the Ferdinand Marcos regime came to an end in 1986, Jakarta associated itself with the other ASEAN states in welcoming a peaceful transfer of power to Corazon Aquino. Jakarta was the first capital visited by the Philippines' new president, unprecedentedly even before Washington, and Suharto took the opportunity to press the urgency of defeating the New People's Army. To show support for Aquino's government, Suharto insisted that the 1987 ASEAN Manila Summit meeting go forward despite apprehensions in other ASEAN capitals about the security situation. Jakarta was not displeased that Aquino was succeeded in 1992 by Fidel Ramos, who, as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and later secretary of national defense, was well-known to ABRI's senior leadership.

Data as of November 1992

Last Updated: November 1992

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Indonesia was first published in 1993. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Indonesia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 173 of 210


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