Added to this, the US has been wanting to develop a friendly Muslim base, much like Saudi Arabia, as a counterbalance to Islamic nations opposed to its hegemony.
The presence of US troops exemplifies and strengthens US domination of the Philippines. When the Philippines was named as “the coordinating country” of the US in its dealings with the Asean, it meant that Manila could be counted on to promote US interests not only in the country but in the whole region. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo crowed about this, but it was not a recognition of her accomplishments and capabilities — it was an acknowledgment of her servitude and puppetry to Imperial America.
The manner by which US soldiers regard Filipino soldiers, as described by Gadian – Filipinos were gestured at by the Americans, not called by their names — is instructive of how Imperial America regards the country and the Filipino people. We are not regarded as equals but as servants.
All these years of “special relations” with the US have not made the Philippines independent of America. On the contrary, under the Arroyo government, the Philippines has become even more servile. That the Philippines is considered a major trading and investment partner of the US has not made the Philippines prosperous – it remains agricultural and backward. It has become poorer, to the detriment of the Filipino people. (Bulatlat.com)