The US is going to “substantially increase its military presence in the Philippines, increasing the number of troops, aircraft and ships which routinely rotate through the country,” according to The Diplomat.
Long before this decision to substantially increase US military presence in the Philippines was finalized, the US had been building up the Philippines’s military and security forces, offering funding and weapons in exchange for greater American presence in the country. The Philippines is just one of the many countries the Obama administration has been courting to greater client state status as part of their ‘strategic pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific region, which is aimed at containing China’s rising military and economic sway. Essentially, to maintain U.S. hegemony.
Washington has been building new military bases and refurbishing old ones in the region in order to lay the ground-work for an “air-sea battle” with China. The idea is to have enough US bases peppered throughout the region so that China would be too surrounded to safely attack.
This comes in light of the MNLF currently fighting a rebellion in Zamboanga.