61% of Filipinos believe US will defend Philippines in case of invasion
MANILA, Philippines — Six out of 10 Filipinos believe that the United States (US) will defend the Philippines in case of a foreign invasion, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey has revealed.
The survey, which was conducted from June 27 to 30 but was only made public on Wednesday, showed that 61 percent of the respondents believe that the U.S. will defend the Philippines while 9 percent did not believe and 30 percent are undecided.
The survey was conducted in observance last August of the 67th year of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States.
The SWS found that less than half of Filipinos or 47 percent are aware of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty while 53 percent only learned about it during the survey interview.
The SWS also noted that the belief in the defense commitment of the U.S. is stronger among those who are aware of the treaty.
The survey showed that 80 percent of those who are aware of the treaty believe that the U.S. will defend the Philippines if it is invaded.
It pointed out that this is almost twice of the 45 percent who believe in the U.S. defense commitment among those who became aware of the treaty during the interview.
The highest awareness about the Mutual Defense Treaty was recorded in Metro Manila at 58 percent, followed by Balance Luzon at 53 percent and Visayas at 41 percent.
Awareness was 55 percent in overall urban areas as compared to 38 percent in overall rural areas.
Meanwhile, the belief in the U.S. defense commitment was strongest in Balance Luzon at 70 percent, followed by Metro Manila at 64 percent and Visayas at 54 percent.
Filipinos who are aware of the dispute over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) with China are more likely to believe that the U.S. will defend the Philippines in case of an invasion, the SWS said.
The survey revealed that the belief in the U.S. defense commitment is stronger among those who are aware of the dispute over the WPS at 67 percent, compared to those who learned of the dispute only during the survey.
The survey used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide with sampling marginal error of ±3 percent. /muf
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