Timeline: The Philippines

A chronology of key events:

1542 - Spanish expedition claims the islands and names them the Philippines after the heir to the Spanish throne.

1890s - Beginnings of insurrection against Spanish rule.

1898 - During the Spanish-American War, the US navy destroys the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Spain cedes the Philippines to the US under the Treaty of Paris in December. The US proclaims military rule.

1899 - Insurgent activity against US forces begins.

1901 - Leader of insurgents, Emilio Aguinaldo, is captured.

1902 - US civil government replaces military rule.

1907 - A Philippine assembly is inaugurated.

1935 - A plebiscite approves the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Manuel Quezon is the first president. The Philippines is promised full independence within 10 years.

Invasion and occupation

1941 - Japan attacks the Philippines by air and invades two weeks later.

1944 - US forces retake the islands.

1946 - The islands are granted full independence and renamed the Republic of the Philippines.

1947 - The US is awarded military bases on the islands.

1951 - Peace treaty signed with Japan. The Philippines eventually receive 800 million dollars in reparations payments.

1965 - Ferdinand Marcos becomes president.

1969 - Marcos is re-elected amidst allegations of electoral fraud. Marcos supports the US policy in Vietnam. There are protests against this. Muslim separatists in the south of the country also begin their campaign of guerrilla war.

Martial law

1972 - Marcos declares martial law. The parliament is suspended, opposition politicians are arrested, censorship is imposed.

1973 - A new constitution gives Marcos absolute powers.

1977 - Opposition leader Benigno Aquino is sentenced to death. Marcos delays the execution.

1980 - Aquino allowed to travel to the US for medical treatment.

1981 - Martial law is lifted. Marcos wins presidential elections.

1983 - Aquino returns to the Philippines, but is shot dead as he leaves his plane. The military is blamed for the murder.

"People power"

1986 - Presidential elections see Marcos opposed by Aquino's widow, Corazon. Marcos declares himself the winner, but Aquino disputes the result. There are mass protests, dubbed "people power", in Manila. The military withdraws its support for Marcos. Marcos flees the country for Hawaii. The new government claims Marcos had looted billions of dollars from the country during his time in power. Marcos dies on Hawaii in 1989.

1989 December - US jets assist Philippine government forces in suppressing an attempted coup.

1990 - Military officials are convicted of the murder of Benigno Aquino.

1991 - The US abandons Clark Air Base after a volcanic eruption smothers it with ash.

1992 - Aquino's defence minister, Fidel Ramos, wins presidency. The US closes Subic Bay Naval Station.

1996 - Peace agreement reached with Muslim separatist group, the Moro National Liberation Front. Another group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), carries on its campaign.

1998 - Joseph Estrada elected president.

2000 November - Impeachment proceedings start against Estrada on allegations of corruption, betrayal of public trust, and violation of the constitution.

2001 January - Impeachment trial is suspended on the 16th. There are mass street protests. The military withdraws its support. Estrada stands down on the 20th, proclaiming his innocence. His vice-president, Gloria Arroyo, is sworn in as president.

2001 March - The MILF declares a ceasefire and says it is ready to hold talks with the government.

Estrada arrested

2001 April - Philippines prosecutors charge Estrada with plundering more than 80 million dollars from state funds while he was in office. Estrada is arrested and placed in custody.

2002 January - US says joint exercises with Filipino military signal new phase in war on international terrorism. Exercises take place near stronghold of Abu Sayyaf group which US says has links to Osama Bin Laden.

2002 June - US missionary Martin Burnham and a Filipina nurse - held since May 2001 by Abu Sayyaf rebels - are killed during a rescue operation by Philippine troops.

2002 October - Series of deadly bomb blasts - on a Manila bus and at three locations in Zamboanga city - blamed on Islamic militants.

2003 February - Ceasefire between MILF and government breaks down.

2003 May - Government calls off planned talks with MILF after rebel attack on Mindanao kills 30 people.

2003 July - Government signs ceasefire with MILF ahead of planned talks in Malaysia.

2003 July - Army mutiny in Manila; some 300 soldiers seize control of a shopping centre but surrender peacefully following negotiations. President Arroyo declares a state of rebellion.


Bron : BBC World News

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