312. Letter From the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (Bell) to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (McNaughton)1


  • Internal Civil Security in the Philippines

Dear John:

A.I.D. is in agreement with Mr. Hoopes that the principal aim of our assistance to the Philippines should be toward internal security. We also agree with the proposal that MAP should be oriented to give greater emphasis to internal security and that very serious efforts should be made to bring the Government of the Philippines to this conclusion.

Enclosed is a paper on “Internal Civil Security in the Philippines”2 which was prepared pursuant to our discussions during the recent review of Mr. Hoopes’ study.3 This paper addresses the Philippine internal civil security capability and U.S. assistance in the face of a generalized situation of rising violence and lawlessness which is impeding economic and social development and constitutes a potential basic threat to the stability of the government.

The Philippine Constabulary (PC), a Philippine Department of Defense agency, is a major internal civil security element which has as its primary function the police duty of preserving peace, law and order. However, the PC lacks suitable equipment, adequate training, and appropriate direction and orientation to carry out this duty. Furthermore the PC is not now receiving and, under present plans, will not receive required U.S. assistance in terms of technical advice, training, or material consistent with its primary role. Although it represents about half the Philippine Department of Defense forces, it receives less than 10 per cent of MAP funds for the Philippines.

Other potentially important elements in the Philippine law enforcement (internal civil security) structure are the nearly 1,400 city and municipal police forces. Currently, they are inadequately supported, their equipment and facilities are poor, pay is below subsistence levels, [Page 684]and political interference is rife. However, little or no U.S. assistance is now being provided or planned for these police forces.

It is clear that (1) there are serious deficiencies in these very large and most important parts of the Philippine law enforcement structure which together constitute the rural civil security forces in the Philippines, and that (2) these parts of the law enforcement structure have not received and, under present plans, will not receive required assistance. As expressed in the National Policy Paper on the Republic of the Philippines, now circulating for final clearance, it seems clear that correcting these deficiencies is very much in the U.S. interest and would be in keeping with U.S. policy.

We believe that greater U.S. assistance, by both A.I.D. and MAP is essential. We propose that A.I.D. and the Department of Defense, with appropriate Department of State consultation, and later the Country Team, jointly prepare terms of reference for discussing this matter with the Government of the Philippines. Briefly, our views are that the Philippine Government should provide substantially increased support and improved leadership for its police forces, and that the United States should offer substantially more police assistance through the A.I.D. Public Safety Program, especially to the Philippine Constabulary. U.S. technical police assistance and police training to the various law enforcement agencies would be centralized under the A.I.D. Public Safety Program. At the same time, commodity assistance to the Philippine Constabulary could be divided, if desired, between A.I.D. and the MAP with the MAP providing military-type equipment and A.I.D. providing police equipment.

As a corollary to these basic improvements, we expect to be discussing with the U.S. A.I.D. Mission the contribution to internal security goals which can be made by improvement in other A.I.D. fields. We believe that there is potential in Public Administration, Food for Peace, the utilization of development loans, possible expansion of the Service Training Center, and the possible development of a barrio digest.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, Philippines, 333–381 (381 Philippines). Secret.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. Townsend Hoopes’ study, summarized briefly in the preceding paragraph, has not been found.