US involvement in the Philippines

Currently in Manila on business and whilst having breakfast this morning at the hotel caught sight of a Filipino Major General sitting down to breakfast with a US Lt. Col and later on a full Col. joined them. For clarity - do the PH armed forces use the same rank badges? The Lt Col wore a US army ID badge but the accent was very much filipino.

Anyway I digress, so I'm sitting there munching on a croissant and supping on the first tea of the day watching the toing & froing as various NCOs approached and disappeared. All seemed very convivial although I did have to smile when the US Col. advised the General of the unsuitability of gifts to US personnel or rather their wives :D

Afterwards I was wondering just how involved the US are in the Philippines? I've been around the islands a few times including Mindano (where my client kindly gave me an armed escort 8O ) but haven't really seen much evidence of the US until now -only what has been reported on the news. Any of our US brethren have any reportable detail?

The USMC sent some people there not long ago to help clear a mudslide that buried a school (the UN must have been busy)

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