SWS: More than half of Filipinos believe U.S. will defend PH vs. invaders

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[FILE PHOTO] U.S. Marines Expeditionary commander in the Pacific Lieutenant General John Toolan (C) stands behind a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARs) during joint military exercises on April 14, 2016 in Crow Valley, Tarlac province, Philippines.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 12) — More than half of Filipinos believe the United States will come to the country's defense in case of a foreign invasion, according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) poll.

A survey conducted from June 27 to 30 found that 31 percent of Filipinos strongly believe the U.S. will come to our defense, will 30 percent somewhat believe that would happen. This leads to a total of 61 percent of Filipinos who hold on to the hope of having the U.S. by the country's side.

Meanwhile, 30 percent are undecided on the potential U.S. aid, while 9 percent believe America will not come to the country's defense.

Among regions, those in Luzon (outside Metro Manila) believe in the U.S. defense commitment the most, followed by Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao respectively. Belief in the U.S. is highest in urban regions.

Less than half or around 47 percent of Filipinos are aware of the mutual defense treaty with the U.S., while 53 percent only found out about it during the conduct of the survey.

Those who are aware of the defense treaty are also more likely to know about the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea.

The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults: 300 each from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Metro Manila.

SWS surveys have a sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.