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Situation in the Philippines

December 03, 1985

It seems that both Sen. Dave Durenberger (D-Minn.) and persistent Marcos detractor Richard J. Kessler have completely misread the Philippine situation and have resorted to distorted interpretations of events and conditions prevailing in our country.

Kessler, in fact, has nothing new to offer newspaper readers except a continuous rehash of doomsday predictions and misleading comments on the Philippines, which he had made in the past. In his latest article (Opinion, Nov. 10), he has tried to manufacture a crisis for the Philippines and its leadership by drawing a similarity on current American policy toward the Philippines and its leadership with that of U.S. policy toward Nicaragua in 1978--a comparison that does not hold true at all.

The only crisis in the Philippines is the crisis that exists in the mind of Kessler. I do not know how Kessler has managed to convince editors of The Times to continue publishing his articles, which, if not full of distortions and inaccuracies, do not reflect a more plausible (and acceptable) scenario of the Philippines in, say, even a year from now.

Kessler's recurrent theme is that the Philippines will go the way of Nicaragua. And he will continue to rant and rave about this doomsday scenario, and, to prove his contention, he will go to the extent of manufacturing outright lies.

I have talked with Americans who had lived many years in the Philippines, especially those who were there at the height of the Huk rebellion. They are firm in their belief that the scenario of an imminent revolution is farfetched; that the situation in the Philippines is not any worse than it has been in the last few years. These Americans know what they are talking about because they had lived there. Kessler has not.

As for Sen. Durenberger (Editorial Pages, Nov. 25), most of his facts and statistics are wrong. He has exaggerated the number of armed regular and irregular guerrillas and their extent of control, if any at all, of Philippine territory and the Filipino population. It is futile to argue over something that is in the realm of one man's imagination.

PEDRO O. CHAN

Los Angeles

Chan is consul and acing principal officer of the Philippine Consulate General.

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