MANILA — The Philippine peso took its biggest plunge in 15 years today, top businessmen quit as presidential advisers, two pro-Marcos banks reported runs and stock prices of the country's biggest manufacturing company fell in the aftermath of President Ferdinand E. Marcos' disputed election victory.
The peso's value fell by 10.3%, from 19.98 to the dollar Monday to 22.04 in heavy trading at the foreign exchange center. It was the sharpest single-day drop on record not precipitated by an official devaluation.
In early impact signs of an economic boycott called by presidential challenger Corazon Aquino, stock prices of San Miguel Corp. slipped and several banks reported unusual withdrawals.
Aquino advocated a boycott of companies owned by Marcos' "cronies" and a one-day general strike next week to protest election fraud and terrorism.
San Miguel makes beer, soft drinks, ice cream and dairy products and is considered one of the nation's most stable industries.
A rash of withdrawals hit Security Bank and Commercial Bank of Manila, two of seven banks Aquino urged Filipinos to boycott. Bank officers said many customers were taking their money elsewhere in response to Aquino's call.
The boycott's impact was not immediately clear on three major pro-government Manila newspapers.
Government and business sources said several prominent business executives resigned from the 50-member, advisory Presidential Productivity Council to protest Marcos' claimed victory.
No Reason for Resignation
Felix Maramba, former head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, confirmed that he resigned but would give no reason. Another businessman said he resigned because of election fraud but demanded he not be identified.
Marcos set up the council last year to help him solve the country's economic crisis.
Financial analysts called the peso's decline unexpected and said any rebound in the beleaguered currency will depend on the current political crisis and "calming" measures by the Central Bank.
"In relation to the environment in which it's taking place, it's worrisome," one financial analyst said. "It's a confidence slide."
Interest Rates Hiked
The plunge came a day after the Central Bank announced a major increase in interest rates on Central Bank and treasury bills to counter the inflationary effects of heavy government spending in the presidential election and to ease pressure on the peso.
Meanwhile, state prosecutors filed multiple murder charges against Arturo Pacificador, a powerful Marcos ally in the National Assembly, and 5,000 street protesters denounced election fraud and what they perceive to be U.S. support for Marcos.
Some demonstrators carried signs reading, "Americans, you will pay."
Justice Ministry prosecutors filed murder charges against Pacificador and six other men--described as his bodyguards--in the killing of seven opposition supporters during the 1984 assembly election campaign in Antique province.
Leftist youths and workers in a downtown plaza rally denounced the "bogus Marcos victory" and what they called U.S. support for the "terrorist regime."
Earlier, about 500 demonstrators protested in front of the U.S. Embassy.
At the presidential palace, Marcos told American election observers that he plans to set up a special commission to study amendments to the constitution, which now allows him to rule by decree. No details were given.