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The Election in the Philippines

February 23, 1986

The valiant struggle of the Filipino people to assert their democratic rights in the face of the overwhelming power of the Marcos regime must now inspire corresponding action in those of us in the United States who believe in the ideals for which they are fighting.

If, despite murder, flagrant fraud, and threats to their present and future safety, the majority of the Filipinos have made full use of every democratic method available to them to vote for the government of their choice, then we must now take up the tools of democracy available to us: letters, telegrams and phone calls to the President and our congressmen, urging that they no longer support the discredited Marcos regime.

It is not only wrong, it is also folly to prop up this brutal and corrupt tyranny. It cannot exist for long. The only question now is whether it will be replaced by the democracy the people so fervently want, or by a violent revolution and yet another oppressive dictatorship, this time from the left, the inevitable result if Marcos' theft of the vote succeeds.

In our democracy, the vote is ultimately the citizens' most powerful tool, but unless the politicians we elect with that vote hear from us on critical issues and know their actions will be judged by us the next time we are at the ballot box, we have essentially abdicated our power.

If we are silent now, we will not only have betrayed the courageous Filipino people, we will have betrayed ourselves.

JANICE BERNSTEIN

Los Angeles

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