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Shultz Recognizes Aquino Rule--'Reason Prevailed' : Says U.S. Pleased With Peaceful Power Transfer

February 25, 1986|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Proclaiming that "reason and compassion have prevailed," the United States extended recognition today to the new Philippine government of Corazon Aquino and praised the Filipino people as the "true heroes" in the rapid events that ended the 20-year rule of Ferdinand E. Marcos, Secretary of State George P. Shultz announced.

Marcos fled from his presidential palace to Clark Air Base, a U.S. military installation about 60 miles north of Manila, with his family and close associates, including former armed forces chief of staff Gen. Fabian Ver, Shultz announced at the White House, three days after a military rebellion sealed Marcos' fate.

Shultz lauded Marcos and Aquino, and the Filipino people, for resolving the crisis with little bloodshed.

"We praise the decision of President Marcos. Reason and compassion have prevailed in ways that best serve the Filipino nation and people," Shultz said.

Positive Note

The secretary struck a positive note as he opened his statement, ignoring at first Marcos' fate and announcing, "The President is pleased with the peaceful transition to a new government of the Philippines.

"The United States extends recognition to this new government headed by President Aquino. We pay special tribute to her for her commitment to nonviolence, which has earned her the respect of all Americans," he said.

Shultz said Marcos left office "reluctantly" and would be welcome in the United States.

The new Aquino government, Shultz said, "has been produced by one of the most stirring and courageous examples of the democratic process in modern history.

"We honor the Filipino people. The United States stands ready as always to cooperate and assist the Philippines as the government of President Aquino engages the problems of economic development and national security," he said.

People 'Are True Heroes'

Shultz said it is the Filipino people "who are the true heroes today. . . . They have resolved this issue nonviolently in a way that does them honor."

"In his long term as president, Ferdinand Marcos showed himself to be a staunch friend of the United States," Shultz said. "We are gratified that his departure from office has come peacefully, characterized by the dignity and strength that have marked his many years of leadership."

The secretary said that Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.), a close friend of President Reagan, talked with Marcos by phone on Monday, then spoke with the President. Shultz said he could not characterize those talks.

Ready to Work With Aquino

Shultz stressed that "this has not been something that the United States has done. This is something the people of the Philippines have done . . . and we honor them for this outpouring of democracy, and we stand ready to work with the new government of President Aquino."

Shultz made it clear that the United States will not honor any future request for extradition of Marcos.

He also said the United States expects to do business with Aquino on the fate of the two U.S. bases in the Philippines, Clark and Subic, whose leases expire in 1991.

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