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Lessons From the People of the Philippines

March 07, 1986

Mrs. Aquino has won a significant victory in what seems to be a worldwide trend against despotism. The power, perseverance, and sincerity of the people of the Philippines is to be commended. It is a victory of the poor, the downtrodden and the oppressed.

But one point has been glossed over repeatedly. Those military officers who were the main architects behind the coup did what they did for highly opportunistic reasons. These were the same officers who served their leader faithfully for more than 20 years, implementing his policies of imprisonment, torture and martial law. The old, and the new, defense minister, Juan Ponce Enrile, presided over much of the despotism of the Marcos regime, enriched himself unbelievably at the expense of the Filipino people, and only switched sides when his life was threatened directly by Marcos.

RICHARD REBHUN

Los Angeles

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