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Secret Service Protection for Marcos Halted by U.S. : Had 24-Hr. Guard Since Exile Began

April 07, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The White House has ended Secret Service protection for deposed Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Secret Service spokesman Jane Vezeris said today.

"We're not protecting him any longer," she said.

Marcos, who is in Hawaii, had been given round-the-clock Secret Service protection since Feb. 27 under a provision that permits President Reagan to grant the protection to "distinguished foreign visitors."

The protection had originally been scheduled to end late last month, but the President had ordered it extended indefinitely.

Marcos and his wife, Imelda, landed in Hawaii on Feb. 26, a day after his 20-year rule collapsed and he was replaced by Corazon Aquino. The couple first stayed in a guest house on Hickam Air Force Base, then moved two weeks ago to a $1.5-million rented beachfront home in Honolulu.

The move came one day after about 400 Marcos loyalists in Hawaii visited his home to present the ousted leader with money enclosed in "hundreds and hundreds" of letters from supporters to be used to help pay for his security.

The contributions, which had not been counted, will go toward a goal of $20,000 for protection once the Secret Service ceased its assistance, said Joe Lazo, president of Friends for Marcos.

Marcos said in an interview broadcast today that he would like to return to his homeland and live as a peasant if the United States would allow it.

Marcos also said on "Good Morning America" that reports that he has huge Swiss bank accounts are a "big monstrous lie."

"They talk about $800 million. My God! That huge amount is something that you don't sneeze at. I should know if I had that kind of deposit," Marcos said.

The interview was taped Sunday as the group of 400 loyalists, who came to visit him and give him gifts, looked on.

The well-wishers were surprised when Imelda Marcos emerged from the house to sign autographs.

Mrs. Marcos, who reportedly left behind 3,000 pairs of shoes when she fled Manila, wore the same forest-green dress she has worn on three other public occasions since she and her husband arrived here Feb. 26.

Lazo said Mrs. Marcos told him that the simple, short-sleeved dress is "the only good dress she has."

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