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Marcos Was Advising Tolentino on Rebellion, Defense Ministry Reveals

July 12, 1986|Associated Press

MANILA — Former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos gave advice to the leader of this week's brief rebellion shortly after the revolt began, according to a report revealed Friday by the Defense Ministry.

Marcos, living in Hawaii, has denied any role in the 38-hour rebellion led by Arturo Tolentino, his former foreign minister and running mate in the fraud-tainted Feb. 7 election.

But a Defense Ministry spokesman said telephone operators at the Manila Hotel reported that rebels began a series of telephone conversations with Marcos at 5 p.m., shortly after the rebellion began, and that Marcos suggested Tolentino use the luxury hotel as his base.

Tolentino declared himself acting president Sunday in the hotel driveway. He and his followers, supported by about 300 soldiers, took over the hotel and declared it the base of his government.

The ministry spokesman, Silvestre Afable, did not have the complete report given Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile, but he confirmed parts of it.

Military officers took a deposition from one operator Friday. They refused to discuss it with reporters, but hotel supervisor Vic Sison said the information was significant.

Sison said there were at least seven calls between Tolentino's room at the hotel and Hawaii during the revolt. He said two originated in Hawaii, and that there was no doubt--based on the statements of operators who heard the calls--that Marcos participated in at least some of the conversations.

In another development, Enrile said the military was prepared for "room-to-room combat" if the revolt had continued beyond the 24-hour deadline President Corazon Aquino set Monday. The rebellion ended at dawn Tuesday, several hours before the deadline, when the participants left the hotel.

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