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Aquino Ignores Coup Warnings, Flies to Jakarta

August 25, 1986|Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Philippine President Corazon Aquino put aside warnings of a possible coup attempt at home and traveled Sunday to Jakarta, where she called for new momentum within Southeast Asia's regional association.

"Let us invest the organization of our region with all our efforts in order that it may continue to play the valuable role that its history has led us to expect," she said at a state banquet given by President Suharto.

"We believe that it is appropriate to consider fresh . . . ideas, particularly in the fields of trade and industry, to give greater momentum to ASEAN."

The Philippines and Indonesia are among six members of the nearly 20-year-old Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which promotes economic cooperation but sometimes also discusses regional political problems. The other members are Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei.

Aquino has called her four-day trip to Indonesia and Singapore a "journey of brotherhood."

Marcos Move Feared

Some Aquino advisers had suggested that she cancel her trip, warning that backers of ousted President Ferdinand E. Marcos might try to grab power in her absence and that Marcos might try to return from his exile in Hawaii.

The trip is her first abroad since taking office last February during a military-civilian revolt against Marcos' 20-year-old government.

On the eve of her departure, her armed forces chief, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, put the army on alert to forestall possible disturbances timed for her absence.

As she left Manila, about 20,000 Marcos supporters marched in a funeral procession for loyalist leader Felizardo Lota, shot on a Manila street last Tuesday. No arrests have been made. The loyalists shouted their support for Marcos.

"I am leaving my government in good trustworthy hands," Aquino said before boarding the presidential jet for Jakarta.

She was met at Jakarta airport by Suharto, his wife and other dignitaries. The two leaders will confer today on trade and other issues.

Aquino is due to leave Tuesday for Singapore and to return home Wednesday.

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