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Aquino and Defense Minister Talk Amid Reports of Major Rift

October 20, 1986|From Reuters

MANILA — President Corazon Aquino spoke privately today with Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile amid speculation in the Philippine capital of a major rift between them over policy toward the communist insurgents.

Palace sources said they met alone for about five minutes during a break in a daylong meeting called to discuss the situation in southern Mindanao Island, which is facing rebellions from both communists and Muslim separatists.

It was not known what they discussed. Manila has been rife with speculation for several weeks that Enrile was on the brink of resigning or forcing his dismissal over policy disagreements with Aquino. (Story, Page 7.)

Enrile and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos launched the popularly backed military revolt that toppled the 20-year Marcos regime last February and brought Aquino to power.

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