Eduardo Cojuangco, who Philippine officials allege is helping to mastermind a plot against President Corazon Aquino, denied the accusations Friday through his attorney in Los Angeles.
Cojuangco, a cousin of Aquino and a close friend of deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos, is living in the Los Angeles area and is not out of the country, said Gittel Gordon, a Marina del Rey lawyer who said she represents Cojuangco.
Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, Philippine armed forces chief, said during a Cabinet briefing earlier this week in Manila that Cojuangco, a once-powerful and feared Marcos aide who has been in exile since the 1986 coup that overthrew Marcos, is now "in a nearby country with a six-seater executive aircraft standing by to bring him back to the Philippines as part of this plot."
Built Large Fortune
Senior government officials have said that Cojuangco, a business magnate who built a vast personal fortune and a large private army under Marcos, may have been involved in financing a coup attempt. And despite his exile, the government insists that he retains control over three radio stations that Aquino closed earlier this week. The government officials contended that the stations were used to launch an unsuccessful coup last August, and are likely to be used again in a coup supposedly planned against Aquino for this month.
However, Gordon said that her client has not left the country, denies being involved in any plot against Aquino, and does not control any Philippine radio stations.