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Aquino Appoints Liberal as Foreign Secretary

October 10, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

MANILA — Sen. Raul Manglapus was named Friday as foreign secretary of the Philippines, filling the post abandoned by Vice President Salvador Laurel in his bitter break with President Corazon Aquino.

Aquino, in a statement announcing the appointment, lauded Manglapus as a man with qualities needed "in this critical period of transition."

The 68-year-old senator with distinctive brush-cut hair held the same post 30 years ago under President Carlos Garcia. He was secretary general of the 1954 founding conference of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and a visiting professor of law at several U.S. universities, including Harvard.

He left the Philippines the day before President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law in February, 1972, and spent the next 14 years in the United States, leading the exile opposition to the Marcos regime.

For several years he lectured at Stanford University while heading the Movement for a Free Philippines. Manglapus returned here three days after Marcos was driven from power in February of 1986 and won a Senate seat in the national election last May.

Manglapus is a liberal, the president of the Christian Democratic Party and a longtime opponent of U.S. military bases here, challenging U.S. assertions that the installations serve Philippine defense interests. As foreign secretary, he will be involved in negotiations on the bases agreement when it expires in 1991.

Laurel, who is still vice president, resigned as foreign secretary Sept. 16, accusing Aquino of having a weak policy against the Communist-led insurgency and of having "people who are sympathetic to Communists" in her government.

Manglapus made no immediate comment on his appointment. His seat in the Senate will be filled in a special election next January.

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