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Laurel Criticizes Aquino, Plans Opposition Drive

August 28, 1988|Associated Press

MANILA — Vice President Salvador Laurel announced a new Philippine opposition movement Saturday, claiming that President Corazon Aquino's "blundering and immoral administration" would lead the country to disaster.

Laurel was joined by Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and representatives of several opposition groups, including the New Society Movement of ousted President Ferdinand E. Marcos, in launching the Union for National Action.

"I accept the honor and the challenge to lead a coalesced opposition against a blundering and immoral administration that has betrayed the people," Laurel told reporters. "If (Aquino) continues to run the government, the country is headed for national disaster."

The Union's platform calls for a new treaty on the status of American military bases in the Philippines that would provide for a gradual phasing out of the facilities over a 10-year period.

The new party also called for replacing the U.S.-style presidential government with a parliamentary system, as well as escalating the battle against the Communist New People's Army, the armed wing of the banned Communist Party of the Philippines.

Aquino had no immediate reaction to the formation of the party.

Laurel ran for vice president with Aquino against Marcos in the 1986 elections. The Marcos-dominated Parliament ruled that Marcos had won the election, but he fled the country for Hawaii on Feb. 25, 1986, after a civilian-military uprising.

Aquino named Laurel prime minister in her government but quickly abolished the post.

Laurel's political fortunes have been declining since September, when he resigned as foreign secretary and refused to serve in the Cabinet.

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