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Philippines

February 19, 1990

Congratulations to Prof. Alfred McCoy for his expose (Opinion, Feb. 4) of the right-wing elements in the Filipino military who opportunistically sided with the forces that "overthrew" Ferdinand Marcos.

McCoy's analysis of the political situation in the Philippines indicates the difficulty any liberal government would have in trying to implement even a moderate program of social reform. The well-trained thugs (like Gringo Honasan) of Juan Ponce Enrile and Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. simply would not allow it.

Social justice is a sentiment that these warlords consider either as a manifestation of (feminine) weakness or as an indication of Marxist-influenced thinking. They react to people who express such sentiments as a bull would to a waving red flag.

It's too bad Prof. McCoy didn't deal with the Marcos war chest that seems to be out of the reach of U.S. justice. As long as Filipinos like Enrile and Cojuangco have access to all that money, another military coup will always be just over the horizon.

ANTHONY GARAVENTE

San Diego

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