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The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, December 5, 1 9895
By JENNIFER BLACKWELL
The failed coup attempt against
Philippine president Corazon Aquino
has caused speculation about the future
of the Philippines and U.S. involve
ment. The coup began when rebels seized
the Villamor Air Force Base, two broad
cast stations and the international air
port early last Friday. The mutineers
bombed the presidential compound of
Malacanong later that day.
Pro-government troops returned fire
in an attempt to resecure the military fa
cilities and protect the presidential com
pound. Before President Bush left for Malta,
he authorized American assistance in
the use of fighter-bombers for combat
air patrol when Philippine government
troops appeared to be losing ground.
Plans were also made for the evacu
ation of Aquino by helicopters to
American warships offshore if neces
sary. By Saturday, the rebels had aban
doned the military facilities, including
Villamor Air Force Base, Fort Bonifa
cio and the government television sta
tion. The government declared the coup
had failed, and Aquino demanded that
the rebels "surrender or die."
On Sunday, however, the rebels
Coup attempt traps
From Associated Press reports
. MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Rebel
soldiers Monday offered to allow
hundreds of foreigners to leave hotels
in the financial district, seized last
weekend by mutineers seeking to topple
President Corazon Aquino.
Late Monday, two bombs exploded
in the capital, wounding two people. It
was unclear if the bombs were related
to the coup attempt, which began Fri
day' and has killed at least 70 people.
Hundreds of Americans and other
foreigners were pinned in homes and
hotels in the posh Makati district, where
forces loyal to Aquino contained the
mutineers to 22 buildings.
About 400 rebels continued to oc
cupy Mactan Air Base in Cebu, 350
miles south of Manila. Their leader
refused to surrender and threatened to
blow up the base's planes.
The United States provided fresh
military supplies to the Aquino.govern
ment and promised $25,000 in assis
tance for civilian hospitals, said Rich
ard Boucher, a State Department
spokesman in Washington.
In Manila, a statement from a rebel
spokesman, Capt. Albert Yen, tele
phoned to news organizations, said the
insurgents would release the foreigners
to dispel suspicions they were being
The statement said the foreigners
would be free to leave the hotels at 10
a.m.' Tuesday (9 p.m. EST Monday)
and would be taken to Manila's airport
aboard shuttle buses. There was no
word if foreign embassies had been
informed of the offer.
Yen said the move did not indicate
the rebels were about to end their four
day bid to oust Aquino.
'That's the farthest thing that we
could do," he said. "We pledged our
lives to this cause. We will hold the line
to the last drop of our blood."
U.S. Embassy spokesman Jerry
Huchel said 215 Americans were be
lieved trapped in three hotels in Makati.
More than 300 Japanese also were
believed to be in the Makati hotels.
"Literally, we're in the middle,' ' said
Barbara Julich, a New York business
woman trapped in the Intercontinental
Hotel. "(We're) now low on food. There
are babies in the building, and there is
no baby food, and the mothers are
"We saw a group of nuns trying to
walk where the tanks are. They were
eventually shot at and took cover."
At least three people were killed in
Makati on Monday and 15 wounded,
including one American, by rebel snip
ers and in fighting between rebel and
Earlier, spokesmen for the Makati
Medical Center said 10 people were
killed. They said the discrepancy was
due to an error in records.
Hospital sources identified the
wounded American as Jerome
Weissburg. They said he was hit in the
arm by glass when a bullet shattered the
window of his room at the Peninsula
Hotel. They did not know his home
town. At least 70 people have been killed
arid more than 500 wounded since
mutineers seized several military in
stallations and bombed the presidential
palace Friday, according to the Red
The city's international airport reo
pened Monday, but domestic air serv
ice was indefinitely postponed. Schools
were closed but government employ
ees were ordered to return to work
except in the Makati area.
Officials reported shortages of food
and fuel from interruptions caused by
K An explosion rocked the compound
of the Central Bank, the equivalent of
rjie Federal Reserve. There were no
injuries. A second bomb went off in the
Ermita entertainment district, damag
trig an unoccupied minibus and shatter
mg windows. Two women were in
lured by flying glass.
. In the morning, the estimated 390
rebel holdouts in Makati members
of the army's First Scout Ranger Regi
ment refused appeals to surrender
and fired at soldiers and civilians who
approached their strongholds.
blasted through the military headquar
ters of Camp Aguinaldo. The rebels
occupied the logistics command for a
few hours, but pro-government troops
retook the camp late Sunday morning
after air bombing the rebel positions.
Later that day, Aquino declared that
her forces had successfully defeated
the coup attempt, although a force of
about 200 rebels still controlled the
center of Makati, Manila's affluent
residential and financial district. One
hundred people were killed and 300
were wounded. About 500 rebels were
captured, including 53 officers.
Except for the commercial district,
most of the city has returned to normal,
said Mary Yates, a State Department
spokeswoman. "Democracy has tri
umphed," although they are still advis
ing the 20,000 U.S. military and civil
ian dependents that the situation is
dangerous, she said.
Controversy still exists over exactly
what type of assistance Aquino re
quested. Some reports. state that Bush
offered a generalized statement of as
sistance to Aquino after the start of the
coup. Yates, however, stated that the
White House responded to a request by
A rebel leader, Lt. Col. Rafael
Galvez, told a reporter late Sunday:
"We will continue to fight until we get
our political objective the resigna
tion of Mrs. Aquino."
The mutinous soldiers claim Aquino,
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Alex Sum- University of Washington-Class of 1990
Will. II I III III 11
reveals dissatisfaction with Aquino
the Filipino government.
Officials agreed that the most fea
sible means of aid was to use combat air
patrol to provide a cap over two Philip
pine bases held by the rebels. The
fighter-bombers did not use any fire
power or kill any Filipinos, Yates said.
The United States resupplied the gov
ernment with existing stocks at Ameri
can bases and authorized an additional
$25,000 in medical supplies at the re
quest of the Philippines' ambassador.
Aquino has accused her political
opposition of supporting the coup. Sen.
Juan Ponce Enrile, an ex-cabinet
member of Aquino's, denied in a press
conference that he knew about the at
tempt but condemned the Aquino
administration. There are also reports
that Vice President Laurel, who is out
of the country, knew about the coup.
The goals of the rebels are still
unclear, said Rick Fisher, a policy ana
lyst at the Asian Studies Center of the
Heritage Foundation in Washington. It
is not clear what type of government
the rebels would have set up if they had
succeeded, although their ultimate goal
was to overthrow Aquino, he said.
This coup attempt, the bloodiest of
the six attempts since Aquino's rise to
power in February 1986, "should be
taken with grave seriousness" since it
showed how rapidly support for Aquino
swept to power in a 1986 military
civilian uprising that toppled President
Ferdinand Marcos, has failed to deal
effectively with the country's Commu
nist insurgency and economic prob
lems. This is the sixth and most serious
has declined in the last two years, Fisher
said. On Friday, when the religious
leader Cardinal Sin called for a show of
support for Aquino by the flooding of
the streets, very few people responded,
unlike similar requests during previous
coup attempts where hundreds of people
showed support for Aquino, Fisher said.
There has been a deep crisis in con
fidence in the Aquino government
because it has not fulfilled the reform
agenda everyone thought it would
achieve after Aquino was brought to
power by the People's Power revolt, he
said. Some key problems involve cor
ruption in government including some
of her family, an economic growth
which has ignored 30 percent to 40
percent of the population and an un
willingness by the Aquino government
to mount a substantial campaign against
the Communist New People's Army.
To build confidence in the govern
ment, Aquino needs to crack down on
corruption, show a commitment to have
civilians fight against the Communist
Party, start a broad range of reforms on
the economic front and crack down on
the rebels, he stated. "(They) must not
be coddled like after previous coups."
The military group leading the coup
attempt sees itself as patriots, loyal to
the Philippines and its interests, said
Thomas Robinson, director of the Asian
attempt to overthrow her.
One of the coup leaders was Grego
rio Honasan, a cashiered lieutenant
colonel who once supported Aquino
but later led an August 1987 attempt to
overthrow her. He remained at large.
661 wasn't rubbing
it in-1 just wanted
Eddie to know
the score of
last night's garnet
Studies program at the American En
terprise Institute in Washington. Their
goals were to try to force the govern
ment to reform or abolish the govern
ment so they could reform, he said.
The rebels' objection with the pres
ent government is that the members in
the Aquino administration and the
senate come from the landed aristoc
racy, and they continue to run the coun
try for their own purposes, he said.
They are also angry with Aquino's
lenient treatment of the communist
movement and seek to crack down
harder on them since they are gaining
more support as Aquino's support is
declining, he said.
Steve Shalom, coordinator of the
Campaign Against U.S. Military Bases
in the Philippines, said, "They have to
slay the American father image." The
United States should stop providing
military aid, withdraw military bases
and stop intervening in military affairs
so the Philippine government can base
their support less on the United States
and the military and more on the
people's needs, he said.
Go ahead and gloat. You can
rub it in all the way to Chicago
with AT&T Long Distance Service.
Besides, your best friend Eddie
was the one who said your team
could never win three straight.
So give him a call. It costs a
lot less than you think to let him
know who's headed for the Playoffs.
Reach out and touch someone.
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contact your University of North
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