The daily Tar Heel. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1946-current, December 05, 1989, Page 5, Image 5
The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, December 5, 1 9895 ID) uolippimie unrest By JENNIFER BLACKWELL Staff Writer 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 held hostage. 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 hysterical. "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 loyalist forces. 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 Cross. 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 the fighting. 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. News Analysis 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, ' '' 1 ' ' "'Wmiimi mi lu iim .miwa u (firiwiw.--iii.i'"WTW-Ji I ' p ' Nt j""''" """"'" f " f V'i - ' , & VC?:!; I .. Yf'r if'j:'C.- .... r v', Alex Sum- University of Washington-Class of 1990 Will. II I III III 11 'zyyr, 4 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 Americans 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 in Manila 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 The right 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. If you'd like to know more about our other AT&T Long Distance products or services, including the AT&T Card, contact your University of North Carolina AT&T Student Campus Manager or call us at 1-800-222-0300. choice.