• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The former Filipino senator, Mr.

  • Description

    GV Filipino opposition leaders take seats no rostrum

    SCU Benigno Aquino speaking, GV audience listening (4 shots)

    SCU Salvador Laurel speaking PAN TO Aquino listening, PAN TO Laurel speaking


    SEQ. 2: AQUINO: "We believe no government can ever attain legitimacy without free, honest and orderly elections conducted and supervised by a trustworthy, credible, truly impartial and independent Commission on Elections. We believe that the government and the opposition are charged with the historic responsibility to speed up all efforts towards political normality. The Filipino must return to the traditional mode of achieving national consensus through the ballot, and not though the bullet. Against the advice of my family and well-meaning friends, I am willing to return to Manila to serve as presidential campaigner manager if Mr. Marcos will allow me freedom of movement during the campaign period, or at least, unhampered access to our people through the media from my cell, should he choose to return me there. Our country has not had meaningful elections for the last 12 years, and we are hoping that this is the first step to return us to political normality, as I pointed out, where we can now organise. Because, if we can have an election that's free, honest and orderly, then all of us will have to follow the winner, and accept the verdict of the people. But, so long as you do not have a credible election, then everybody will be questioning the legitimacy of government , and at the rate these insurgencies are developing, in fact, you will know, last year urban guerrillas already started in Manila; and we are hoping through these peaceful means we will be able to appeal to our countrymen who would now go into the road of violence to please desist and wait, and give this a last chance. Now we still cannot hold peaceful, orderly elections under Mr. Marcos when we're afraid of more radical elements in our community, those who are now inclined to the use of violence because they have lost all hope in peaceful means, might just go ahead with their plans and break our country asunder.

    SEQ. 3: LAUREL: "For a man who has been in power for 16 years -- with the entire military and government resources and personnel at his command -- Mr. Marcos should show self-confidence, even nobility, by giving the opposition a sporting chance. After all, it is Mr. Marcos who wanted this election. It is he who needs legitimacy. He says he needs a 'fresh mandate' because, according to him, he was never really elected president or prime minister of the Philippines."

    Initials BB

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The former Filipino senator, Mr. Benigno Aquino, has said in Tokyo he plans to return to his homeland, where a death sentence is pending against him. Mr. Aquino, the main rival of President Ferdinand Marcos, told a news conference on Friday (17 April), he wanted to campaign for the Opposition candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections. In 1977, he was sentenced to death on charges of subversion and murder. He was freed from jail last May to go to the United States, where he had heart surgery. On the orders of President Marcos, a military court is reviewing Mr. Aquino's case. Beside him at the news conference was Senator Salvador Laurel, the most likely candidates for the Unido, which us a loosely-knit group opposed to President Marcos. He told newsmen that President Marcos himself was the person needing legitimacy in the elections, to be held on June the 16th.

    SNOPSIS: Mr. Aquino is liable to be re-arrested on his return to Manila. He was granted only a month's parole to have his operation.

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