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Renegade Officer Condemns Aquino, Vows To Pursue Struggle

April 6, 1988

MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ The fugitive leader of a coup attempt last year claims President Corazon Aquino is incapable of ensuring the suvival of the nation and he withdrew a pledge to avoid hostile acts against her government.

A statement carrying the signature of former Lt. Col. Gregorio ″Gringo″ Honasan, 39, was made available to news organizations Wednesday by sources close to the renegade officer.

Honasan escaped from a prison ship in Manila Bay last Saturday. Chief military spokesman Col. Oscar Florendo said a nationwide search has turned up no trace of him.

Honasan led an attempted coup on Aug. 28 in which at least 53 people were killed. Among the hundreds wounded was Mrs. Aquino’s only son, Benigno III.

Honasan noted in the statement that his faction promised last November to refrain from hostile acts against Mrs. Aquino to give her time to fulfill promises to improve the government.

″We are now withdrawing that declaration,″ the statement said. ″It has become obvious by its own actions, that the Aquino administration is incapable of ensuring the very survival of this nation over the next few years. We have to act and act boldly.″

Honasan, who was arrested Dec. 9, said he and others jailed in previous coup attempts had been detained for months without formal charges or trial.

Honasan played a key role in the Feb. 22, 1986, military uprising that toppled President Ferdinand Marcos after thousands of civilians joined the revolt. But he became disillusioned with Mrs. Aquino after she succeeded to the presidency, accusing her of weak and inept leadership in the face of the 19-year-old communist insurgency.

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