Pro-Marcos March Follows Conviction Of 106 Soldiers In Coup Attempt
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ At least 8,000 people marched today to demand that President Corazon Aquino allow her ousted predecessor, Ferdinand Marcos, to return from exile to bury his mother.
The march began after a military court sentenced the leader of a January 1987 coup attempt to 12 years hard labor.
Late Tuesday, the court convicted a total of 106 officers and enlisted men of various charges in connection with the coup attempt, which the government said was aimed at restoring Marcos to power.
Marcos supporters marched at midday to the Mendiola Bridge, 300 yards from the presidential compound, where 200 riot police stood guard. The bridge was blocked by barbed wire and two water-cannon trucks.
Protesters set off firecrackers and carried banners reading ″Cory regime - heartless″ and urging President Reagan to allow Marcos to leave his Hawaiian exile and return for the funeral of his mother, Josefa Edralin- Marcos.
Marchers chanted ″Bring Back Marcos″ and ″Cory government resign.″ Col. Emiliano Templo, deputy capital region commander, estimated the crowd at between 8,000 and 10,000.
Mrs. Edralin-Marcos, 95, died May 4. Here body has been lying in state at a suburban church, and no date has been set for the funeral. Relatives hope Mrs. Aquino will change her mind and allow Marcos to attend.
Mrs. Aquino has refused to allow Marcos to return for the funeral, saying he threatens national security. Marcos supporters have been linked to several coup attempts against the Aquino government.
Marcos fled to Hawaii after a civilian-military uprising toppled his 20- year administration and propelled Mrs. Aquino to power in February 1986.
The Reagan administration barred Marcos from leaving Hawaii without permission after the Aquino government claimed he had chartered a plane in January 1987 to return home if a coup attempt succeeded.
During the Jan. 27, 1987 attempt, hundreds of dissident soldiers stormed media and military facilities in the Manila area, taking control of a few media facilities but surrendering about 60 hours later. One mutineer was killed.
Late Tuesday, a military court sentenced the leader, Lt. Col. Oscar Canlas, and 10 others to 12 years imprisonment at hard labor. They were convicted of mutiny, illegal possession of weapons, being absent without leave and conduct unbecoming an officer.
Twenty-nine other soldiers were sentenced to six years in prison and 66 received six-month sentences for being absent without leave.
The trial lasted nearly a year.