Aquino Brother-In-Law Rejoices In Marcos’ Departure With PM-US-Phillipines Bjt
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Paul Aquino, brother-in-law of the new Philippines president, arrived in the United States three days ago intending to wage a media blitz in Filipino communities on behalf of his relative.
Events unfolded so rapidly, however, that Aquino’s mision was unnecessary. Instead, he found himself at the Philippines Embassy on Tuesday talking about the transition of government to Corazon Aquino.
″This is a vindication of what we have been doing for 14 years,″ said Aquino, whose brother, Benigno, was the principal opposition leader until his assassination in Manila in 1983. Mrs. Aquino assumed her husband’s mantle.
Aquino said he was disappointed that he was out of the country when Ferdinand Marcos, the longtime leader, stepped down Tuesday and turned over the government to Mrs. Aquino.
″There was dancing in the streets in Manila,″ Aquino said. ″It was a big Mardi Gras - euphoria.″
Outside and inside the embassy, a red brick building about 10 blocks from the White House, Mrs. Aquino’s supporters held their own party, sipping champagne and laughing in the rooms where Marcos’ pictures had been taken down. A yellow victory banner hung outside the embassy.
″It’s very joyful. ... This is open house for the Filipino people,″ said Walden Bello, who spent more than a decade in exile.
The 40 or so career diplomats, who seemed a little leery of the situation at first, later mingled with Aquino supporters and promised to back the new government.
Leonides Caday, the charge d’affaires, said Filipino diplomats around the country will ″serve the new administration ... with a sense of duty, dedication and the highest degree of professionalism.″
The former ambassador to the United States, Benjamin T. Romualdez, a relative of Marcos’ wife, Imelda Marcos, left the country last week, Caday said, adding that Romualdez was the only political appointee on the embassy staff.
Besides the embassy and a U.N. mission in New York, the Philippines has consulates in New York, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Guam.
Mrs. Aquino’s representatives pledged there would be an orderly transition, with no purges and no arbitrary personnel dismissals.
″We’re asking the foreign service to stay put,″ said Heherson T. Alvarez, an Aquino supporter and part of the transition team.
Paul Aquino said his sister-in-law will have to concentrate on the economy, ″placing food on the table″ and sorting out the country’s economic problems.