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House Unanimously Votes Support For Aquino Government

September 15, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The House on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution supporting the beleaguered Philippine government of Corazon Aquino and condemning a recent military coup attempt.

Rep. Stephen Solarz, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, said the statement was intended to encourage Aquino and loyal members of the military who defended her, and to send a message to disaffected soldiers that such coup attempts cannot succeed.

Aquino is trying to replace the 25 cabinet members who resigned last week to give her a free hand in reorganizing the government. She also is fighting public questions about her competence to govern.

Had the coup succeeded, Solarz said, ″it would have been a virtually unmitigated disaster″ for the Philippines and U.S. interests in Asia.

By prevailing against the rebels, Aquino preserved the right of dissenting military officials to resolve their grievances through constitutional means, rather than violence, he said.

A military insurrection would likely have plunged the country into civil war and played into the hands of communist insurgents, Solarz added.

″No government is perfect. Every government can do better,″ he said. But he added: ″I think the president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, and her government have received a bum rap from their critics.″

Solarz cited economic and political progress made under Aquino, including installation of an elected parliament, an independent judiciary and a free press.

While enormous problems remain, he said, ″the question is not whether the glass is half full or half empty - it’s two-thirds full.″

Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., while backing the resolution, cautioned that Congress ″not overdo it″ in sending signals of support.

Citing unrest in the Philippines, he said: ″It’s going to be a struggle, and I think we all recognize that. Let’s not overdo it. Let the people and the government of the Philippines solve their own problems.″

The vote was 399-0, meaning not all 435 members were present.

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