Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 06:57:16 -0400
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Alex G Bardsley <bardsley@ACCESS.DIGEX.NET>
Subject: Fwd: PH: Estrada support of Marcos cronies threatens peace talks (HKStandard)


Estrada support of Marcos cronies threatens peace talks

AFP, The Hong Kong Standard, [28 June 1998]

MANILA: The rehabilitation of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos' cronies under president-elect Joseph Estrada's administration could scuttle talks to end a 29-year communist rebellion, a rebel leader said.

I estimate that the prospects for continuing the peace negotiations have become dim in view of the active participation of the Marcoses and the most notorious Marcos cronies in the Estrada regime, said Jose Maria Sison, founder of the underground communist party.

Technically, talks began by outgoing President Fidel Ramos, are still on.

But the rebels have to prepare for the eventuality that the Estrada regime would terminate the peace negotiations, he said.

The composition and mentality of the regime do not augur well for the peace negotiations, he said in the Netherlands.

Mr Sison cited the appointment by Mr Estrada of some officials previously associated with the Marcos government to positions of power. The former movie actor takes over the reins of power from Mr Ramos on Tuesday.

The rebel chieftain also referred to the aborted plan by the Marcos family, supported by Mr Estrada, to bury the remains of the former president at the Heroes' Cemetery in Manila.

The family cancelled the 11 July burial because of passionate opposition that threatened to erode Mr Estrada's popularity.

Mr Sison however warned the public not to be lulled by the deferment, saying the burial could still take place after Mr Estrada takes office on 30 June.

They are hell bent on putting the remains of Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery in order to honour him and reverse the historical judgment made by the people against his tyranny and greed, the rebel leader said.

Ferdinand Marcos was toppled in 1986 in a bloodless popular uprising. He died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 and his preserved remains are on display at the family's ancestral home in the northern province of Ilocos Norte.

Mr Sison reiterated a warning that special rebel units ordered to arrest members of the Marcos family for trial would be forced to shoot if they resist arrest.