• Short Summary

    In the Philippines, there's been a vote of confidence in the government of President Ferdinand Marcos.

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    In the Philippines, there's been a vote of confidence in the government of President Ferdinand Marcos. First official returns from the referendum held on Saturday (17 December) show that just over 90 per cent of voters in the capital of Manila want the President's policy of martial law to continue. Similar support is expected from other parts of the country, but it won't be until Friday (23 December) that all the votes are counted.

    SYNOPSIS: Voting was compulsory in this referendum, the fifth called by President Marcos in the last five years.

    T-shirts made no secret of many voters' preference in the referendum which asked basically whether Filipinos wanted the President to continue with mart law.

    The President's wife, Mrs. Imelda Marcos, who is Governor of Manila was among the first to vote at one of the city's polling booths. An envoy at times for her husband in international talks, Mrs. Marcos also made it plain how she would be voting. Before the referendum, some people had questioned why it was necessary since martial law had been endorse before. But the President has always sought support at the ballot box.

    The reception that Mrs. Marcos received when she left showed that he had got it....in Manila anyway. "Yes" votes totalled over 90 per cent.

    Not every one visited the polling booths. The opposition boycotted the referendum, calling it a cover-up for President Marcos's determination to stay in office. President Marcos' main political rival, Mr. Benigno Aquino, is in prison under sentence of death, and the opposition managed to raise little support.

    President Marcos's appearances at the polls aroused the same enthusiasm as that of his wife. Though his vote did little to affect the final result he gave it the careful attention expect of a former lawyer. the vote now means that martial law will continue until at least April next year when some of President Marcos's powers may be handed over to a proposed National Assembly.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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