The Philippines political opposition, bereft of a national figure since the August 21 Manila Airport murder of its leader, former Senator Benigno Aquino, is rapidly galvanising its various factions into a unified challenge to President Ferdinand Marcos's regime.
GV Demonstrators gathered in street (2 shots)
GV Marchers in street with placards, singing; carrying posters reading "Free the Press" "Free all political prisoners"; carrying yellow flags with "atom" insignia (4 shots)
GV Paper falls from high office windows
SV Demonstration organiser leads chant; demonstrators continue march as more paper falls (3 shots)
SV Mrs Corazon Aquino, wife of late Senator, leading march
SV Anti-Marcos leaflets being distributed
GV Demonstrators gathered
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Background: The Philippines political opposition, bereft of a national figure since the August 21 Manila Airport murder of its leader, former Senator Benigno Aquino, is rapidly galvanising its various factions into a unified challenge to President Ferdinand Marcos's regime. Marcos, in power for 18 years--nine of them under martial law--has called for parliamentary elections on May 14--the first serious test for his administration since the as-yet have demanded an election boycott unless Marcos, 66, and reputedly in ill health, agrees to curtail his personal power. On January 24, thousands of opposition demonstrators gathered in Manila's Makati district to call for the "overthrow of the US-backed Marcos regime". The protestors carried banners demanding press freedom and the release of all political prisoners, and chanted "boycott, boycott" --a reference to the coming May elections. Under a torrent of confetti from approving onlookers, the marchers--including Mrs. Corazon Aquino, the slain leader's widow, and his younger brother Agapito--passed along Makati's main street, Ayala Avenue, before converging on Ugarte Football Field. Political observers have stated that a united opposition, combined with the country's ominous external debt of some 25 billion US dollars, plus a ballooning unemployment crisis, could make a formidable dent in Marcos's iron grip on the National Assembly.