• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: President Ferdinand Marcos' recent decision to lift martial law in the Philippines is being treated warily by groups which fought against extreme government powers.

  • Description

    SV Foreign newsmen sitting round dining table, in Manila

    GV Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin speaking in English (3 shots)

    GV EXTERIOR Demonstrators in front of U.S. Embassy holding anti-U.S. placards and chanting (3 shots)

    SV Police with riot shields and helmets standing by

    SV PAN Activity in embassy grounds as crowds continue chanting

    GV Crowds walk across road chanting in front of embassy


    SEQ. 2: SIN: "I am very happy because martial law has been lifted. First of all my worry is because the monasteries, my people, our people, could not just be apprehended any time without the warrant of arrest. Before a military man who would be angry at you would just enter your house, pick you up, place you inside the stockades and you would not even know what you have committed. But now, at least, if they have something against you, they file against you but you stay outside. Before you stay inside and you (indistinct) and now this is something which is, for me, beautiful."

    "And so today main task is this. However we believe that the people in this country receive it, they will solve the problem peacefully, I do suppose. Politically this leader was (indistinct). He knew when to step down. This is an art which we shall learn. I don't know if anybody could learn that art peaceably because the moment you are up there it is (indistinct) easy to say: 'I will come down'."

    Initials EC

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: President Ferdinand Marcos' recent decision to lift martial law in the Philippines is being treated warily by groups which fought against extreme government powers. Jaime Cardinal Sin, Archbishop of Manila and one of the government's most vocal critics, with a constituency of about 40 million practising Catholics, welcomed the decision but qualified it with a reference to statesmen who knew when to relinquish power. The main opposition groups have staged demonstrations to test the government's goodwill and say they plan more to coincide with the Pope's visit in February.

    SYNOPSIS: Cardinal Sin believes the world's press was instrumental in President Marcos' decision. He held a dinner for foreign correspondents at his palace on Monday (19 January).

    But the demonstrators from the Philippines University on Tuesday (20 January) were less oblique in their approach to President Marcos' new-found liberality which has promised election for a full-scale National Assembly in 1984. They say that up to 1,500 political prisoners are being moved to conventional prisons, which are already overcrowded and poorly supplied with food. Carrying posters which called the lifting of martial law" a fraud", they challenged the police to prove them right.

    Opposition groups have pledged further "militant activities" to test President Marcos' good faith. The Pope is due to arrive in the Philippines for a six-day visit on 7 February - an event they believe to be connected with the decision to end martial law - and they plan a series of non-violent demonstrations to coincide with it.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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