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Rusk AAAAAA, Richard Holbrooke on the Philippines, February 3, 1986

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:13 - President Marcos and the 1986 "Snap Elections"

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Partial Transcript: He was Secretary of State when Ferdinand [Edralin] Marcos was already President of the country.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke characterizes Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos as a corrupt dictator, alleging that Marcos might rig the 1986 Snap Election against Corazon Aquino. Holbrooke explains a loophole in Philippine electoral law that might allow Marcos to make his wife the vice president despite her not being on the ballot. He hypothesizes that Marcos may actually choose Paciano Laurel as his running mate to cause discord among opposition parties.

Keywords: autocracy; corruption; democracy; dictatorship; elections; free and fair; hybrid regime; legitimacy; semi-democracy; split ballot

00:05:37 - The Philippines's vice presidency

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Partial Transcript: Furthermore, there's a very unusual and unique relationship between Ferdinand Marcos and Laurel.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke explains that President Marcos and the Laurel family have a special relationship because Chief Justice Jose Paciano Laurel Sr. once reversed a murder conviction that would have resulted in the death penalty for Marcos. Holbrooke says this could lead to a political alliance between Marcos and Jose Paciano Laurel Jr., except that Mrs. Marcos will not allow vice presidents.

Keywords: Jose Laurel Foundation; Supreme Court of the Philippines; Tolentino; capital punishment; criminal record; murder case

00:08:00 - U.S. national interests in the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: Now let's look at the American policy.

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke highlights important aspects of the U.S.-Philippines relationship, including economics, immigrants, strategic interests, and WWII cooperation. Holbrooke considers negative consequences of moving U.S. bases from the Philippines to Guam, Palau, or the Marshall Islands, and he indicates that the U.S. and the Philippines are both dependent upon U.S. bases there.

Keywords: ASEAN; Appropriations Committee; Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Clark; Congress; Subic; Western Pacific; foreign policy; funding; military; power projection

00:12:26 - Thwarting communist insurgency / Economic interests in the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: Our second interest is to encourage the Filipinos to deal with the growing communist insurgency, the New People's Army [NPA].

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke classifies the New People's Army as the most dangerous communist insurgency in Pacific Asia, and he encourages the U.S. to support an anti-communist Filipino government. Holbrooke discusses the economic decline of the Philippines, mentioning debt, the brain drain, and unexpected growth by Japan and Korea.

Keywords: ASEAN; Indochina; capital flight; communism; revolution

00:16:37 - President Reagan on the Philippines / The political future of the Philippines

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Partial Transcript: Now can any of that happen under Ferdinand Marcos?

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke talks about the Reagan Administration's shift in foreign policy toward the Philippines, supporting Reagan's increasingly critical statements on Marcos. Holbrooke predicts political unrest and street demonstrations upon Marcos's success in the Snap Elections. Holbrooke says that the U.S. should have given more financial support to Corazon Aquino, Marcos's primary opponent. Although he claims that Marcos must lose power before any of the Philippines' major problems can be resolved, Holbrooke supports a peaceful transition and criminal immunity for Marcos.

Keywords: Bush; Corazon Aquino; Ferdinand Marcos; Mondale; Ronald Reagan; communism; elections; foreign aid; free and fair; transition of power

00:25:54 - A fraudulent election / The coming fall of Marcos

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Partial Transcript: You talked about Marcos' control on the electoral process...

Segment Synopsis: Holbrooke says that Marcos will have to find a more creative way to manipulate the election than just buying votes because of substantial voter support for Corazon Aquino. Holbrooke predicts the impending demise of Marcos, but insists that the U.S. should not act to precipitate his fall.

Keywords: Congress; corruption; electoral fraud; electoral process; legitimacy; opposition; voter fraud