ENVOY CONFIRMS U.S. ROLE IN MARCOS OUSTER

Manila, March 24, 2003  Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos yesterday said US
Ambassador Francis Ricciardone validated in a television interview the
long-suspected involvement of the American government in the removal of her
father, Ferdinand Marcos, from power.

"Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for conforming our worst suspicions about US
intervention in the Philippines and other small sovereign nations," she said.

She quoted Ricciardone as saying that the 'Iraqi people will be as happy
with the ouster of Saddam Hussein as Filipinos were when Washington helped
remove former President Ferdinand Marcos."

Ricciardone supposedly made the remark in reaction to protests by Filipino
anti-war groups of the US-sponsored "regime change" in Iraq.

Marcos said she intends to file a request to the Department of Foreign
Affairs to require the US embassy to clarify Ricciardone's statement,
particularly on the extent of US involvement in Marcos' ouster.

Marcos left Malacaņang and flew to Honolulu, Hawaii, along with his family
and a number of close associates at the height of the February 1986 EDSA
revolt.

Sen. Joker Arroyo accused Ricciardone of trying to revise Philippine
history by comparing the role of the US in the ouster of Marcos with the
objective to oust Hussein.

"US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone's statement aired over ABS-CBN drawing a
parallel in the role played by the United States in the ouster of two
dictators, that of President Marcos in 1986 and the US objective to oust
Saddam Hussein, is an outrageous attempt at historical revision. This
cannot pass. There is no parallelism and such assertion must be corrected,"
Arroyo said.

He asserted the US had no role in the ouster of Marcos. "At best, the
United States did not oppose people power. But while the European countries
promptly recognized the government of President Aquino, the United States
hedged and her recognition came much later. The United States first wanted
Mr. Marcos and his family out of the Philippines and out of harm's way. The
US cared for Marcos' safety," Arroyo said. (By PETER TABINGO


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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