When fiery, chain-smoking Manuel Acuna Roxas announced last year that he would run for the Presidency of the Philippines, many an island politico winked significantly over his cigar. There is but one Philippine party, the Nacionalistas. According to all the rules of island politics, Roxas would soon make a deal with aging President Sergio Osmeña, withdraw in the old man's favor.

But last week 2,000 insurgent Roxas followers crowded into Manila's Santa Ana Cabaret* drink beer, spout oratory in Tagalog, English and Spanish, and nominate him for the island's highest office. A few days later old line Nacionalistas held a nominating...

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