The Philippines: First a Firing, Then a Truce

Days of drama are capped by an accord with insurgents

Scarcely a week after her government seemed about to falter under intense pressure from within the armed forces, President Corazon Aquino reasserted her authority with skillful timing. First she fired her leading critic within the Cabinet, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile. Then, following three months of negotiation, she reached an agreement with Communist-backed rebels for a 60- day truce beginning Dec. 10. The cease-fire, the first in the 17-year history of the insurgency, will give the government and the rebels a chance to explore the possibilities of a longer-lasting settlement. Moreover, the truce will free Aquino to campaign for adoption of...

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