The Philippines Death In Manila

A shooting leaves Aquino in trouble

When thousands of demonstrators set out in Manila last week to march on Malacanang Palace, the office of President Corazon Aquino, the police took standard precautions. To contain the roisterous crowd, which chanted demands for immediate land reform, 500 riot policemen equipped with truncheons and metal shields lined up in eight-deep rows at the foot of the Mendiola Bridge, the main approach to the palace. Two water cannons and eight fire trucks pulled up as well, and a contingent of Philippine marines, on temporary security duty at Malacanang, deployed behind the police phalanx.

By late afternoon the 10,000 protesters, some armed...