The Philippines Things Fall Apart

Bereft of old allies and close friends, Aquino tries to start anew

In their election campaigning against Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino and her vice-presidential running mate, Salvador Laurel, were often photographed kneeling together in prayer before church altars. Seeing the pious pair, some Filipinos quipped that the couple looked as though they were being married. Indeed, the Aquino-Laurel partnership was a political marriage, though merely one of convenience. He shared his well-greased political machine with her. She shared her enormous popularity with him. Little else.

Now they have nothing. Laurel announced last week that because he opposed many of Aquino's policies, he could not remain in his Cabinet post as Foreign Secretary, though...