Planeload of Marcos Money, Weapons Reportedly Arrives
HONOLULU (AP) _ A planeload of Ferdinand Marcos’ personal effects, said to include weapons and millions in cash, has arrived as the exiled Philippines leader relaxed at a heavily guarded air force base.
″It’s been a quiet day,″ said Chief Master Sgt. George Joanou, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command at Hickam Air Force Base, where the 90- member Marcos entourage remained in seclusion Thursday.
″Everybody’s still here. They’ve been taking meals and resting at the quarters. There’s been no word that he’s going anywhere.″
The calm was disrupted by the arrival of a second C-141 transport plane loaded with hundreds of boxes of personal effects belonging to the Marcos family and those who fled the Philippines with Marcos on Wednesday.
NBC and ABC quoted unidentified government officials as saying that the plane was loaded with millions of dollars in cash, certificates of deposit, deeds for U.S. land holdings, and a cache of weapons.
Although some family members complained to Gov. George Ariyoshi that they left the Philippines too hurriedly to grab a change of clothes, KHON-TV quoted unidentified government sources in Washington as saying jewelry belonging to Marcos’ wife, Imelda, was brought into the country in diaper boxes, along with $200,000 in gold bullion and nearly $1 million in Filipino currency.
U.S. Customs officials refused to confirm the reports. Marcos was to be available to the news media tonight at 8 p.m. EST, Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Ward said without providing details.
Presidential spokesman Larry Speakes told reporters in Washington the plane carried ″the personal effects of the Marcos family and the other people accompanying him.″ He added, ″We assisted with bringing out a number of items that they needed.″
Speakes said the U.S. Customs agency ″will perform a thorough examination of all contents of that aircraft.″
Other entourage members lounged in Hawaii’s sunshine Thursday, but many members of the Marcos family have not emerged from their single-story stucco duplex since arriving from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, their first stop after fleeing the Philippines aboard a U.S. military jet after opposition leader Corazon Aquino took power.
Marcos’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and former Gen. Fabian Ver dined in Honolulu Thursday night with Marcos supporters in Hawaii, said Joe J. Lazo, one of the group.
The younger Marcos and Ver indicated that the Marcos family wants to settle in Hawaii but is concerned about security arrangements, Lazo said.
″They feel comfortable with Hawaii residents, but they have a little apprehension (about people) from outside Hawaii,″ said Lazo. ″They are fearful people might hurt them. ... I was told their houses in the Philippines had been ransacked.
″I think their feelings are to stay here,″ he said. ″They might be moving out from Hickam this week or next week.″
Marcos may make a decision today or Saturday, Lazo said.
Some members of the entourage, including one of Marcos’ daughters, wore bulletproof vests on arrival in Guam, saying they were afraid of assassination or arrest, said Maj. Gen. E.G. Shuler, commander of the 3rd Air Division at Andersen.
Although the group was screened for weapons before leaving Clark Air Base in the Philippines, at least five handguns were collected during a 13-hour stopover in Guam, he said. Another weapon was found later in baggage on the group’s flight to Hawaii, Shuler said.
Speakes said President Reagan had authorized Secret Service bodyguards for Marcos for a limited time after he leaves Hickam. Under the president’s directive, Marcos will be afforded protection as a distinguished foreign visitor, said Secret Service spokeswoman Jane Vezeris.
Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi has rejected a Secret Service request to provide security for Marcos for the next six weeks, saying the federal government or Marcos himself should pay for protection.
″If the federal government wants to pay for it, (Fasi) would provide it,″ said Lou Torraca, a spokesman for the mayor. ″He just doesn’t want to use taxpayers’ money.″
Lazo said he hoped to meet with Honolulu city officials over the next few days to explore security arrangements for the Marcos family, possibly including hiring off-duty Honolulu police officers on a contract basis.
On Thursday morning, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter cruised the waters off Hickam as part of security for Marcos, Ward said.
Anti-Marcos factions in Hawaii, meanwhile, demanded to know the names of those in Marcos entourage and whether those individuals would be offered asylum. Officials have refused to release the names, saying that is up to the Marcos family. Marcos is being accompanied by his personal physician and by his former Military Chief of Staff, Gen. Fabian Ver.
″What about the people with him? There is a backlog of 10 years of people who have applied and are waiting to come to the United States, and here we are embracing these terrorists,″ said Belinda Aquino, director of the University of Hawaii’s Philippine Studies Program.
″It really rankles Filipinos that we are providing safe haven for the people who oppressed them,″ said Ms. Aquino, who is not related to the new Philippines president.
Meanwhile, although he has yet to use it, a room equipped with a kidney dialysis machine was ready at Tripler Army Medical Center for Marcos, who is reported to be suffering from lupus, a debilitating disease that affects the kidneys.