I am finishing a study at Harvard of countries all over the world that have returned to democracy from dictatorship peacefully in the last 10 years. In all of them, the dictatorship had to be terminated first -- and then democratic elections were held. In the Philippines we are allowing ourselves to be maneuvered by Marcos into trying to do the reverse -- accepting elections in which the dictator himself is to be a candidate, as he retains all his absolute power and his control of the army, the Commission on Elections, the secret police, all national media, and all significant public and private funds. . . .

In the recent instances where democracy has been restored peacefully -- in countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil -- political parties collaborated, and not always unanimously or solidly, on a common strategy (by) which to regain democracy; not by attempting the unnatural -- namely, the defeat of the dictator in presidential elections -- but by rallying all sectors of the population, together with exiles and friendly foreign elements, in a massive drive to pressure the dictator out of power. . . .

We do not seek a coup d'etat. We seek what has been successful elsewhere . . . a transition government representing the important sectors of the society. The immediate task of the transition government is to prepare for national elections -- in the case of the Philippines, under the only electoral rules that remain valid in this country, those based on the Constitution of 1935. At that point unity of political parties will . . . be a contradiction in terms. For the people must have a full section of ideas -- not just candidates -- to choose from.