Vice Presdient Mondale ended his visit to the Philippines yesterday on this rocky isle where besieged Americans and Filipinos fought together in World War II, and heard the Philippine president pledge a "blood compact" with the United States.
Mondale commemorated the 1942 battle against the Japanese here as a symbol of the "special bond between our two nations" and "the continuing interest of my country in this vital part of the world," a remark that the largely Filipino audience interrupted with applause.
President Ferdinand Marcos, who seeks continued U.S. military aid in the face of threatened cuts by U.S. congressmen opposed to his martial law government, said the Philippine-American bond created by the Corregidor fight was so strong "not even death can dissolve it."
Yet as Mondale left for Bangkok, the next stop in his Asian tour, some of the Marcos-controlled press tempered the generally good impression the vice president made here.
The Evening Post, edited by a close friend of Marcos' wife, objected to Mondale raising the human rights issue. It had earlier in the week listed several American human rights abuses, from the Kent State killings in 1970 to CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro to mistreatment of Filipnos on U.S. bases here. Yesterday it printed an editorial warning against changing domestic policy just to suit the U.S. Congress.