The government of President Ferdinand Marcos indicated yesterday that it would not let former senator Benigno Aquino enter if he returns this weekend after three years in the United States.
Gen. Fabian Ver, the armed forces chief, said in a statement quoted by The Associated Press that if Marcos' chief political foe "should attempt to return to Manila without any travel papers, he will not be allowed to land and will be returned to his place of embarkation by the same plane that he comes in."
Aquino's passport expired during his exile, and a month ago the government refused to renew it or issue other travel documents to him. It said the issuance was being delayed until it could "neutralize" people allegedly plotting to assassinate him.
A political associate of Aquino said he was traveling on a U.S. document valid under international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But Ver's statement gave no indication whether that would be acceptable, and there was speculation that the statement was purposely ambiguous because Marcos had not decided what to do if Aquino provoked a showdown.
Assemblyman Salvador H. Laurel, president of the opposition United Nationalist Democratic Organization, said earlier that Aquino would arrive by Japan Air Lines Sunday.