Thousands of Filipinos in major cities joined antigovernment demonstrations today to mark the second anniversary of the unsolved murder of opposition leader Benigno Aquino.

Rallies were held in Baguio City in the north, and Cebu and Bacolod in the central Philippines. Groups in Mindanao, to the south, called for "a day of rest" from work.

The major violence was reported in Legaspi, on Luzon Island, where a policeman was killed at a rally.

In Manila, confetti rained from high-rise buildings as about 8,000 persons reached the financial center, led by the family of the late senator in a nine-mile march from a suburban Roman Catholic church.

Thousands of other office workers walked through heavy rain to join a rally. Opposition leaders atop a truck charged that President Ferdinand Marcos had created economic and political crises.

Cars and taxis tied yellow ribbons on their antennas as a symbol of protest against the killing of Aquino at Manila Airport moments after he returned from exile in the United States two years ago. A trial of military personnel, including the armed forces chief of staff, continues.

Many marchers carried "Impeach Marcos" banners. His party threw out an opposition resolution in the National Assembly last week to impeach him for alleged corruption and abuses of power.

The day's protest in Manila began with a mass, where Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Sin delivered a homily denouncing the violence in the Philippines.

Two years after Aquino's death, Sin said, "the demonic furies of hate and violence among us remain unexorcised." He added: "Because no guilt has been confessed, no role has been acknowledged, no responsibility has been accepted, so that those behind this crime remain to this day without a human face, without a human conscience, without a trace of those elemental feelings of guilt and remorse that would place them within reach of human compassion and forgiveness."

As Sin spoke, groups of left-wing students and workers, with red banners reading "Dismantle United States-Marcos dictatorship," left the church for their own rally and march on the presidential palace. More than 2,000 marines, riot police and naval guards deployed around the palace held the marchers back as they swelled to 14,000, by police estimates.

Aquino's widow, Corazon Aquino, had declined the left's request to hold a joint rally and march. She has become an influential political personality as a unifying force among the fractious opposition and was greeted at the rally by chants and huge "Cory for President" banners.