Aside from some enthusiastic pro-Marcos Filipino residents, many citizens of Hawaii seem more inclined to tolerate than to welcome a long stay here by ex-president Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos, who arrived here yesterday from Guam in a U.S. Air Force transport, had left the Philippines in such haste Tuesday that he seems only now to have had a chance to consider carefully what he wants to do next.
The presence of Marcos at a guest house on the Hickam Air Force Base here has set off an argument among local officials over how to provide security for him and his entourage. Residents are contesting whether he should be welcomed, only tolerated, or urged to leave. Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi said he will not spend a cent on police protection for him.
But a consensus appears to be developing among some Honolulu residents that Marcos ought to be allowed to stay, if he chooses to do so, first because President Reagan had offered him a safe haven and second because Marcos agreed to leave Manila without putting up a fight, thus saving lives. An additional point being made here is that Marcos has a record as an ally of the United States.
"None of this means Marcos would be warmly welcomed by most of Hawaii," said the Honolulu Advertiser in an editorial today. "On the contrary, he would be tolerated at best by many who would hope he would go elsewhere."
The paper said that "even less welcome" than Marcos was Gen. Fabian Ver, the ousted armed forces commander "who seemed to relish doing the ex-despot's dirty work."
City Council member Patsy Mink, a Democrat, said she worried that Marcos might try to use Hawaii as a base from which to launch attacks against the new government in Manila.
But Democratic Gov. George Ariyoshi, an old friend of Marcos who has said he would like to see him stay, argued that Marcos was a "realist" who knew it would be impossible to attack the new government from almost 6,000 miles away.
"I don't think he's going to come here and start a revolution from Hawaii," said Ariyoshi at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Filipino community here is divided over whether Marcos should be welcomed or not. But many of the more than 100,000 Filipinos in the Honolulu area come from the same part of the Philippines as Marcos and seem to show some sympathy for him.
Marcos' decision on whether to stay in Hawaii may depend partly on questions of security and medical attention. He is said to require dialysis for a kidney condition.
Marcos and his family were reported to want to leave Hickam soon for more luxurious accommodations.
But the Secret Service personnel helping to provide security and more than 80 other members of his family and entourage apparently did not consider this safe until security could be provided by the regular police.
Mayor Fasi told local reporters that the chief of the Secret Service had asked him to provide security for Marcos for up to six weeks "as a favor." Fasi said he declined to do so.
The mayor said he thought the federal government ought to pay for the cost of such protection, possibly through a contract with the city. He added that he thought Marcos was wealthy enough to pay for such protection.
Fasi also said Frank Keating, assistant secretary of the Treasury, asked Fasi to provide police protection for Marcos for a maximum of six weeks and a minimum of four weeks, adding that Marcos would provide his own protection after that.
At a Hawaii State Senate meeting late Wednesday, anti-Marcos speakers warned that he might attempt to establish a government in exile in Honolulu. They supported a resolution drawn up by state Sen. Duke Kawasaki that opposes granting refuge to Marcos.
A number of pro-Marcos witnesses at the meeting spoke in favor of Marcos staying in Honolulu.
It appeared that Kawasaki's resolution did not have enough support for him to move it out of committee.