Deposed president Ferdinand Marcos has made more than $1,000 in telephone calls to the Philippines from his exile in Hawaii, attempting to prolong his influence in Philippine politics by directing those shaping the opposition party, State Department officials said yesterday.
Officials said they have received reports from Manila that Marcos has given advice by phone from his guest quarters at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu to leaders of his KBL party, seeking to shape the party's views and to put his stamp on how it develops as an opposition force.
In some calls, Marcos has indicated that he still considers himself president of the Philippines, the officials added. These officials expressed concern that Marcos' intervention could complicate the transition to power for the new government of Corazon Aquino, which the United States strongly supports.
For this and other reasons, U.S. officials said they are pressing Marcos and his entourage to leave Hickam and find other accommodations. Filipino sources in Hawaii said Marcos is equally eager to move off the base, and may do so sometime today.
"We're encouraging him to move as soon as possible," one official said.
Meanwhile, the power struggle that led to Marcos' abdication two weeks ago moved further into the American legal system yesterday as a New Jersey state judge temporarily halted transactions on two properties linked to Marcos.
The action came a week after a New York judge issued a similar order affecting four properties valued at $350 million and alleged by Aquino supporters to be secretly held by Marcos and close associates.
Both court actions are part of a new front in Aquino's anti-Marcos offensive -- this one taking place on American turf, drawing not on the "people power" used to topple Marcos, but on treaties and international laws that the new government believes will establish its right to what it calls the "ill-gotten wealth" of the Marcos era.
The properties frozen by Superior Court Judge Paul Levy yesterday were an 18th-century estate in Lawrence Township, N.J., valued at $1 million and, according to Aquino government lawyers, used by Marcos' daughter Imee when she was a student at Princeton in the 1970s.
The estate, which spreads across 13 acres and includes a six-bedroom house, is listed in New Jersey records as belonging to Faylin Limited Corp., which congressional investigators have alleged to be a dummy corporation to hide the ownership of the Marcos family.
Joseph Bernstein, a lawyer who handled other Marcos-linked investments, is president of Faylin, according to court papers filed in the case yesterday.
The judge also barred any sale or transfer of a house in the Philadelphia suburb of Cherry Hill, N.J. The Aquino government said the house was bought in 1978 by a close associate of Irwin P. Ver, son of Marcos' former chief of staff, Gen. Fabian Ver. The home was transferred to the younger Ver in 1979, according to real estate records cited in court. Lawyers for the Aquino government said the house was used by Marcos' son, Ferdinand Jr., when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania.
The legal theory behind the Aquino government's court action is complex. The government aims to prove in Philippine court that Marcos obtained his wealth illegally, and must return it under Philippine law, according to Severina Rivera, an Aquino attorney here.
At the same time, the lawyers are seeking to prove in U.S. courts that vast real estate holdings listed as belonging to corporations or to Marcos associates actually belong to him and his wife, Imelda.
If both efforts succeed, Rivera said, lawyers will ask U.S. courts to order the property transferred to the Manila government.
Court action also is planned in California and Texas, according to Aquino lawyers, who said that voluminous information is coming in.
Much of it is from a loose network of dissident Filipino bankers and lawyers who have worked in financial centers around the world and have surreptitiously taken notes on the dealings of Marcos and his associates, according to sources in Manila.
Officials in the Philippines also have reported finding "smoking-gun"-type documents in the presidential palace in Manila.
But the search for papers is complicated because many documents were strewn about the palace and Manila streets after Marcos fled.
Also yesterday, the State Department released a list of the 88 people who went to Hawaii with Marcos and his wife. Officials said most of the group were household help and military aides, including 18 officers.
An administration official said Marcos and his entourage are considering going to another country, and that the list of possibilities includes Singapore, Japan, Indonesia and Spain.
"They're casting about," the official said. "He's profoundly concerned what his future might be if he stayed in the United States and the possibility he might be subject to an avalanche of lawsuits."