The story on a court decision on documents confiscated from deposed Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos in yesterday's editions inaccurately attributed a quote to Judge Dominick DiCarlo that should have been attributed to a brief from the U.S. government. The quotation was: "If the U.S. reneges on its promise to the new Philippine government. . . the foreign relations of this country with an important and strategically critical Far Eastern nation may be adversely affected." This error, contained in a United Press International dispatch from New York, was inserted into the story in Washington, as was other material from wire service dispatches. Because of an editing error, the story omitted the actual grounds for DiCarlo's decision to allow the United States to share the documents with the Philippine government, which were that the constitutional rights of the two plaintiffs, Marcos agents Ramon Azurin and Gregorio Araneta, were not threatened and that they could not legally assert constitutional rights on behalf of Marcos as a third party.
A federal judge today cleared the way for the Reagan administration to give Philippine and congressional investigators sensitive documents believed to contain crucial details of the financial holdings of deposed president Ferdinand Marcos.
By rejecting complaints from Marcos' lawyers that the 1,500 pages of documents are private property, Judge Dominick DiCarlo of the Court of International Trade here said the administration's foreign policy concerns are more important than Marcos' right to privacy.
"If the U.S. reneges on its promise to the new Philippine government of President Corazon Aquino to release the documents ," DiCarlo said in a 17-page opinion, "the foreign relations of this country with an important and strategically critical Far Eastern nation may be adversely affected."
The order made it possible for the Justice Department to turn over the documents to representatives of a Philippine government commission investigating what it claims is Marcos' "ill-gotten" wealth, although one senior administration official said the transfer was delayed, probably until Tuesday morning, because of the time needed to photocopy hundreds of pages.
"As far as we're concerned, it's a green light," Justice Department spokesman Terry Eastland said. "Everything is in order legally for this to happen. It's now just a matter of the mechanical process."
Meanwhile, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee investigating Marcos' holdings in this country prepared to subpoena the documents on Tuesday, giving the administration the legal basis needed before it could turn over copies to that panel.
"We expect a subpoena," Eastland said. "We will comply with the subpoena."
The apparently inevitable surrender of the documents led Marcos' legal team in Hawaii to protest that the U.S. government "has simply run roughshod over the Constitution, laws and regulations of the United States."
In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu late today, Marcos' lawyers asked that U.S. Customs Commissioner William von Raab be held in contempt for his role in the imminent exchange.
The attorneys said the turnover would be in clear violation of the temporary restraining order they won in Hawaii last week, in which a federal judge prohibited von Raab from turning over the documents except in response to a "lawful subpoena . . . or pursuant to the laws and treaties of the United States."
Administration officials contend that the exceptions give them ample authority to yield the documents, but Marcos' attorneys say the Philippine-U.S. tax treaty being used to justify the exchange has been twisted beyond recognition.
The Marcos lawyers charged that the documents were illegally seized and they called the "foreign policy argument" invoked by the administration "a red herring of the worst sort."
The documents, along with most of Marcos' other possessions, have been in the custody of U.S. Customs Service officials since the deposed president fled to Hawaii from Manila late last month. Since then, he has remained secluded at Hickam Air Force Base, where he is said to be intricately involved in his legal strategy.
Marcos' mounting legal problems were said by administration sources to add to his growing apprehension about remaining in this country and further fueled speculation that he was preparing to leave. Administration officials said that the State Department had interceded on Marcos' behalf in approaching third countries that might be willing to take him in. One official mentioned Singapore and Morocco, saying there have been "a couple of nibbles."
Aquino has let it be known that she would object to Marcos receiving haven in Southeast Asia because he would be too close to the Philippines.
Marcos also was known to be considering Spain as a haven, but the socialist government of Felipe Gonzales rejected the idea over the weekend, the administration sources said.
Marcos' lawyers were said to be researching treaties between the Philippines, which Spain once owned, and Spanish-speaking countries to determine where there were dangers that Marcos could be extradited. They were also said to be considering countries in the Caribbean, as well as the tiny European nation of Lichtenstein.
There were indications that Marcos' former Army chief of staff, Gen. Fabian Ver, and Eduardo M. Cojuangco, a close business associate, were also preparing to leave Hawaii under the threat of having to testify Tuesday before a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., that is probing allegations of fraud and possible kickbacks in U.S. military aid contracts.
Ver and Cojuangco were subpoenaed early last week in the probe, and ordered to appear Tuesday morning, according to U.S. government sources. Lawyers for the two requested an extension until afternoon, signaling to investigators that the two men planned to leave the country before then.