Ousted Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos moved from his bungalow at Hickam Air Force Base to a posh beachfront home Monday night and promptly encountered the Hawaiian equivalent of a Bronx cheer.
A Honolulu lawyer who lives in the neighborhood, Eric Seitz, said he saw the Marcos entourage moving into the house as he was driving home from work and hurriedly organized a quick protest with a sign reading "Death to Marcos and All Puppets of U.S. Imperialism."
Secret Service agents, temporarily assigned to protect Marcos as a "distinguished foreign visitor," deemed the sign "provocative" and detained Seitz in Marcos' new garage for questioning before releasing him.
One agent said the placard "showed an intended threat against Marcos," but Seitz said it was merely "a slogan from demonstrations in the Philippines in the early '70s just before martial law was declared."
"It was purely spontaneous," Seitz said in a telephone interview. "I went home, made my sign, made a few phone calls and went out. It was in honor of the many who participated in the protests of the 1970s , including many who are dead or missing. There were a number of other people protesting across the street."
He said he was in the Philippines in 1971 for the National Lawyers Guild, setting up a legal aid group for U.S. servicemen opposed to the Vietnam war. After martial law was declared, he said, "the Philippine constabulary came in, seized our court files, arrested my colleagues and closed us down."
Marcos and his wife, Imelda, followed yesterday by three vans of luggage, are renting a $1.5 million, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home along busy Kalanianaole Highway in the Niu Valley. The house, on grounds that include a small cottage, is owned by Honolulu auto dealer James Pflueger. The master bedroom overlooks the Pacific.
Marcos arrived at Hickam Feb. 26 and was put under rigorous protection that even made the Officers' Club off-limits to the Hickam brass until last week. Officials have been anxious to see him go and last weekend began allowing process servers on the base to deliver lawsuits through a State Department intermediary.
A Secret Service spokesman in Honolulu said the protection is scheduled to end today or Thursday unless President Reagan extends it.
Seitz said he got so many encouraging calls he was planning another protest. Last night, police said that when Seitz reappeared he was arrested for obstructing the highway outside the home.