SEOUL -- The "people's power" revolution in the Philippines, once a political beacon for dissidents in South Korea, is turning into a subtle burden for the country's opposition while providing an unexpected boost to the ruling party, according to South Korean politicians and western diplomats.

Until the recent coup attempts against President Corazon Aquino's government, the opposition in Seoul was pointing to the Philippines as an example of the type of peaceful transition to democracy that could happen in South Korea. As massive antigovernment protests swept South Korea in June, the opposition talked enthusiastically of a Korean "people's power" revolution.

Then, officials in the ruling party here rejected parallels between the Philippines and South Korea.

But the political discourses of both ruling and opposition camps have reversed. Officials of the government and the ruling Democratic Justice Party now contend that the instability in Manila shows the limits and dangers of quick political change.

"What is happening in the Philippines is an important lesson, which is that without support from the military, no government will be a stable government," said Hyun Hong Choo, deputy secretary general of the ruling Democratic Justice Party.

When leading opposition leader Kim Dae Jung formally declared his intention late last month to form his own political party and run for president, he compared the political situation in South Korea to that of Argentina.

"We have much to learn from the political achievements of President {Raul} Alfonsin of Argentina, who ran boldly for president despite military opposition and was elected with the overwhelming support of the people," Kim said. "We have much to learn also from the fact that he achieved a sound economy and firm stability in Argentina," he said. Kim made no mention of the Philippines in the five-page declaration.

{Meanwhile, during a campaign rally in Taegu Sunday, stones and eggs were thrown at Kim Dae Jung as violence continued to disrupt the campaign rallies of the country's presidential hopefuls, Reuter reported.}

The change in attitudes toward the Philippines reflects the intensity with which political developments there are followed in Seoul. While some analysts say the two countries are too different to be compared, other analysts here argue that the political deterioration in Manila is nonetheless exerting a moderating influence on the actions of both sides of South Korea's political spectrum.

Influential politicians in South Korea's ruling circles, such as Hyun, are quietly warning that the country could fall into Manila-style turmoil if the opposition wins presidential elections planned to be held Dec. 16. They contend that South Korea's divided opposition, led by the rivals Kim Young Sam and Kim Dae Jung, would be too weak to prevent the kind of political chaos that has engulfed Aquino.

Indeed, ruling party presidential candidate Roh Tae Woo warns constantly in speeches that either Kim would lead the country into political and economic decline. Roh paints himself as the only candidate capable of keeping the restive South Korean military in check while leading the country to democracy. The opposition, he says, cannot be trusted to do the same.

Opposition officials deny the charges, and reject the Philippine parallels being drawn by the ruling party. "When the opposition takes power, there will not be any social chaos," said an aide to Kim Dae Jung. A senior adviser to Kim Young Sam, president of the opposition Reunification Democratic Party, pointed to the significantly different economic and political structures of the two countries. South Korea, he said, lacks the principal causes of unrest that beset Aquino: a domestic Communist insurgency, and a shattered economy.

This is very different from what opposition officials were saying 20 months ago. When then-Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos was ousted by Aquino's "people's power" revolution, the South Korean opposition frequently drew parallels between the two countries, gaining satisfaction and encouragement from the evolution of events there. At the same time, a nervous ruling party was denying any similarities existed between the Philippines and South Korea.

Some experts here, however, are skeptical about many of the similarities being drawn between the two countries.

"The opposition was stretching things too far when Aquino came to power, and now the ruling party is stretching things too far," said a West European diplomat. He pointed out that the two sides are looking at the Philippines through politically tinted glasses, and thus may be drawing conclusions tailor-made to fit their electoral aims.