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Aquino Verdict Due Monday; Parties Set Convention Dates

Associated Press

A three-judge court announced Friday that it will hand down its verdict in the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. assassination trial on Monday.

Summonses were being prepared for all 26 defendants, including armed forces chief Gen. Fabian C. Ver, to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Monday for the reading of the verdict, which had been delayed by a mistrial petition.

The trial court had earlier set the verdict reading for Nov. 20, but the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order to give it time to study the mistrial petition. The petition was dismissed Thursday, clearing the way for the lower court to proceed.

Accused of Murder

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Ver and the other defendants are accused in connection with the Aug. 21, 1983, slayings of opposition leader Aquino and Rolando Galman, the man the military claims shot Aquino while the politician was under military escort on his arrival here from three years of self-imposed exile in the United States.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ governing New Society Movement and the opposition National Unification Committee scheduled conventions to pick presidential candidates for the Feb. 7 election.

The New Society Movement set its convention for Dec. 7 to nominate Marcos for reelection.

The National Unification Committee, a major opposition group, said it would convene Dec. 9 to pick a presidential candidate. Former Sen. Francisco Rodrigo, leader of the party, said he is sure that former Sen. Salvador H. Laurel will be nominated.

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Several other opposition groups have urged Corazon Aquino, widow of the slain opposition leader, to run. She is expected to announce her decision next week.


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