President Phones Marcos During Honolulu Stopover
President Reagan spoke by telephone with former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos on Saturday during Reagan’s stopover here on his 12-day Pacific journey.
The call was the first contact between Reagan and Marcos, who has taken up residence in Hawaii, since he left the Philippines last February.
Details of the conversation and its length were not disclosed. The call was announced from the office of presidential spokesman Larry Speakes in a terse statement. It said:
“President Reagan spoke to former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos by telephone at 4:23 p.m. (5:23 p.m. PST). During the call, Mrs. Reagan also spoke to Mrs. Marcos.”
Before leaving Washington, Reagan telephoned Marcos’s successor, Corazon Aquino, and invited her to visit the United States. She accepted, and Speakes said the visit will probably take place in the fall.
Earlier, Reagan told a group of welcoming American servicemen and their families upon his arrival in Honolulu that the United States is demonstrating that terrorists who attack Americans had better be prepared for the consequence. The comment was in reference to the U.S. air strike against Libya on April 15.
Reagan described America as “standing tall” and said, “We’re reminding the globe that America still stands for liberty--indeed, since 1980, not one inch of territory has fallen to communism, while Grenada has been set free.”
The President, who has said he would order the bombing of Syria and Iran, too, if he had “irrefutable evidence” that they had committed terrorist acts against Americans, told a welcoming ceremony here, “We’re showing the world’s dictators and terrorists that when they perpetrate their cowardly acts upon citizens of the United States, they had best be prepared to meet the consequences.”
85 Degrees, Blue Skies
Reagan and his wife, Nancy, arriving here in 85-degree heat under blue skies, were greeted by color guards of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force and an official party headed by Gov. George R. Ariyoshi and Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga (D-Hawaii).
Departing from his prepared text, Reagan said he was “absolutely delighted” to visit Hawaii. “The sun, the palm trees, the oceans all around. . . ,” he exclaimed. “I’m just sorry there wasn’t room on Air Force One for a surfboard.”
Scores of children representing Hawaii’s “Just-Say-No” anti-drug program crowded around the President and his wife and showered them with flower leis.
After the President concludes a meeting in Indonesia on May 1 and departs for the Tokyo economic summit meeting, Nancy Reagan will take a side trip to Malaysia and Thailand and meet with officials working to combat drug abuse.
Economic issues originally were billed as the major theme of Reagan’s journey, which ends with the May 4-6 economic summit of the world’s major industrial democracies in Tokyo. But because of the President’s recent action and statements, the problem of international terrorism has become a dominant topic of the trip.
Aboard Air Force One, John M. Poindexter, Reagan’s national security adviser, told reporters that it would be difficult to firmly conclude that the spate of terrorist instances around the world since the U.S. bombing of Libya on April 15 was linked to that attack.
Poindexter characterized the terrorist acts as “a rampage that will be short-lived.”
At the economic summit, he said, terrorism will be a major topic, but “the President is more interested in action, not in focusing on a statement. We’re more interested in action than in rhetoric.”
At the welcoming ceremonies at Hickam Air Force Base, Reagan underscored his own role as head of the armed forces in addressing military units of the Pacific Command.
He talked of the world being “a dangerous place, even savage in some regions,” and said, “As your commander in chief, I know that you’re charged with one of the most difficult missions in all of our armed forces: the defense of our nation and world peace across more than 100 million square miles, about 50% of the earth’s surface.”
In his regular Saturday radio message, taped in Los Angeles before he left for Honolulu, Reagan talked about his first business session of the Asian trip--a meeting with foreign ministers of the Assn. of Southeast Asian Nations in Bali, Indonesia, on May 1.
While his discussions with the six ASEAN officials will cover a variety of economic and security issues, Reagan indicated that a major topic will be Vietnam’s continued occupation of Cambodia.
Their Own Destiny
America and its ASEAN friends believe that Vietnam should withdraw its forces from Cambodia and permit Cambodians to determine their own destiny, he said.
“Vietnam has spurned our and all reasonable ASEAN requests for a negotiated settlement of the problem,” he said. “The United States has made it clear it’s ready to participate constructively in an overall settlement. The Communist government of Vietnam, however, to the detriment of their own national interests, remains intransigent.”
Using a theme that the White House developed for the Asian journey, Reagan told his radio audience that as Air Force One flies across the Pacific, he makes the trip knowing “the winds of freedom are blowing.”
“Totalitarian nations, with their centralized planning and bureaucratic controls, are going nowhere,” he said. “The Free World, as is especially evident on the Pacific rim, is moving at an accelerated pace into a new era of opportunity and progress.”