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Surprise Manila move points to civilian trial in Aquino case

Philippine government lawyers produced a surprise new legal decree Thursday which would enable three generals and 23 others charged with the murder of opposition leader Benigno Aquino to be tried by a civilian, rather than a military, court. It authorizes President Ferdinand Marcos to assign to a civilian court military cases usually tried by courts martial. Opposition sources said they would challenge the decree because it had not been formally laid out.

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President Marcos declared an emergency in six typhoon-ravaged provinces yesterday while the Philippines Air Force began airlifting tons of relief supplies in the wake of a typhoon that killed hundreds of people and made hundreds of thousands homeless.

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