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They're off!

THE horse trading has been done, the slates have been agreed upon, and the presidential horse race in the Philippines is now under way. Both sides strengthened themselves this week: the opposition, because both Corazon Aquino and former Sen. Salvador Laurel compromised, to run as a unified ticket which she heads; the current government, because President Marcos selected as his vice-presidential running mate the leader in his party who had been the strongest and most credible opponent of many of his policies; vice-presidential nominee Arturo Tolentino's political strength in Manila may substantially undercut the popularity there of

Mrs. Aquino.

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The United States should continue to apply pressure to the wily Mr. Marcos to make the Feb. 7 election responsibly fair. Washington should push for new members on the two boards that Marcos dominates which run the election. It should insist that General Ver be relieved promptly of his military command, and that the military be reorganized and headed by professionals rather than cronies. Finally, it should demand that Marcos not call off the election under any pretense, if the opposition shows too much strength.

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