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Services to be held today for Philippines' Aquino

Benigno Aquino Jr. is to be buried today in what is generally expected to be the largest public funeral in the history of the Philippines - greater even than that of popular former President Ramon Magsaysay in 1956.

Security forces are on full alert, though most people expect the day to pass quietly, reports Monitor contributor Paul Quinn-Judge. Already hundreds of thousands of people are said to have viewed Mr. Aquino's body either in the family's Manila home, a nearby church, or in the former senator's native province of Tarlac.

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The funeral service was to begin in Quezon City, in the northern part of Manila, before a motorized cortege was to wend its way through much of central Manila, stopping briefly at Rizal Park - named after the turn-of-the-century nationalist hero, Jose Rizal, to whom Aquino is being increasingly likened by his supporters.