February 25, 1986

The President is pleased with the peaceful transition to a new government of the Philippines. The United States extends recognition to this new government headed by President Aquino. We pay special tribute to her for her commitment to nonviolence, which has earned her the respect of all Americans. The new government has been produced by one of the most stirring and courageous examples of the democratic process in modern history. We honor the Filipino people. The United States stands ready as always to cooperate and assist the Philippines as the government of President Aquino engages the problems of economic development and national security.

We praise the decision of President Marcos. Reason and compassion have prevailed in ways that best serve the Filipino nation and people. In his long term as President, Ferdinand Marcos showed himself to be a staunch friend of the United States. We are gratified that his departure from office has come peacefully, characterized by the dignity and strength that have marked his many years of leadership.

It is the Filipino people, of course, who are the true heroes today. They have high expectations for their country and for democracy, and they have resolved this issue nonviolently in a way that does them honor.

Note: George P. Shultz read the statement to reporters at 9:45 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.