News In Brief

2 civilian guards counter official account on Aquino

Testimony from two civilian security guards Thursday directly contradicted the government version of the assassination of Philippines opposition leader Benigno Aquino.

The guards, assigned to the China Airlines plane on which Mr. Aquino arrived in Manila, said they heard a shot and turned to see Aquino on the plane's stairway, supported by one soldier on each side, his head drooping. (Aquino's family has charged the military was involved in the slaying.)

The explosive testimonies of Efren Ranas and Olivia Reyes were the first directly to counter the government version, which says the former senator was shot on the airport tarmac by an alleged Communist gunman.

The guards requested being placed in protective custody of the commission investigating Aquino's death after telling officials they feared for their lives.

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