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Alliance discussed to oust Philippine leader

Communist insurgents have met with dissident military officers to discuss an alliance against the government of President Corazon Aquino, the rebel leaders said. In an interview with Associated Press, a group of Communist officials confirmed newspaper reports that they had met members of the clandestine Young Officers' Union, which helped stage a coup attempt in December.

In the interview released Sunday, the officials said the "essentially exploratory" talks were held twice last week before a leftist-called general strike. But they denied claims by the military that leftist and rightist extremists had cooperated in violence during the strike, called to force the government to increase the minimum wage.

The talks were initiated by the leaders of the Young Officers' Union, said Sergio Romero, chief of the Alex Boncayao Brigade, the Manila wing of the Communist New People's Army. The name is an alias.

Maj. Abraham Purugganan, a leader of the Young Officers, claimed in reports a week ago his group was joining the rebels for a "nationalist revolution" to oust Aquino and establish a federal system of government with a one-house legislature.