Philippines Mourns the Death of Cory Aquino

July 31, 2009

“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.” Corazon Aquino

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino, a leader in the peaceful "people power" revolution, died today at 3:18 a.m. at the age of 76 at the Makati Medical Center in the Philippines. She suffered cardiac arrest due to complications from colon cancer.

The New York Times reports:
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is remembering former President Corazon Aquino as a ''national treasure'' who led the country at a time of great peril.

Arroyo, on an official visit to Washington, says the Philippines will observe 10 days of official mourning following Aquino's death early Saturday in Manila.

She says Aquino ''picked up the standard'' after her husband, Benigno ''Ninoy'' Aquino Jr., was assassinated on the tarmac of Manila's international airport in 1983 as he returned from exile in the United States to challenge longtime leader Ferdinand Marcos.

Arroyo says Aquino ''helped lead a revolution to restore democracy and the rule of law to our nation at a time of great peril.''
Mrs. Aquino held the office of Philippine President from 1986 to 1992 and was the first female President of the Philippines and the first female president in Asia. She fought off seven coup attempts in six years.

Mrs. Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino who was assassinated in 1983. She became a leading opponent of Ferdinand Marcos. She ran against Marcos in the 1986 election in which he was declared a winner. The election was considered fraudulent and Mrs. Aquino was installed as president on February 25, 1986 after the People Power Revolution. Marcos was exiled that evening.

From the Manila Bulletin article, Goodbye, Tita Cory:
On Thursday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said it is one with the Filipino people not only in praying for the cancer-stricken former president but also in thanking the latter for restoring freedom and democracy in the country.

“We join the Filipino people in thanking her for the freedom and democracy that she helped bring back to the country in 1986,” CBCP president Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said in a letter to Noynoy.

“The country will forever be grateful for the sacrifices she and her husband, Ninoy, have offered in response to the dream and challenge that our country is worth dying for,” he said.

Last July 13, the CBCP offered a mass for Ms. Aquino’s recovery during the 99th Plenary Assembly at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center on UN Ave., Manila. “Together we pray for her, God’s will be done,” Lagdameo said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) asked its member-schools to pray and offer masses for the country’s former leader.

Aside from offering prayers and masses, the CEAP also asked its members to tie yellow ribbons, wear yellow bands and shirts, and hang streamers to show their support of and love for Ms. Aquino.

Earlier, Aquino's former Tourism secretary, Rafael Alunan, also talked of Cory’s humility even during her time as the highest official of the land.

Alunan lauded the efforts of Aquino's friends and former Cabinet officers in spearheading the "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" campaign to show support for Aquino.

“I think the Filipino people will not forget Cory Aquino, and yellow will always symbolize her purity in pushing for reforms,” he said.

The response to the campaign proves “the people yearn for those good times with Cory, when we're all together organizing and fighting for the common good,” Alunan said.
Read also:
Time: Corazon Aquino's Life in Pictures
Washington Post, story by William Branigin
GMA News
AP: Clinton Praises Aquino's extraordinary courage
Philippine Inquirer
Philippine Star


Melberlin said...

We should tie a yellow ribbon outside our house wherever we are...either in PI or in foreign countries in mourning her death.

Anonymous said...

She was the only President I voted for.

Anonymous said...

The PI was and still is one of the most corrupt nations on earth. Yeah, People power. Every 'ruler' of the PI lives a lavish lifestyle while the Filipino people live in cardboard boxes on the streets. They are all the same.

Anonymous said...

"They are all the same"...same as in CNMI

Anonymous said...

Cory was a great person who cared about the people of the Philippines and tried to make a difference.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 3:53

All of the past presidents of the Philippines are not "all the same" as you allege.

Cory Aquino may not be remembered as a great president, but she certainly was not corrupt. She was sincerely dedicated to her country and to positive change. She is respected and lauded internationally for her courage and fight for social reform and nonviolence.

Cory Aquino restored democracy to the Philippines. Her people power revolution is not much different than the one taking place in the streets of Iran today where people are calling for just elections and democracy.

King of Spain said...

I agree, though it is not enough to amend for the other things she brought into this world. Like Kris.

Henry Pippen said...

I just saw a 10 second flash of this on CNN. What has she done exactly to be revered like this? The report just said "first woman president". I dont think that merits the kind of ceremonies I saw on tv

Melberlin said...

Henry Pippen, I don't think you can exactly understand the meaning of what she did from a 10 sec flash only especially if you are not born during Marcos time or if you are a foreigner. If you want more about her, try yahoo, google, wikipedia, etc. and search as many as you can and figure out.

the teacher said...

After reading Gemma's letter, maybe she should run against Arroyo.

Wendy said...

I agree with Melberlin -do some research and know your topic before you judge what she has and has not accomplished.

Henry Pippen said...


I have, and I think some foreigners are more privy to whats going on than all those people crying like it was their funeral.

Achievements? Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program? Big joke. There was also this Jacienda Luisita or something owned by the Cojuancos (Aquino was 'nee Coujuanco was this correct?) I was told that this wasnt touched by the reform, and quite a few farmers were killed trying to get whats theirs, as per the program.

At least Marcos was taking the right steps towards industrialization.

Well, I do concede that Aquino achieved something more than Marcos. More activists (hippies) were killed or went missing during her term than Marcos'.

Apparently the Philippines is such an interesting field of study that two of my friends told me that in their program, quite a lot of units go into the study of this country.

Anonymous said...

[“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.” Corazon Aquino]

Hence you are dead.