Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Former President Corazon Aquino succumbs to cancer

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-01

Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino died on Saturday after battling colon cancer for 16 months, her family said. Aquino led mass demonstrations to restore democracy and was eventually elected president, serving from 1986 to 1992.

Reuters - Former President Corazon Aquino, whose “people power” revolution swept dictator Ferdinand Marcos from power in the Philippines, died on Saturday after a 16-month battle against colon cancer, her family said. She was 76.

 

Aquino was diagnosed with the disease in March 2008 but kept up public appearances this year. A devout Catholic, she was a regular at weekend mass until shortly before being admitted to hospital in late June.

 

“Our mother peacefully passed away at 3:18 a.m. (1918 GMT Friday) of cardio-respiratory arrest,” her son, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., told reporters in Manila.

 

Aquino, known as Cory to millions of Filipinos, was president from 1986 to 1992 and will be best remembered as the slim woman in yellow who deposed Marcos in 1986.

 

The tumultuous events of those weeks reached a crescendo when up to 1 million people waving rosaries and flowers stopped tanks advancing towards Aquino-backed army rebels.

 

When a bewildered Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the country, it set a precedent for dissidents from South Africa to South America and Pakistan. Aquino was hailed by many as a modern-day Joan of Arc.

 

“She would have wanted us to thank each and every one of you for all the prayers and your continuous love and support. It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for our country,” Aquino Jr said.

 

Cory was a reluctant leader. She shed the housewife’s apron only after her politician husband, opposition leader Benigno, was assassinated at Manila’s international airport in 1983 on his return from exile in the United States.

 

Accusing Marcos of ordering the murder, Aquino led protest marches but hesitated when an election was called in 1986.

 

“What on earth do I know about being president?,” she said before taking up the challenge to run against Marcos.

 

Inevitably, her presidency was less successful than the revolution, with a series of coup attempts by the military keeping the administration hamstrung.

 

Aquino was lauded for her courage but the spectre of army intervention haunted her entire rule. Natural disasters, including Mount Pinatubo’s huge volcanic eruption in 1991, severely battered the economy.

 

Turned to faith

 

Aquino often turned to her faith to steer her through difficult times.

 

“There was never any moment that I doubted God would help ... If it was time to die, so be it,” she said when rebel mortars pounded the presidential palace in 1987.

 

“I have not always won but ... I never shirked a fight,” she said in 1992 before handing power over to her successor, former defence minister Fidel Ramos.

 

She oversaw the writing of a new constitution which limited a president’s time in office to one six-year term.

 

Born on January 25, 1933, into one of the country’s richest families, the Cojuangcos, Aquino grew up in a world of wealth and politics. The daughter of a congressman, she married Benigno, a politician with promise, and they had four daughters and a son before he was thrown into prison by Marcos and then forced into exile.

 

Aquino seemed frail in later years, but was still game for a fight when she thought it necessary. She brought half a million people on to the street in the 1990s when her Ramos flirted with the idea of trying to extend his term in office.

 

She was involved in the protests that brought an end to the presidency of Joseph Estrada in 2001, and had supported the campaign to remove current president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

 

Last year, just before Christmas, she publicly apologised for helping bring down Estrada.

 

“We all make mistakes, please forgive me,” Aquino said.

 

Estrada, once an implacable foe, said of the apology: “It was the best Christmas gift I have ever received.”

 

It mattered to him because it came from “the most trusted person in the country”.
 

Date created : 2009-08-01

COMMENT(S)