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Published by: shielou ople on Sep 14, 2009
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EDITORIAL - Corazon Aquino
 (The Philippine Star) Updated August 02, 2009 12:00 AM A long-entrenched dictator dismissed her as “just a woman” and a housewife. “What onearth do I know about being president?” Corazon Aquino conceded as she launched her challenge to the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos in December 1985. “The only thing Ican really offer the Filipino people is my sincerity.”Yet in a few months, the woman who knew nothing about being president helped bringdown a dictator, took over Malacañang and repulsed at least two coup attempts. Withinless than two years after assuming power, Corazon Aquino crafted a “FreedomConstitution” that was ratified by 80 percent of the people in a national plebiscite, re-established a freely elected Congress and restored independence to the legislature and judiciary.After nurturing democracy through seven coup attempts, she peacefully handed over  power to a freely elected successor — the first such peaceful transition in 27 years. “Thisis the glory of democracy, that its most solemn moment should be the peaceful transfer of  power,” she said in her final State of the Nation Address. In the light of recent events, thenation now realizes how precious that gracious exit was.After seeing the depths by which power could be abused, Cory Aquino wielded it withreluctance. But she never needed the presidency to lead; all she needed was the exampleof her life. Her power and influence emanated not from any position in government, butfrom her convictions, her abiding faith in the goodness of the Filipino and, yes, her sincerity. That is a virtue that has been in short supply in public service for many years.Once, explaining to an interviewer why she decided to run for president, the woman thenation called Tita Cory said she had asked herself, “What if I could make a difference?”She did, and the nation, grateful for her legacy of freedom, now mourns its loss.
Best opinion: NY Times, Manila Bulletin, Wall St. Journal
"People power" is on display again in Manila, saidSeth Mydans in
, as the Philippines pays its respects to former president Corazon Aquino, who diedof cancer at 76 on Saturday. More than 100,000 people flooded the streets as Aquino's body was driven to burial in an emotional outpouring that "went beyond mourning to political statement, as if the masses were demanding respect for "the democratic processes she restored when she came to power in 1986.""Cory Magic is still alive," saidLeslie Ann G. Aquino in the
 . Even after her death, Corazon Aquino can unite the Filipino people like no other politician.Corazon Aquino's legacy reaches beyond the Philippines, said former deputy defense
 . Mrs. Aquino will be remembered as"the peaceful 'housewife' who forced a dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, to leave office after his attempt to steal an election." But she was also "the leader of the first 'People Power'revolution"—one that inspired many more freedom movements around the world.
Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon "Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino
(January 25, 1933 – August 1,2009) was the11th President of the Philippinesand the "Mother of Democracy", serving from 1986 to 1992. She was the firstfemale presidentof the Philippinesand the first female president of any country inAsia.A self-proclaimed "plain housewife",
Aquino was married toSenator  Benigno Aquino, Jr.(born 1932 – died 1983), a leading figure in the political opposition against theautocratic rule of President Ferdinand Marcos.After her husband was assassinated upon his return from exile in theUnited Stateson August 21, 1983, Aquino, who had no prior  political experience, became a focal point and unifying force of the opposition againstMarcos. She was drafted to run against Marcos in the1986 snap presidential elections.After Marcos was proclaimed the winner despite widespread reports of electoral fraud,Aquino was installed as President by the peaceful 1986People Power Revolution.Aquino's presidency saw the restoration of democratic institutions in the Philippines,through the enactment of a new Constitutionwhich limited the powers of the presidency, restored the bicameral Congress,and renewed emphasis on civil liberties. Her  administration was likewise hampered by several military coup attempts by disaffectedmembers of the Philippine military which derailed a return to full political stability andeconomic development. After suffering fromcolon cancer she died on August 1,2009  due tocardiorespiratory arrest.
Married life
Aquino returned to the Philippines to study law at theFar Eastern University, owned bythe family of the late Nicanor Reyes, Sr., who had been the father-in-law of her older sister Josephine. She gave up her law studies
when in 1954, she married BenignoServillano "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., the son of a former Speaker of the National Assembly.They had five children together: a son, Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III, who was elected to thePhilippine Senate in 2007, and four daughters, Maria Elena "Ballsy" A. Cruz, Aurora Corazon "Pinky" A. Abellada, Victoria Eliza "Viel" A. Dee, and actress-television hostKristina Bernadette A. Yap. Aquino had initial difficulty adjusting to provincial life when she and her husband moved toConcepcion, Tarlac,in 1955, after he was elected the town's mayor at the age of 22. The American-educated Aquino foundherself bored in Concepcion, and welcomed the opportunity to have dinner with her husband inside theAmerican military facility at nearby Clark Field.
A member of theLiberal Party, Aquino's husband rose to be governor of Tarlac, and was elected to thePhilippine Senate in 1967. During her husband's political career, Aquino remained a housewife who helped raise the children and played hostess to her spouse's political allies who would frequent their Quezon City home.
She would decline to joinher husband on stage during campaign rallies, preferring instead to stand at the back of the audience and listen to him.
Nonetheless, she was consulted upon on political matters by her husband, who valued her judgments enormously.
Benigno Aquino soon emerged as a leading critic of the government of President Ferdinand Marcosof the Nacionalista Party, and there was wide speculation that he would run in the 1973 presidential elections, Marcos then beingterm limited. However,Marcos declared martial lawon September 21, 1972, and later abolished the 1935 Constitution, allowing him to remain in office. Aquino's husband was among thosearrested at the onset of martial law, later being sentenced to death. During hisincarceration, Aquino drew strength from prayer, attending dailymassand saying threerosaries a day.
 As a measure of sacrifice, she enjoined her children from attending parties, and she herself stopped going to the  beauty salonor buying new clothes, until a  priest advised her and her children to instead live as normal lives as possible.
In 1978, despite her initial opposition, Aquino's imprisoned husband decided to run the1978 Batasang Pambansa elections.Aquino campaigned in behalf of her imprisonedhusband and for the first time in her life, delivered a political speech,
though shewillingly relinquished having to speak in public when it emerged that her six-year olddaughter Kris was more than willing to speak on stage.
In 1980, upon the intervention of United States President Jimmy Carter ,
Marcosallowed Senator Aquino and his family to leave for exile in the United States, where hesought medical treatment.
The family settled inBoston, and Aquino would later call thenext three years as the happiest days of her marriage.
He returned without his family tothe Philippines on August 21, 1983, only to be assassinated on a staircase leading to thetarmac of theManila International Airport,which was later renamed in his honor. Corazon Aquino returned to the Philippines a few days later and led her husband's funeralrites, where more than two million people were estimated to have participated, the biggest funeral ever in Philippine history.
[edit] 1986 Presidential campaign

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