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.
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, 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