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Maria Corazon "Cory" Sumulong

Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 –


August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of
the Philippines and the first woman to hold
such office. Aquino was also the first elected
female head of state in Asia. Aquino is best
remembered for leading the 1986 EDSA
People Power Revolution, which toppled the
authoritarian regime of the late strongman
Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in
the Philippines. Cory, as she is affectionately
known, is considered and revered by many
Filipinos as the Philippines' Icon of Democracy. She has been
hailed by TIME Magazine as the 'Saint of Democracy,' due to her
well-known spiritual life and strong adherence to non-violence
and democracy.A self-proclaimed "plain housewife",[2] Aquino was
married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the popular opposition
leader and staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos,
who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the
Philippines after his exile from the United States.After her
husband's assassination, the widowed Aquino became the
unwilling and reluctant leader of the opposition against the
authoritarian rule of the Marcos regime. She united the
fragmented opposition and strengthened its moral crusade
against the abuses and excesses of President Marcos' martial
rule. In late 1985, when President Marcos called for a snap
election, Cory Aquino was called upon by the people to challenge
his regime. Reluctant at first, Aquino thrust herself into the
political arena after one million signatures urging her to run for
president were presented to her.Despite having no prior political
experience, except being her husband Ninoy's wife, Aquino
proved to be a charismatic leader, inspiring orator and skilled
campaigner. She ran for president with former senator Salvador
Laurel as her vice-presidential running mate. When the Marcos
allies-dominated Batasang Pambansa proclaimed Ferdinand
Marcos as the winner in the 1986 Snap Presidential Elections,
Cory called for massive civil disobedience protests against him,
declaring herself as having been cheated and as the real winner
in the elections. Filipinos enthusiastically heeded her call and
rallied behind her.