We mark this day, 1 August 2009, as a very sad and solemn day for Filipinos. Today, at around 3:18 a.m., our beloved former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, joined her Creator.
It’s a few days short of the death anniversary of President Cory’s, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr., who was assassinated on 21 August 1983.
Our heartfelt condolences to the family of President Cory. We share the pain of those who admire and love her — a President and a simple citizen Cory.
Thank you for being with the Filipino people in their times of struggle. Thank you for being a moral force that served, and will hopefully still serve, as a beacon in times of darkness.
It’s unfortunate that the younger generation may not completely know the story behind this inspiring and courageous Filipina, including what she stood and fought for.
She was a housewife to Ninoy, standing by his side and raising the family for the seven years that Ninoy was imprisoned. She kept a low profile, making sure to stay away from the limelight focused on her husband, one of the main opposition leaders. As fate would have it, Cory was pushed to the limelight after Ninoy was assassinated in 1983, as he was descending from the plane that carried him back to the Philippines, after her three-year stay in the U.S. He was previously released from jail to undergo a surgery in the United States.
Cory became the hesitant bearer of the opposition, against former President Ferdinand Marcos. I’m just a plain wife, she would say, but the people would not hear of it — and supported her bid for the presidency. When the results of the snap elections were announced, and Cory apparently lost, the people would hear none of it. The people rose up in a peaceful revolution, emulated in many parts of the world: the People Power or EDSA People Power Revolution.
With the success of the People Power, President Aquino was invited to speak before the joint session of the U.S. Congress, where she received numerous standing ovations and admiration. She was featured in many publications, including the TIME Magazine, which featured her as the Woman of the Year in 1987 (see photo above). President Aquino faced seven coup attempts.
As the revolutionary President, she had the absolute power to enact laws on her own. For a short period of time, she exercised the powers of both the Congress (legislative) and the Presidency (executive). President Aquino didn’t abuse her power and stood firm to reinstate democratic institutions in the Philippines.
President Corazon Aquino, and later Citizen Cory, became a moral force on her own. She’s no longer the mere wife of Ninoy Aquino. She’s no longer just the mother of Kris Aquino. She is Cory Aquino.
She is well loved. And she will be sorely missed.
(N.B. Malacanang announced that the date of Pres. Aquino’s burial, August 5 [Wednesday] has just been declared as a special non-working holiday. Full text of Proclamation 1851.)