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Corazon C. Aquino - Eleventh President

First President of the Fourth Republic (1986 Constitution)


Maria Corazon Suumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (January 25, 1933 August 1, 2009), widely known as Cory Aquino, was the 11th President of the Philippines, serving from 1986 to 1992. She was the first female President of the Philippines and was Asia's first female President (except Soong Ching-ling, Honorary President and acting Chairman of China). She is a world-renowned advocate of democracy, peace, women's empowerment, and religious piety.
A self-proclaimed "plain housewife", Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. (19321983), a leading figure in the political opposition against the autocratic rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. After her husband was assassinated upon his return from exile in the United States on August 21, 1983, Aquino, who had no prior political experience, became a focal point and unifying force of the opposition against Marcos. She was drafted to run against Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential elections. After Marcos was proclaimed the winner despite widespread reports of electoral fraud, Aquino was installed as President by the peaceful 1986 People Power Revolution.
Aquino's presidency saw the restoration of democratic institutions in the Philippines, through the enactment of a new Constitution which 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 disaffected members of the Philippine military which derailed a return to full political stability and economic development.
Aquino died of cardiopulmonary arrest after complications of colon cancer at the age of 76 on August 1, 2009, 3:18 a.m., at the Makati Medical Center. Aquino was diagnosed with the disease in March 2008 but kept up public appearances in 2009. A devout Catholic, she was a regular at weekend Catholic mass until shortly before being admitted to hospital in late June 2009.
Aquino's body was first laid in state at a public wake at the St. Benilde Gymnasium of La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong up to August 3, when it was later transferred to the Manila Cathedral. She was the first member of the laity to have been permitted to lie in state in the cathedral. This honor has always been reserved for deceased archbishops of Manila. A crowd with an estimated number of 120,000 people showed up to witness the transfer of her remains from La Salle Green Hills to the Manila Cathedral.
The funeral procession lasted for almost eight hours, with hundreds of thousands of mourners flashing the "Laban" (fight) signs lined the route from the cathedral to the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Paraaque. When the cortege reached the cemetery, Aquino was given full military honors, where a two-star general acting as a military host and eight one-star generals as pallbearers carried the president's flag-draped coffin.


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