Corazon Aquino
Overview
 
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of the Philippines
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

 and restored democracy in the Philippines. She is considered an icon of democracy, and was titled by TIME Magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 in 1986 as its 'Woman of the Year'.

A self-proclaimed "plain housewife", Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Simeon "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines...

, the staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

.
Encyclopedia
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of the Philippines
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

 and restored democracy in the Philippines. She is considered an icon of democracy, and was titled by TIME Magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 in 1986 as its 'Woman of the Year'.

A self-proclaimed "plain housewife", Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Simeon "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines...

, the staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

. Senator Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the Philippines after three years in exile in the United States. After her husband's assassination, Aquino emerged as the leader of the opposition against the Marcos administration. In late 1985, when President Marcos called for a snap election, Aquino ran for president with former senator Salvador Laurel
Salvador Laurel
Salvador Roman Hidalgo Laurel , also known as Doy Laurel, was Vice President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992 under Corazon Aquino. Before that, he briefly served as Aquino's first Prime Minister from February 25 to March 25 of 1986...

 as her vice-presidential running mate. After the elections were held on February 7, 1986, and the Batasang Pambansa
Batasang Pambansa
The Batasang Pambansa , also known by its nickname, the Batasan, was the former parliament of the Philippines, established as an interim assembly in 1978 and finally as an official body in 1984. Under the 1973 constitution, it replaced the former Congress established under the 1935 Commonwealth...

 proclaimed Marcos the winner in the elections, Aquino called for massive civil disobedience protests, declaring herself as having been cheated and as the real winner in the elections. Filipinos enthusiastically heeded her call and rallied behind her. These series of events eventually led to the ousting of Marcos and the installation of Aquino as President of the Philippines on February 25, 1986 through the People Power Revolution.

As President, Aquino oversaw the promulgation of a new constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

, which limited the powers of the presidency and established a bicameral legislature
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

. Her administration gave strong emphasis and concern for civil liberties and human rights, and peace talks with communist insurgents and Muslim secessionists. Aquino's economic policies centered on bringing back economic health and confidence and focused on creating a market-oriented and socially responsible economy. Aquino's administration also faced a series of coup attempts and destructive natural calamities and disasters until the end of her term in 1992.

Succeeded by Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos , popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.Prior to his election as...

 as President in 1992, Aquino returned to private life although she remained active in the public eye, often voicing her views and opinions on the pressing political issues. In 2008, Aquino was diagnosed with colon cancer and, after a one-year battle with the disease, died on August 1, 2009. Her son Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....

 was elected president himself and was sworn in on June 30, 2010.

Personal life

Cory Aquino was born the 6th child of Jose Cojuangco
Jose Cojuangco
Jose Chichioco Cojuangco was a former Representative of the 1st district of Tarlac in the Philippines. He served from 1934 to 1946. Cojuangco is one of the patriarchs of the Cojuangco clan. He was the father of former Philippines President Corazon Aquino and the grandfather of current Philippines...

 (Don Pepe), nephew of the Ysidra Cojuangco (Doña Sidra), and Demetria Sumulong (Doña Metring), a daughter of ex-Cojuangco family lawyer turned senator Juan Sumulong of Antipolo
Antipolo
Antipolo is a city in the Philippines located in the province of Rizal; about 25 kilometers east of Manila. It is the largest city in the Calabarzon Region in terms of population...

, Rizal
Rizal
Rizal is a province located in the CALABARZON , just 16 kilometers east of Manila. The province was named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. Rizal Governor Casimiro A. Ynares III on June 17, 2008 announced the transfer of the Capitol from Pasig. Its P 270-million capitol building,...

. The Cojuangcos were big landowners while the Sumulongs were influential politicians in both Lower and Upper Chambers of the Philippine Congress.

She, like her sisters Josephine
Josephine C. Reyes
Josephine Cojuangco-Reyes was a Filipino educator. She served as the seventh president of the Far Eastern University in the City of Manila, Philippines from 1985 to 1989...

, Teresita ("Terê") and Maria Paz, as well as their uncle Eduardo's wife Josephine "Nene" Murphy, studied in Saint Scholastica's College, Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, an all girl's Catholic school run by German nuns in pre-war Manila. She graduated college in Far Eastern University.

Unlike her siblings, the young Cory was unassuming and simple. She wore hand-me-down uniforms used by her sister Terê. Her favorite subject was Mathematics, and upon graduating from elementary school, she received the highest honours. Her studies were interrupted when the Japanese invaded Manila. After World War II, she and her siblings as well as her cousins Ramon Cojuangco and Lourdes (now Mrs. Luis Tirso Rivilla) were sent by her father to the United States.

The young Ms. Cory divided her time between the Cojuangco homes in New York (USA), Pasay, Ermita
Ermita, Manila
Ermita is a district of Manila, Philippines located halfway between Intramuros and Malate.-History:Ermita was founded in the late 16th century...

, Punta in Santa Ana
Santa Ana, Manila
Santa Ana is a district of the City of Manila in the Philippines, located at the southeast banks of the Pasig River, bounded on the northeast by Mandaluyong City, Makati City to the east, southwest is the Manila district of Paco, and to the west, Pandacan....

 district, the northern city of Baguio, the Hacienda Luisita
Hacienda Luisita
Hacienda Luisita is a 6,435-hectare plantation estate located in Tarlac, Philippines, owned by the Cojuangco family, which includes former Philippine President Cory Aquino and her son, President Noynoy Aquino. It spans various towns in the province...

 and their hometown of Paniqui, Tarlac
Tarlac
Tarlac is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Luzon Island. Its capital is Tarlac City. Tarlac borders Pampanga to the south, Nueva Ecija to the east, Pangasinan to the north, and Zambales to the west...

.

For some summers in the United States, she was treated by her father, Don Pepe, to excursions to Washington, DC and trans-Atlantic voyages aboard the RMS Queen Mary
RMS Queen Mary
RMS Queen Mary is a retired ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967 for the Cunard Line...

.

While studying in New England, she would develop a love of the French language
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

. Besides English, Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

, and Kapampangan
Kapampangan language
The Pampangan language, or Kapampangan , is one of the major languages of the Philippines. It is the language spoken in the province of Pampanga, the southern half of the province of Tarlac and the northern portion of the province of Bataan. Kapampangan is also understood in some barangays of...

, she would also remain fluent in French for the rest of her life.

Upon her own choosing, her secluded and easy years ended with her marriage to the grandson of General Servillano Aquino
Servillano Aquino
Servillano Aquino y Aguilar was a Filipino general during the Philippine Revolution against Spain , and the Philippine-American War . He served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress and was the grandfather of Benigno S...

, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr.

Married life

After her graduation from college in the United States, the young Cory returned to the Philippines to study law at the Far Eastern University
Far Eastern University
Far Eastern University in the University Belt area, West Sampaloc, City of Manila, is a nonsectarian, private university in the Philippines. Created by the merger of Far Eastern College and the Institute of Accounts, Business and Finance, FEU became a university in 1934 under the guidance of...

 (owned by the in-laws of her elder sister Josephine Reyes) for one year. She interrupted her law studies when she married the then rising political star Benigno Aquino, Jr., more popularly known as Ninoy, the son of the late Speaker Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Benigno Aquino, Sr.
Benigno Simeon Aquino, Sr. , also known as Benigno S. Aquino or Benigno S. Aquino, Sr., was a Filipino politician who served as Speaker of the Second Philippine Republic National Assembly from 1943 to 1944....

. Their principal wedding sponsor was President Ramon Magsaysay
Ramon Magsaysay
Ramón del Fierro Magsaysay was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1957. He was elected President under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.-Early life:Ramon F...

 who on the same year was curiously the principal wedding sponsor of then Congressman Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda who was niece of current Pro Tempore Speaker Daniel Romualdez
Daniel Romualdez
Daniel Z. Romualdez was a Filipino politician who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1957 to 1962....

 y Zialcita.

The couple produced five children, four girls and one boy, namely: Maria Elena "Ballsy" Aquino Cruz (born August 18, 1955), Aurora Corazon "Pinky" Aquino Abellada (born December 27, 1957), Philippine President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino, III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....

 (born February 8, 1960), Victoria Elisa "Viel" Aquino Dee (born October 27, 1961) and Kristina Bernadette "Kris" Aquino Yap
Kris Aquino
Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino , commonly known as Kris Aquino, is a Filipino television and movie personality who gained prominence from her talk shows, game shows, and numerous endorsements. Known as the Queen of All Media and Philippines' Queen of Talk, she is the youngest daughter of...

 (born February 14, 1971).

Aquino had initial difficulty adjusting to provincial life when she and Ninoy moved to Concepcion, Tarlac
Concepcion, Tarlac
Concepcion is a 1st class urban municipality in the province of Tarlac, Philippines. According to the latest census, it has a population of 135,213 people in 20,851 households. The 2007 Municipal Survey counted Concepcion with 133,011 of Population....

 in 1955, after the latter was elected the town's mayor at the age of 22. The American-educated Aquino found herself bored in Concepcion, and welcomed the opportunity to have dinner with her husband inside the American military facility at nearby Clark Field
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991...

.

A member of the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (Philippines)
The Liberal Party of the Philippines is a liberal party in the Philippines, founded by then senators Senate President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th Senatorial District Senator Jose Avelino, on November 24, 1945 by a breakaway Liberal group from the...

, Aquino's husband Ninoy rose to become the youngest governor in the country and eventually became the youngest senator ever elected in the Senate of the Philippines
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

 in 1967. During her husband's political career, Aquino remained a housewife who helped raise their children and played hostess to her spouse's political allies who would frequent their Quezon City home. She would decline to join her 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.

Unknown to many, Cory voluntarily sold some of her prized inheritance to fund the candidacy of her husband, such as a hectare-sized lot in Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, choice commercial properties in Ermita
Ermita, Manila
Ermita is a district of Manila, Philippines located halfway between Intramuros and Malate.-History:Ermita was founded in the late 16th century...

 and Pasay, and other possessions. In accordance with her and her husband's wishes, and despite much wealth, Cory led a modest existence in a bungalow in suburban Quezon City which paled in comparison with the rest of the Cojuangcos living in the high-end Forbes Park and Dasmarinas Village in Makati City.

An eloquent speaker and brilliant politician, Ninoy Aquino soon emerged as a leading critic of the government of President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Ferdinand Marcos. He was then touted as a strong candidate for president to succeed Marcos in the 1973 elections. However, Marcos, being barred by the Constitution to seek a third term, declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on September 21, 1972, and later abolished the existing 1935 Constitution, thereby allowing him to remain in office. As a consequence, Aquino's husband was among those to be first arrested at the onset of martial law, later being sentenced to death. During his incarceration, Ninoy sought strength from prayer, attending daily mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 and saying three rosaries
Rosary
The rosary or "garland of roses" is a traditional Catholic devotion. The term denotes the prayer beads used to count the series of prayers that make up the rosary...

 a day and drew inspiration from his wife, Cory. As a measure of sacrifice and solidarity with her husband and all other political prisoners, she enjoined her children from attending parties and she also stopped going to the beauty salon
Beauty salon
A beauty salon or beauty parlor is an establishment dealing with cosmetic treatments for men and women...

 or 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, Ninoy decided to run in the 1978 Batasang Pambansa elections
Philippine parliamentary election, 1978
A general election was held in the Philippines on April 7, 1978 for the election of the 166 regional representatives to the Interim Batasang Pambansa...

. A reluctant speaker, Cory campaigned in behalf of her husband and for the first time in her life, delivered a political speech, though later on she refrained from giving campaign speeches when it became clearer that her six-year-old daughter Kris was more willing than she to speak on stage to the public.

In 1980, upon the intervention of US President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, Marcos allowed Senator Aquino and his family to leave for exile in the United States, where he sought medical treatment. The family settled in Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, and Aquino would later call the next three years as the happiest days of her marriage and family life. On August 21, 1983, however, Ninoy ended his stay in the United States and returned without his family to the Philippines, only to be assassinated on a staircase leading to the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, which was later renamed in his honor. Corazon Aquino returned to the Philippines a few days later and led her husband's funeral procession, in which more than two million people joined the procession, the biggest ever in Philippine history.

1986 Presidential campaign

Following her husband's assassination in 1983, Aquino became active and visible in various demonstrations and protests held against the Marcos regime. She began to assume the mantle of leadership left by her husband Ninoy and started to become the symbolic figurehead of the anti-Marcos political opposition. In the last week of November 1985, Marcos surprised the nation by announcing on American television that he will hold a snap presidential election in February 1986, in order to dispel and remove doubts against his regime's legitimacy and authority.

Reluctant at first, Aquino was eventually prevailed upon to heed the people's clamor, after one million signatures urging her to run for president were presented to her. Despite this, the erstwhile favorite opposite candidate, Laurel, did not immediately give way to his close friend's widow. Laurel was only convinced to run as Cory's Vice President upon the urging of the influential Manila Cardinal Archbishop Jaime Sin. As a compromise, Aquino agreed to run under Laurel's machinery, the United Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO), then the country's largest opposition party. With that, the Aquino-Laurel tandem was formally launched to challenge Marcos and finally put an end to his twenty-year martial rule.

In the subsequent political developments and events, Marcos charged that Aquino was being supported by communists and agreed to share power with them once elected into power. A political novice, Aquino categorically denied Marcos' charge and even stated that she would not appoint a single communist to her cabinet. Running on the offensive, the ailing Marcos also accused Aquino of playing "political football" with the United States with respect to the continued United States military presence in the Philippines at Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991...

 and Subic Naval Base. Further, the male strongman derided Aquino's womanhood, by saying that she was "just a woman" whose place was in the bedroom. In response to her opponent's sexist remark, Cory simply remarked that "may the better woman win in this election." Marcos also attacked Aquino's inexperience and warned the country that it would be a disaster if a woman like her with no previous political experience would be elected president; to which Aquino cleverly and sarcastically responded, admitting that she had "no experience in cheating, lying to the public, stealing government money, and killing political opponents."

The snap election called by Marcos which was held on February 7, 1986 was marred by massive electoral fraud, violence, intimidation, coercion and disenfranchisement of voters. Election Day proved to be bloody as one of Aquino's staunchest allies Antique Governor Evelio Javier
Evelio Javier
Evelio Bellaflor Javier was a Filipino lawyer, civil servant, politician, and an oppositionist during the authoritarian regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. Due to these activities, he was assassinated by the regime on February 11, 1986...

 was brutally murdered, allegedly by one of Marcos' supporters in his province. Further, during the counting and tallying of votes conducted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), 30 poll computer technicians walked out to dispute and contest the alleged election-rigging done in favor of Marcos. Despite this, the Batasang Pamabansa, which was dominated by allies of the ruling party, declared President Marcos as the winner in the recently concluded snap presidential election on February 15, 1986. In protest to the declaration of the Philippine parliament, Aquino called for a rally dubbed "Tagumpay ng Bayan" (People's Victory Rally) the following day, during which she claimed that she was the real winner in the snap election and urged Filipinos to boycott the products and services by companies controlled or owned by Marcos' cronies. The rally held at the historic Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila drew a mammoth-sized crowd, which sent a strong signal that Filipinos were already growing tired of Marcos' two decade-rule. Further, the dubious election results drew sharp reactions from both local quarters and foreign countries. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a statement strongly criticizing the conduct of the election which was characterized by violence and fraud. The United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 condemned the election. Aquino rejected a power-sharing agreement proposed by the American diplomat Philip Habib
Philip Habib
Philip Charles Habib was a Lebanese-American career diplomat known for work in Vietnam, South Korea and the Middle East...

, who had been sent as an emissary by U.S. President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 to help defuse the tension.

Installation as President

After weeks of tension following the disputed outcome of the snap election, disgruntled and reformist military officers, led by then Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino politician. As a protege of President Ferdinand Marcos, he served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Secretary under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Movement that drove Marcos from power...

 and General Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos , popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.Prior to his election as...

, surprised the entire nation and the whole world when they announced their defection from President Marcos and their strong belief that Aquino was the real winner in the presidential election on February 22, 1986. Upon the urging and encouragement of the activist Cardinal Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin, millions of Filipinos trooped to Camp Aguinaldo along Epifanio De los Santos Avenue
Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
Epifanio de los Santos Avenue , formerly known as Highway 54, is the main circumferential road and highway of Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is an important commuting artery between the northern and southern parts of the metropolitan area...

 (EDSA), where Enrile and Ramos have been holding operations, to give their moral support and prayers for the reformist soldiers. At that time, Aquino was meditating in a Carmelite convent in Cebu
Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

. Upon learning of the defection, Aquino called on Filipinos to rally behind Minister Enrile and General Ramos. Later on, Aquino flew back to Manila in order to prepare to assume the presidency upon the ouster of Marcos. Finally, to the amazement and admiration of the entire world, after twenty years of martial rule, Ferdinand Marcos was driven out from power and Corazon Aquino was formally and peacefully sworn in as the new president of a freed and liberated Philippines on February 25, 1986, a historic event which is now known and remembered as the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

Presidency

The triumph of the peaceful People Power Revolution and the ascension of Corazon Aquino into power signaled the end of authoritarian rule in the Philippines and the dawning of a new era for Filipinos. The relatively peaceful manner by which Aquino came into power drew international acclaim and admiration not only for her but for the Filipino people, as well.

During the first months of Aquino's presidency, the country experienced radical changes and sweeping democratic reforms. One of Aquino's first and boldest moves was the creation of the Presidential Commission on Good Government
Presidential Commission on Good Government
The Presidential Commission on Good Government, PCGG, is a special body created by Pres. Corazon Aquino to recover ill-gotten wealth accumulated during the Marcos regime.-History:...

 (PCGG), which was tasked to go after the Marcos ill-gotten wealth. Aquino, being a revolutionary president by virtue of people power, abolished the 1973 "Marcos Constitution" and dissolved the Marcos allies-dominated Batasang Pambansa, despite the advice of her vice-president and only prime minister Salvador Laurel. She also immediately created a Constitutional Commission, which she directed for the drafting of a new constitution for the nation.

On the whole, the Aquino administration made important gains in the aspects of bringing back democracy, restoring investor confidence in the economy and enacting legal and constitutional reforms. Despite these achievements, her presidency faced several threats from both right-wing military elements and extreme left-wing communist rebels. Further, her administration dealt with numerous problems such as major natural disasters which struck the country and severe power shortages which took a toll on doing business in the Philippines. It was also during her tenure that the United States finally ended its military bases and presence in the country.

Constitutional and political reforms

Immediately after assuming the presidency, President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3, which established a revolutionary government. She abolished the 1973 Constitution that was in force during martial law, and instead promulgated the provisional 1986 Freedom Constitution, pending the ratification of a new Constitution by the people. This allowed Aquino to exercise both executive and legislative powers until the ratification of the new Philippine Constitution and the establishment of a new Congress in 1987. As such, Aquino promulgated two landmark legal codes
Philippine legal codes
Codification of laws is a common practice in the Philippines. Many general areas of substantive law, such as criminal law, civil law and labor law are governed by legal codes.-Tradition of codification:...

, namely, the Family Code of 1987, which reformed the civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 on family relations, and the Administrative Code of 1987, which reorganized the structure of the executive branch of government
Executive Departments of the Philippines
The Executive departments of the Philippines is the largest component of the national executive branch of the government of the Philippines. There are a total of nineteen executive departments. The departments comprise the largest part of the country's bureaucracy...

. Another landmark law that was enacted during her tenure was the 1991 Local Government Code, which devolved national government powers to local government units (LGUs). The new Code also enhanced the power of LGUs to enact local taxation measures and assured them of a share in the national revenue.

Likewise, Aquino closed down the Marcos-dominated Batasang Pambansa
Batasang Pambansa
The Batasang Pambansa , also known by its nickname, the Batasan, was the former parliament of the Philippines, established as an interim assembly in 1978 and finally as an official body in 1984. Under the 1973 constitution, it replaced the former Congress established under the 1935 Commonwealth...

 to prevent the new Marcos loyalist opposition from undermining her democratic reforms and reorganized the membership of the Supreme Court to restore its independence. In May 1986, the reorganized Supreme Court declared the Aquino government as “not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government”, whose legitimacy had been affirmed by the community of nations. This Supreme Court decision significantly affirmed the status of Aquino as the new, legitimate and rightful leader of the Philippines.

To fast-track the restoration of a full constitutional government and the writing of a new charter, President Aquino appointed 48 members of the 1986 Constitutional Commission (Con-Com), led by retired activist Supreme Court Associate Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma
Cecilia Muñoz-Palma was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines...

. The Con-Com completed its final draft in October 1986. On February 2, 1987, the new Constitution of the Philippines
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

, which put strong emphasis on civil liberties, human rights and social justice, was overwhelmingly approved by the Filipino people. The ratification of the new Constitution was followed by the election of senators and congress that same year and the holding of local elections in 1988.

Economic management

She moved quickly to tackle the issue of the US$26 billion foreign debt incurred by her predecessor. Aquino chose to honor all the debts that were previously incurred.

Her decision proved to be unpopular but Aquino defended that it was the most practical move. It was crucial for the country at that time to regain the investors' confidence in the Philippine economy. Since 1986, the Aquino administration has paid off $4 billion of the country's outstanding debts to regain good international credit ratings and attract the attention of future markets. Nevertheless, the administration borrowed an additional $9 billion, increasing the national debt by $5 billion within six years time since the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Further, the Aquino administration also sought to bring back fiscal discipline in order as it aimed to trim down the government's budget deficit that ballooned during Marcos' term through privatization of bad government assets and deregulation of many vital industries. It was also during Aquino's time that vital economic laws such as the Built-Operate-Transfer Law, Foreign Investments Act and the Consumer Protection and Welfare Act were enacted.

The economy posted a positive growth of 3.4% during her first year in office. But in the aftermath of the 1989 coup attempt
1989 Philippine coup attempt
The most serious coup d'etat against the government of Philippine President Corazon Aquino was staged beginning December 1, 1989 by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines belonging to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement and soldiers loyal to former President Ferdinand Marcos. Metro Manila...

 by the rightist Reform the Armed Forces Movement
Reform the Armed Forces Movement
The Reform the Armed Forces Movement, also referred to by the acronym RAM, is a cabal of officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that attempted to seize power in the Philiipines during the 1980s and 1990s...

, the Philippine economy remained stagnant. In her final year in office, inflation was raging at 17%, and unemployment was slightly over 10%, higher than the Marcos years. Overall, the economy under Aquino had an average growth of 3.8% from 1986 to 1992.

Soon after taking office, Cory declared that the presence of US Military Forces in the Philippines was an affront to national sovereignty. She ordered the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 military to vacate U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay
U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay
U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay was a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Zambales, Philippines. It was the largest U.S...

 and Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991...

. The US objected, pointing that they had leased the property and the leases were still in effect. Also, thousands of Filipinos worked at these military facilities and they would lose their jobs and the Filipino economy would suffer if the US Military moved out. The US stated that the facilities at Subic Bay
Subic Bay
Subic Bay is a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay. Its shores were formerly the site of a major United States Navy facility named U.S...

 were unequaled anywhere in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 and a US pullout could make all of that region of the world vulnerable to an incursion by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 or by a resurgent Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

.

Nevertheless, Cory refused to back down and insisted that the USA get out. The matter was still being debated when Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It is located in the Tri-Cabusilan Mountain range separating the west coast of Luzon from the central plains, and is west of the dormant and...

 erupted in June 1991, covering the entire area with volcanic ash
Volcanic ash
Volcanic ash consists of small tephra, which are bits of pulverized rock and glass created by volcanic eruptions, less than in diameter. There are three mechanisms of volcanic ash formation: gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions; thermal contraction from chilling on contact...

. The Filipinos were suddenly willing to consider allowing the US military to stay but the destruction to the bases was so severe that the US decided that it would best to pull out after all and the bases were closed and the USA left.

Agrarian reform

Upon her ascension into power, President Aquino envisioned agrarian and land reform as the centerpiece of her administration's social legislative agenda. However, her family background and social class as a privileged daughter of a wealthy and landed clan became a lightning rod of criticisms against her land reform agenda.

On February 22, 1987, three weeks after the resounding ratification of the 1987 Constitution, agrarian workers and farmers marched to the historic Mendiola Street near Malacanang Palace
Malacañang Palace
The Malacañan Palace, commonly known simply as Malacañang, is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines. Located at 1000 J. P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, the house was built in 1750 in Spanish Colonial style. It has been the residence of every...

 to demand genuine land reform from Aquino's administration. However, the supposedly peaceful farmers' march turned bloody and violent when Marine forces fired at farmers who tried to go beyond the designated demarcation line set by the police. As a result, 12 farmers were killed and 19 were injured in this incident now known as the Mendiola Massacre
Mendiola massacre
The Mendiola massacre, also called Black Thursday by some Filipino journalists, was an incident that took place in Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines on January 22, 1987, in which state security forces violently dispersed a farmers' march on Malacañang Palace...

. This tragic incident led some prominent members of the Aquino Cabinet like the nationalist and progressive senator Jose W. Diokno to quit from their government posts. Though Aquino did not have any personal and official involvement with the drastic actions taken by some police elements, her administration has been faulted since then for failing to solve land disputes in the country.

In response to calls for agrarian reform, President Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order 229 on July 22, 1987, which outlined her land reform program, which included sugar lands. In 1988, with the backing of Aquino, the new Congress of the Philippines
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

 passed Republic Act No. 6657, more popularly known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law." The law paved the way for the redistribution of agricultural lands to tenant-farmers from landowners, who were paid in exchange by the government through just compensation
Just compensation
Just Compensation is required to be paid by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when private property is taken for public use...

 but were also allowed to retain not more than five hectares of land. However, corporate landowners were also allowed under the law to “voluntarily divest a proportion of their capital stock
Stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

, equity or participation in favor of their workers or other qualified beneficiaries”, in lieu of turning over their land to the government for redistribution. Despite the flaws in the law, the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality in 1989, declaring that the implementation of the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), provided by the said law) was “a revolutionary kind of expropriation.”

Despite the implementation of CARP, Aquino was not spared from the controversies that eventually centered on Hacienda Luisita
Hacienda Luisita
Hacienda Luisita is a 6,435-hectare plantation estate located in Tarlac, Philippines, owned by the Cojuangco family, which includes former Philippine President Cory Aquino and her son, President Noynoy Aquino. It spans various towns in the province...

, a 6,453-hectare estate located in the Province of Tarlac
Tarlac
Tarlac is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Luzon Island. Its capital is Tarlac City. Tarlac borders Pampanga to the south, Nueva Ecija to the east, Pangasinan to the north, and Zambales to the west...

, which she, together with her siblings inherited from her father Jose Cojuangco
Jose Cojuangco
Jose Chichioco Cojuangco was a former Representative of the 1st district of Tarlac in the Philippines. He served from 1934 to 1946. Cojuangco is one of the patriarchs of the Cojuangco clan. He was the father of former Philippines President Corazon Aquino and the grandfather of current Philippines...

 (Don Pepe). Critics argued that Aquino bowed to pressure from relatives by allowing stock redistribution under Executive Order 229. Instead of land distribution, Hacienda Luisita reorganized itself into a corporation and distributed stock. As such, ownership of agricultural portions of the hacienda were transferred to the corporation, which in turn, gave its shares of stocks to farmers.

The arrangement remained in force until 2006, when the Department of Agrarian Reform
Department of Agrarian Reform (Philippines)
The Philippines' Department of Agrarian Reform , abbreviated as the DAR, is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for all land reform programs in the country, with the purported aim of promoting social justice and industrialization through massive taxation of rich and...

 revoked the stock distribution scheme adopted in Hacienda Luisita, and ordered instead the redistribution of a large portion of the property to the tenant-farmers.

The Department stepped into the controversy when in 2004, violence erupted over the retrenchment of workers in the Hacienda, eventually leaving seven people dead.

Natural disasters and calamities

During her last two years in office, President Aquino's administration faced series of natural disasters and calamities. Among these were the 1990 Luzon earthquake
1990 Luzon earthquake
The Luzon earthquake occurred on Monday, July 16, 1990, at 4:26 PM local time in the Philippines. The densely populated island of Luzon was struck by an earthquake with a 7.8 Ms...

, which left around 1,600 people dead and the 1991 volcanic eruption of what was then thought to be a dormant Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It is located in the Tri-Cabusilan Mountain range separating the west coast of Luzon from the central plains, and is west of the dormant and...

, which was the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century, killing around 300 people and causing widespread long-term devastation of agricultural lands in Central Luzon
Central Luzon
Central Luzon , also known as Region III , is an administrative division or region of the Republic of the Philippines, primarily serve to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plain of the island of Luzon , for administrative convenience...

. The worst loss of life occurred when Tropical Storm Thelma
Tropical Storm Thelma
Tropical Storm Thelma was the deadliest tropical storm of the 1991 Pacific typhoon season, killing between 5,101 to 8,100 people as it crossed the Philippines.-Meteorological history:A tropical disturbance developed over the eastern Caroline Islands in late October...

 (also known as Typhoon Uring) caused massive flooding in Ormoc City
Ormoc City
The City of Ormoc is a 1st class city in the province of Leyte, Philippines. The city's name is derived from ogmok, an old Visayan term for lowland or depressed plain. It is the first non-provincial city of the Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 177,524 people...

 in November 1991, leaving around 6,000 dead in what was considered to be the deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. It was also during Aquino's term that the MV Doña Paz
MV Doña Paz
The MV Doña Paz was a Philippine-registered passenger ferry that sank after colliding with the on December 20, 1987. With a death toll of at most 4,375 people, the collision resulted in the deadliest ferry disaster in history...

 sank, which is the World's worst peace-time maritime disaster of the 20th century. The disaster occurred in December 1987 which killed more than 1,700 people.

During Aquino's presidency, electric blackouts became common in Manila. The capital experienced blackouts of seven to 12 hours, bringing numerous businesses to a halt. By the departure of Aquino in June 1992, businesses in Manila and nearby provinces have lost nearly $800 million since March 1992. The Aquino administration knew for years that country's power plants were failing, but they did not act to solve the problem. It was only during the time of her successor, Fidel Ramos, that the government decisively solved the severe power outages that were common during her tenure.

Influence in 1992 presidential campaign

As the end of her presidency drew near, close advisers and friends told Aquino that since she was not inaugurated under the 1987 Constitution, she was still eligible to seek the presidency again in the upcoming 1992 elections, the first presidential elections under normal and peaceful circumstances since 1965. President Aquino strongly declined the requests for her to seek reelection and wanted to set an example to both citizens and politicians that the presidency is not a lifetime position.

Initially, she named Ramon V. Mitra, a friend of her husband Ninoy and then Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives, as her candidate for the presidential race in 1992. However, she later on backtracked and instead threw her support behind the candidacy of her defense secretary and EDSA Revolution hero, General Fidel V. Ramos, who constantly stood by and defended her government from the various coup attempts and rebellions that were launched against her. Her sudden change of mind and withdrawal of support from Mitra drew criticisms not only from her supporters in the liberal and social democratic sectors but also from the Roman Catholic Church, as well, which questioned her anointing of Ramos since the latter was a Protestant. Nevertheless, Aquino's candidate eventually won the 1992 elections, albeit with 23.58 percent of the total votes only, and was sworn in as the 12th President of the Philippines on June 30, 1992.

Post-presidency and continued political activism

Political causes

On June 30, 1992, President Aquino formally and peacefully handed over power to her anointed candidate and democratically elected General Fidel Ramos, after six years of hard-fought democratic transition and restoration. On her way to the inauguration of President-elect Ramos, Aquino chose to ride on a simple white Toyota Crown
Toyota Crown
The Toyota Crown is a line of full-size luxury sedans by Toyota. The range was primarily available in Japan and some other Asian countries, originally designed to serve as a taxi...

 she had purchased, rather than the lavish government-issued Mercedes Benz, to make the point that she was now again an ordinary citizen.

Though Aquino retired to private life, following the end of her term, she remained active in the Philippine political scene, constantly voicing opposition and dissent to government actions and policies, which she deemed as threats to the liberal traditions and democratic foundations of the country.

In 1997, Aquino, together with the influential Cardinal Jaime Sin, led a huge rally which succeeded in thwarting then President Fidel Ramos' attempt to extend his term by amending the 1987 Constitution's restriction on presidential term limits. In 1998, Aquino endorsed the candidacy of former police general and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim
Alfredo Lim
Alfredo Siojo Lim is the incumbent Mayor of the City of Manila and a former senator of the Philippines. A widower, he first served as mayor of Manila from 1992 to 1998 and returned to that post after winning in the 2007 mayoral election.-Early life and career:Born on December 21, 1929 in 1324 J...

 for president. Lim, however, lost to then Vice-President Joseph Estrada
Joseph Estrada
Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency.Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in...

, who won by a landslide. The following year, Aquino again with Cardinal Sin successfully opposed President Estrada's plan of amending the Constitution, which he said was intended to lift provisions that 'restrict' economic activities and investments; he denied that it was another ploy for him to extend his stay in office.

In 2000, Aquino joined the mounting calls for Estrada to resign from office, amid strong allegations of bribery chargers and gambling kickbacks and series of corruption scandals, which eventually led to his unsuccessful impeachment in December of that year.
In her Preface to Frank-Jürgen Richter
Frank-Jürgen Richter
Frank-Jürgen Richter is a German entrepreneur and currently the Chairman of Horasis. He has served in that role since he founded the organization.-Business Meetings:...

 and Pamela Mar’s book Asia’s New Crisis (see Amazon), she decries that the unique Asian way of doing business has given rise to much crony capitalism and opacity in Asia, including the Philippines. In January 2001, during the EDSA Revolution of 2001 which ousted Estrada, Aquino enthusiastically supported the ascendancy of another woman, then Vice-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

, into power.

In 2005, after series of revelations and exposes alleged and implicated President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in rigging the 2004 presidential elections
Philippine general election, 2004
The senatorial election was held in the Philippines on May 10, 2004. The major coalitions that participated are the Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan composed of parties that support the candidacy of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino ,...

, Aquino called on her erstwhile ally to make the 'supreme sacrifice' of resigning in order to prevent bloodshed, violence and further political deterioration. As such, Aquino was once again in the streets leading massive demonstrations demanding the resignation of President Arroyo.

In the 2007 senatorial elections
Philippine general election, 2007
Legislative and local elections were held in the Philippines on May 14, 2007. Positions contested included half the seats in the Senate, which are elected for six-year terms, and all the seats in the House of Representatives, who were elected for three-year terms...

, Aquino actively campaigned for the senatorial bid of her only son, Noynoy Aquino, who ran and won under the triumphant opposition banner.

In December 2008, Aquino publicly expressed some regrets for her participation in the EDSA Revolution of 2001, which installed Arroyo into power. She apologized to former President Joseph Estrada for the role she played in his ouster in 2001. For this action, many politicians criticized Aquino. In June 2009, two months before her death, Aquino issued a public statement which strongly denounced and condemned the Arroyo administration's plan of amending the 1987 Constitution, calling such attempt as a "shameless abuse of power."

International engagements

Shortly after leaving the presidency, Aquino traveled abroad, giving speeches and lectures on issues of democracy, development, human rights and women empowerment. In 1997, Aquino attended the wake and funeral of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom she met during the latter's visit in Manila in 1989. In early 2000s, Aquino joined various global leaders and democratic icons in urging the Government of Burma to unconditionally release Burmese democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, AC is a Burmese opposition politician and the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy. In the 1990 general election, her National League for Democracy party won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained...

 from detention, whom she delivered a speech on behalf in the 1994 meeting of the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Commission on Culture and Development in Manila. In 2005, Aquino joined the international community in mourning the death of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

.

Charitable and social initiatives

Aside from being visible in various political gatherings and demonstrations, Aquino was heavily involved in several charitable activities and socio-economic initiatives. From 1992 until her death, Aquino was chairperson of the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation which she set up in her husband's honor right after his brutal assassination in 1983. Further, she supported other causes such as the Gawad Kalinga
Gawad Kalinga
Gawad Kalinga , which means to "give care" in Filipino, is officially known as the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement....

 social housing project for the poor and homeless. In 2007, Aquino helped establish the PinoyME Foundation, a non-profit organization which aims to provide microfinancing programs and projects for the poor. Aquino was also a lifelong member of the Council of Women World Leaders
Council of Women World Leaders
The Council of Women World Leaders is a network of current and former women prime ministers and presidents established in 1996 by Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland and first woman in the world to be democratically elected president, and Laura Liswood, Secretary General...

, an international organization of former and current female heads of state and government which seeks to mobilize high-profile women world leaders to make collective action on issues critical to the leadership, empowerment and development of women.

Bout with cancer and death

On March 24, 2008, the Aquino family announced that she had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer, is a cancer caused by uncontrolled cell growth , in the colon, rectum, or vermiform appendix. Colorectal cancer is clinically distinct from anal cancer, which affects the anus....

. Upon her being earlier informed by her doctors that she had only three months to live, Aquino pursued medical treatment and chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with an antineoplastic drug or with a combination of such drugs into a standardized treatment regimen....

. As a result, a series of healing masses for the devout Catholic former president were held throughout the country. In a public statement made on May 13, 2008 during a healing mass for her, Aquino said that her blood tests indicated that she was responding well to the medical treatment being administered to her; however, Aquino's hair and appetite loss became very apparent and rapid.

By July 2009, Aquino was reported to be in very serious condition, suffering from loss of appetite, and was confined to the Makati Medical Center
Makati Medical Center
Makati Medical Center is a 717-bed tertiary hospital in the Philippines. The hospital began operation on . Since its start in 1969, the Makati Medical Center has been the birthplace for many dramatic firsts in medical history in the Philippines, in Asia, and the world...

. Later on, it was announced that Aquino and her family had decided to cease chemotherapy and other medical interventions for her.

On August 1, 2009, the 76-year-old Aquino died peacefully at the Makati Medical Center at 3:18 a.m., of cardiorespiratory arrest.

Wake, requiem mass and burial

Upon learning of Aquino's death, incumbent President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was then on a state visit to the United States, announced a 10-day mourning period for the former President and issued Administrative Order No. 269 detailing the necessary arrangements for a state funeral. The Aquino children, however, declined the government offer to hold a state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

 for their mother.

All churches in the Philippines celebrated requiem masses simultaneously throughout the country and all government offices flew the Philippine flag at half mast. Hours after her death on August 1, Aquino's body lay in state for public viewing at the La Salle Green Hills
La Salle Green Hills
La Salle Green Hills is a private Catholic school exclusively for boys located on Ortigas Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines. It is run by the Roman Catholic Brothers of the Christian Schools- Philippine District. It was established in 1959 by the De La Salle Brothers led by the...

 campus in Mandaluyong City
Mandaluyong City
The City of Mandaluyong is one of the cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the west by the country's capital, Manila, to the north by San Juan City, to the east by Quezon City and Pasig City, and by Makati City to the south...

. On August 3, 2009, Aquino's remains were transferred from La Salle Greenhills to the Manila Cathedral
Manila Cathedral
Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is also known as Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception or Basilica Minore dela Inmaculada Concepcion or Basilica Minore dela Nuestra Señora de Inmaculada Concepcion A Roman Catholic church having a higher status of "Minor Basilica" with...

 in Intramuros, during which hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lined the streets to witness and escort their former leader's funeral cortege. On its way to Manila Cathedral, Aquino's funeral cortege passed by Ayala Avenue
Ayala Avenue
Ayala Avenue is an avenue in Makati City in the Philippines. It is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Metro Manila, crossing through the heart of Makati's central business district. Because of the many businesses located on the avenue, Ayala Avenue is aptly nicknamed the Wall Street of the...

, Makati City and stopped in front of her husband Ninoy Aquino's statue, amidst throngs of thousands of Filipinos who gathered there and emotionally sang the 1986 EDSA Revolution anthem "Bayan Ko
Bayan Ko
"Bayan Ko" is one of the most recognizable patriotic songs in the Philippines that, because of its popularity, is sometimes assumed to be a folk song and the unofficial national anthem of the Philippines...

.
" Aquino's remains were solemnly brought inside Manila Cathedral around mid-afternoon that day. Following her death, all Roman Catholic dioceses throughout the country held requiem masses.
On August 4, in a conciliatory gesture {fact}, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. , also known as Bongbong Marcos is a Filipino politician and a senator to the 15th Congress. He is the only son of Ferdinand E. Marcos, the former president of the Philippines , and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos...

 and Imee Marcos
Imee Marcos
Maria Imelda Josefa Romualdez Marcos , most widely known as Imee Marcos, is a Filipino politician who has been Governor of Ilocos Norte since 2010. She served three terms as Representative of the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte in the Philippine House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007...

, children of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, paid their last respects to the woman who brought down their father in 1986. The Marcos siblings were received by Aquino's children, Maria Elena, Aurora Corazon and Victoria Eliza. The following day, during mid-dawn, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who cut short her trip in the United States, briefly paid her last respects to President Aquino, who was once her closest ally.

On August 5, a final requiem mass, presided by high-ranking Filipino Catholic Church officials such as Manila Cardinal Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales and Bishop Socrates B. Villegas
Socrates B. Villegas
Socrates Buenaventura Villegas,D.D. , born in Manila, September 28, 1960, is a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. He is the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan, Philippines. He was also elected Vice President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines ...

, was offered for the eternal repose of Aquino's soul. After the Mass, Aquino's youngest daughter, Kris
Kris Aquino
Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino , commonly known as Kris Aquino, is a Filipino television and movie personality who gained prominence from her talk shows, game shows, and numerous endorsements. Known as the Queen of All Media and Philippines' Queen of Talk, she is the youngest daughter of...

, delivered a speech. Thereafter, Aquino's Philippine flag-draped coffin was escorted from the Manila Cathedral to the Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque City
Parañaque City
The City of Parañaque , or simply Parañaque , is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines....

, where she was interred beside her husband Ninoy's resting place. Aquino's funeral procession took more than eight hours before it reached its final destination, as tens of thousands of Filipinos lined up the streets {fact} where her cortege would pass by to pay their last respects to their beloved former leader. From Manila's harbor, all ships docked blared their sirens as a sign of respect to Mrs. Aquino.

Reaction

Both local and international leaders showed respect for Aquino's achievements in the process of democratization in the Philippines.

Local reaction

Various politicians across the political spectrum expressed their grief and praise for the former Philippine leader. President Arroyo, once an ally of Aquino, remembered the sacrifices she made for the country and called her a "national treasure." Former President Estrada said that the country had lost its mother and guiding voice with her sudden death. He also described Aquino as the "Philippines' most loved woman." Though once bitter political foes, Aquino and Estrada reconciled and joined hands together in opposing President Arroyo. Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino politician. As a protege of President Ferdinand Marcos, he served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Secretary under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Movement that drove Marcos from power...

, Aquino's defense minister and later fierce critic, asked the public to pray for her eternal repose. Although former Aquino interior minister and Senate Minority floor leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Aquilino "Nene" Quilinging Pimentel, Jr. is a Filipino politician who served as the President of the Senate of the Philippines from 2000-2001.-Delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention:...

 revealed that he had "mixed feelings" about Aquino's passing, he also said that the country "shall be forever indebted to Cory for rallying the nation behind the campaign to topple dictatorial rule and restore democracy."

Further, ordinary Filipinos throughout the country wore either yellow shirts or held masses for Aquino as their way of paying tribute to the woman who once led them in a revolution that changed the course of their country's history. Yellow Ribbons, which were once used during Aquino's battle with Marcos, were tied along major national roads and streets as a sign of solidarity and support for the now deceased Aquino and her grieving family. In popular social networking sites such as Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 and Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

, Filipinos posted yellow ribbons in their accounts as a tribute to the former Philippine leader.

Following her death, Filipino Catholics called on the Church to have Aquino canonized and declared as a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

. During her lifetime, Aquino has been known and praised for her strong spirituality and sincere devotion to the Catholic faith.

Days after her funeral, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and commonly abbreviated as BSP is the central bank of the Philippines. It was rechartered on July 3, 1993, pursuant to the provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the New Central Bank Act of 1993...

 (BSP) announced that it supported calls to put the former President on the 500-Peso banknote alongside her husband, Ninoy Aquino.

International reaction

Across the globe, messages of sympathy and solidarity with the Filipino people were sent by various heads of state and international leaders. Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter to Archbishop Rosales, recalled Aquino's "courageous commitment to the freedom of the Filipino people, her firm rejection of violence and intolerance" and called her a woman of courage and faith. U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, through White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs
Robert Lane Gibbs was the 28th White House Press Secretary. Gibbs was the communications director for then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Obama's 2008 presidential campaign...

, said that "her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation." U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

 expressed sadness over the passing of Aquino, to whom she had sent a personal letter of best wishes for recovery while she was still in hospital in July 2009. Clinton said that Aquino was "admired by the world for her extraordinary courage" in leading the fight against dictatorship. Meanwhile, South Africa President Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is the President of South Africa, elected by parliament following his party's victory in the 2009 general election....

 called Aquino "a great leader who set a shining example of peaceful transition to democracy in her country."

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, through the British Ambassador in Manila, sent a message to the Filipino people which read: "I am saddened to hear of the death of Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino the former President of the Republic of the Philippines." She also added, "I send my sincere condolences to her family and to the people of the Philippines. Signed, Elizabeth R."

Furthermore, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Medvedev
Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint...

, in a telegram to President Arroyo, said that “the name of Corazon Aquino is associated with a period of profound reforms and the democratic transformation of Filipino society.” Medvedev also lauded Aquino's sympathy to Russian people and her contribution to the improvement of Russian-Filipino relations
Philippines–Russia relations
Philippines–Russia relations is the bilateral relationship between Russia and the Philippines.Philippine ambassador to Moscow, Russia Ernesto V...

.

Moreover, global democratic icons such as Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and Wan Azizah, wife of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
Anwar Ibrahim
Anwar bin Ibrahim is a Malaysian politician who served as Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. Early in his career, Anwar was a close ally of Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad but subsequently emerged as the most prominent critic of Mahathir's government.In 1999, he was sentenced...

, came to the Philippines not just to express their sympathies but to attend their friend Aquino's death and funeral, as well.

Honors

After leaving the presidency, Aquino received several awards and citations. In 1994, Aquino was cited as one of 100 Women Who Shaped World History in a reference book written by Gail Meyer Rolka and published by Bluewood Books in San Francisco, California. In 1996, she received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding
Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...

 from the Fulbright Association, joining past recipients such as Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 and Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

. In August 1999, Aquino was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th century. The same magazine cited her in November 2006 as one of 65 great Asian Heroes, along with Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

, Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, AC is a Burmese opposition politician and the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy. In the 1990 general election, her National League for Democracy party won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained...

, Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhumibol Adulyadej is the current King of Thailand. He is known as Rama IX...

.
In 2002, Aquino became the first woman named to the Board of Governors of the Board of the Asian Institute of Management
Asian Institute of Management
The Asian Institute of Management, or simply AIM, is a graduate school of business and a center of business and management research. It is one of the few business schools in Asia to be internationally accredited with the AACSB. It was established in partnership with Harvard Business School and uses...

, a leading graduate business school and think tank in the Asia Pacific region. She served on the Board until 2006.

In popular culture

Aquino was portrayed by Laurice Guillen
Laurice Guillen
-Early life and acting career:Guillen studied at St. Theresa's College, Cebu City, before working on a Masters in Mass Communication at Ateneo de Manila University, followed by a television production course under Nestor Torre, in 1967. She then began work as an actress, starring in productions of...

 in the 1988 HBO miniseries A Dangerous Life
A Dangerous Life
A Dangerous Life is a 1988 English-language Australian film about the final years of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos' rule, from the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr. in 1983 to the People Power EDSA Revolution in 1986 that ousted Marcos...

. Aquino was a main character in Boy Noriega's 1987 stage comedy Bongbong at Kris (Bongbong and Kris), about an imagined romantic coupling between the only son of Ferdinand Marcos and the youngest daughter of the Aquinos. In the movie Alfredo Lim: Batas ng Maynila (Alfredo Lim: Law of Manila) Aquino was portrayed by Luz Valdez. She was portrayed by Tess Villarama both in the movies Ilaban Mo, Bayan Ko: The Obet Pagdanganan Story (My Fight, My Country) in 1997 and Chavit in 2003. She was also portrayed by Geraldine Malacaman in the 1998 musical play Lean. In the defunct comedy gag show Ispup
Ispup
Ispup was a sketch comedy show produced by ABC5 which features parodies of several Philippine television shows and advertisements with actors impersonating political and notable personalities such as Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Cardinal Jaime Sin, among others...

, Madz Nicolas played a parodized
Parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

 version of Aquino who often reminisces about life with Ninoy. In 2004, Aquino was portrayed by Irma Adlawan in the miniseries Sa 'Yo Lamang (Only Yours).

In 2008, a musical play about Aquino starring Isay Alvarez as Aquino, was staged at the Meralco Theater
Meralco Theater
Meralco Theater is a theater on Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City, Philippines. It was previously known as the Meralco Auditorium.It seats over 1,000 people.-Current Tenants:*Sunday Mass ServiceCurrent Events...

. Entitled Cory, the Musical, it was written and directed by Nestor Torre and featured a libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 of 19 original songs composed by Lourdes Pimentel, wife of Senator Aquilino Pimentel. A two-part special of Maalaala Mo Kaya
Maalaala Mo Kaya
Maalaala Mo Kaya is a Philippine drama anthology series broadcast on ABS-CBN every Saturday evening and being hosted by Charo Santos-Concio. Currently, it became the longest-running drama anthology on Philippine television and on Asia...

 aired on January 23 and 30, 2010. Bea Alonzo
Bea Alonzo
Phylbert Angellie Ranollo Fagestrom , popularly known as Bea Alonzo, is a Filipino film and television actress, and singer. She is currently part of ABS-CBN contract talents.-Early life:...

 played the role of Cory Aquino while Piolo Pascual portrayed Ninoy Aquino. The two-part special aired for Cory's 77th birthday.

Legacy

  • On January 25, 2010. Corazon Aquino's monument was unveiled in Manila, beside her spouse Ninoy Aquino.
  • On February 3, 2010, Grand Prize winner Julian Eymard Paguiligan of Bulacan State University
    Bulacan State University
    Bulacan State University is a state-funded institution of higher learning established in 1904, by the virtue of ACT 74 of the Philippine Commission in 1901, as an intermediate school established by the American regime, and converted into a chartered state university in 1993 by virtue of Republic...

    's College of Architecture and Fine Arts (CAFA) made his painting entry entitled Ika-25 ng Pebrero, 1986 presented in the last year's 24th Visual Arts National Competition for the Directories Philippines Corporation's directory cover as a paid tribute. He made a portrait of the late President Aquino in 27.5x34.25" watercolor on paper, as a symbol for her contribution not only for democracy
    Democracy
    Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

    , but also in the successes of the EDSA Revolution in the past.
  • On June 15, 2010, Batasan Hills Elementary School (BHES) in Batasan Hills, Quezon City
    Batasan Hills, Quezon City
    Batasan Hills is a barangay located in the 2nd District of Quezon City, Philippines. It borders the barangays of Commonwealth and Bagong Silangan to the north, Barangay Holy Spirit to the west, Barangay Matandang Balara to the south, and the town of San Mateo, Rizal to the east...

     changed its name to the "President Corazon C. Aquino Elementary School" or (PCCAES).
  • On August 1, 2010, the first anniversary of her death, a 200x250 Photo Mosaic
    Photographic mosaic
    In the field of photographic imaging, a photographic mosaic, also known under the term Photomosaic, a portmanteau of photo and mosaic, is a picture that has been divided into rectangular sections, each of which is replaced with another photograph that matches the target photo...

     of President Cory Aquino was unveiled near the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta Park, Manila in the presence of her son, President Benigno Aquino III
    Benigno Aquino III
    Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....

     and supporters of the late President. It has been submitted to the Guinness World Records to be certified as the largest photo mosaic in the world.
  • On October 9, 2010, Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim inaugurated on Friday a public market in Baseco, Port Area named after the late President Corazon C. Aquino. The President Corazon C. Aquino Public Market, which lies at the heart of the community, has 77 stalls selling meat, fresh fruits, cooked food, rice, vegetables and a variety of dry goods including condiments, garments, and plastic wares.
  • On December 16, 2010, President Noynoy Aquino and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
    Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and commonly abbreviated as BSP is the central bank of the Philippines. It was rechartered on July 3, 1993, pursuant to the provision of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the New Central Bank Act of 1993...

     (Central Bank of the Philippines) announced the release of new 500-peso bill and presented their new design, which features both Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

Awards and achievements

  • 1986 Time Magazine
    Time
    Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

     Woman of the Year
    Person of the Year
    Person of the Year is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place, or machine that "for better or for worse, ...has done the most to influence the events of the year."- History :The tradition of selecting a Man of the Year...

  • 1986 Eleanor Roosevelt
    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international...

     Human Rights Award
  • 1986 United Nations Silver Medal
  • 1986 Canadian International Prize for Freedom
  • 1986 International Democracy Award from the International Association of Political Consultants
  • 1987 Prize For Freedom
    Prize For Freedom
    The Prize For Freedom is an annual prize presented by the Liberal International since 1985. With the prize the organization honors an individual which has made an outstanding contribution to human rights and political freedoms.-Awards:* 1985 - Raúl Alfonsín...

     Award from Liberal International
    Liberal International
    Liberal International is a political international federation for liberal parties. Its headquarters is located at 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD within the National Liberal Club. It was founded in Oxford in 1947, and has become the pre-eminent network for liberal parties and for the...

  • 1993 Special Peace Award from the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Awards Foundation and Concerned Women of the Philippines
  • 1995 Path to Peace Award
  • 1996 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding
    Fulbright Program
    The Fulbright Program, including the Fulbright-Hays Program, is a program of competitive, merit-based grants for international educational exchange for students, scholars, teachers, professionals, scientists and artists, founded by United States Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946. Under the...

     from the U.S. Department of State
  • 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award
    Ramon Magsaysay Award
    The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award established to perpetuate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of integrity in government, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is often considered Asia's Nobel...

     for International Understanding
  • 1998 Pearl S. Buck Award
  • 1999 One of Time Magazine's 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th Century
  • 2001 World Citizenship Award
    World Citizenship Award
    The World Citizenship Award is an award of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts . Launched in 1996, the award is given to people outside the Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting movement who have contributed to a better world in at least one of the following areas - peace, environment,...

  • 2005 David Rockefeller
    David Rockefeller
    David Rockefeller, Sr. is the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family. He is the youngest and only surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. His five siblings were...

     Bridging Leadership Awards
  • 2005 One of the World's Elite Women Who Make a Difference by the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame
  • 2006 One of Time Magazine's 65 Asian Heroes
  • 2008 One of A Different View's 15 Champions of World Democracy
  • EWC Asia Pacific Community Building Award
  • Women's International Center International Leadership Living Legacy Award
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women Noel Foundation Life Award

Honorary doctorates

  • Doctor of International Relations, honoris causa, from:
    • Boston University
      Boston University
      Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

       in Boston
    • Eastern University in St. David, PA
    • Fordham University
      Fordham University
      Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university in the United States, with three campuses in and around New York City. It was founded by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St...

       in New York
    • Waseda University
      Waseda University
      , abbreviated as , is one of the most prestigious private universities in Japan and Asia. Its main campuses are located in the northern part of Shinjuku, Tokyo. Founded in 1882 as Tokyo Senmon Gakko, the institution was renamed "Waseda University" in 1902. It is known for its liberal climate...

       in Tokyo
  • Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, from:
    • Far Eastern University
      Far Eastern University
      Far Eastern University in the University Belt area, West Sampaloc, City of Manila, is a nonsectarian, private university in the Philippines. Created by the merger of Far Eastern College and the Institute of Accounts, Business and Finance, FEU became a university in 1934 under the guidance of...

       (59th Commencement Exercises, March 1987)
  • Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from:
    • University of the Philippines
      University of the Philippines
      The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

    • University of Santo Tomas
      University of Santo Tomas
      The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines , is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, it has the oldest extant university charter in the...

       in Manila
      Manila
      Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from:
    • Ateneo de Manila University
      Ateneo de Manila University
      The Ateneo de Manila University is a private teaching and research university run by the Society of Jesus in the Philippines. It began in 1859 when the City of Manila handed control of the Escuela Municipal de Manila in Intramuros, Manila, to the Jesuits...

    • College of Mount Saint Vincent
      College of Mount Saint Vincent
      For the university in Halifax, Nova Scotia, see Mount Saint Vincent University The College of Mount Saint Vincent is a Catholic liberal arts college located in the northeast corner of the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York, adjacent to the Yonkers border. It is the northernmost location in...

       in New York
    • Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines)
  • Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, from:
    • San Beda College
      San Beda College
      San Beda College or Dalubhasaan ng San Beda in Filipino is a Private Benedictine college run by the Benedictine monks in the Philippines. It is located on Mendiola Street in San Miguel, Manila...

       in Manila, 2000
    • Seattle University
      Seattle University
      Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, USA.SU is the largest independent university in the Northwest US, with over 7,500 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools, and is one of 28 member...

      , 2002
    • Stonehill College
      Stonehill College
      Stonehill College is a private Roman Catholic college located in Easton, Massachusetts, United States, founded in 1948. Situated in North Easton, Massachusetts, a suburban community of 23,329 people, Stonehill is located south of Boston on a campus, the original estate of Frederick Lothrop Ames...

       in Massachusetts
      Massachusetts
      The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    • University of Oregon
      University of Oregon
      -Colleges and schools:The University of Oregon is organized into eight schools and colleges—six professional schools and colleges, an Arts and Sciences College and an Honors College.- School of Architecture and Allied Arts :...

      , 1995
  • Doctor of Public Administration, honoris causa, from:
    • Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila), June 1994

External links

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