The story appears on

Page A2

August 2, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Filipinos mourn beloved Cory

MILITARY honor guards carried former President Corazon Aquino's flag-draped casket to a school gym yesterday for public viewing, as Filipinos mourned the beloved former president who swept away a dictator and fought off seven coup attempts.

The accidental opposition leader whose rise began only after her husband's assassination died before dawn in a hospital after a yearlong battle with colon cancer, which had spread to other organs and left her bedridden since late June, her only son, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, said. She was 76.

Monsoon rains drenched Manila's streets as a convoy took Aquino's casket from the mortuary to the gym at De La Salle, the Catholic school where her remains will lie in state until tomorrow morning. More than 100 military honor guards met the casket there.

Eight in olive drab uniforms and berets carried it up a winding path to the gym while family and friends, many dressed in her trademark yellow, walked behind. Supporters dropped yellow confetti on the procession.

Her body will be moved later tomorrow to the Manila Cathedral where it will remain until her funeral on Wednesday. She will be buried beside her husband at the Manila Memorial Park.

Aquino's son said that days earlier he and each of his four sisters went to their mother's bedside where they "were told to say everything we wanted to say."

Aquino rose to prominence after the assassination in 1983 of her husband, opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. The uprising she led in 1986 brought down the repressive 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos.

"She was headstrong and single-minded in one goal, and that was to remove all vestiges of an entrenched dictatorship," Raul C. Pangalangan, former dean of the College of Law at the University of the Philippines, said earlier this month. "We all owe her in a big way."

But Aquino struggled in office to meet high public expectations. Her land redistribution program fell short of ending economic domination by the landed elite, including her own family.

Her leadership, especially on social and economic reform, was often indecisive, leaving many allies disillusioned by end of her term.

Still, the bespectacled, smiling woman remained beloved in the Philippines, where she was affectionately referred to as "Tita (Auntie) Cory."

Aquino's supporters had been holding daily prayers for her in churches around the country since she was rushed to intensive care after she had stopped eating in late June.

As the news of Aquino's death spread through Manila, radio and TV stations broadcast documentaries and stories of her life, accompanied by music dating back to the "people power" revolt and a love song based on a poem written by her husband.

Catholic priests held requiem Masses, and ordinary people tied yellow ribbons around trees, cars, lamp posts and house gates.

Others prayed at a shrine on Manila's EDSA highway, where hundreds of thousands of her supporters blocked Marcos' tanks in 1986.

The Philippines will observe 10 days of national mourning, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, said in the United States.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend