Friday, August 7, 2009

Good Bye Tita Cory



MANILA, Philippines — Former President Corazon Aquino, who swept away a dictator with a "people power" revolt and sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday, her son said. She was 76.

The uprising she led in 1986 ended the repressive 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos and inspired nonviolent protests across the globe, including those that ended communist rule in eastern Europe. Aquino rose to power after the 1983 assassination of her husband, opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

She was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer last year and confined to a Manila hospital for more than a month. Her son said the cancer had spread to other organs and she was too weak to continue chemotherapy.

For the past month, supporters have been holding daily prayers for Aquino in churches.

"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 in social and economic reform, was often indecisive, leaving many of her closest allies disillusioned by the end of her term.

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

Her son, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, said she died at 3:18 a.m. Saturday (1918 GMT Friday). Requiem Masses were scheduled for later Saturday, and yellow ribbons were tied on trees around her neighborhood in Quezon city.


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