FFE Magazine

Corazon C. Aquino

Image from the Presidential Museum & Library

11th President of the Philippines

Term of Office: February 25, 1986 – June 30, 1992

Vice President: Salvador Laurel

Birth: January 25, 1933

Place: Manila

Death: August 1, 2009

Spouse: Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.

Children: Maria Elena Aquino Cruz, Aurora Corazon Aquino Abellada, Benigno S. Aquino III, Victoria Elisa Aquino Dee, Kristina Bernadette Aquino

Political leader and president from (1986 to 1992) of the Philippines. In 1983 she succeeded her murdered husband, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.(A popular critic of the Marcos administration), as leader of the opposition to President Ferdinand Marcos. No one could have imagined that Cory Aquino would become a president of the Philippines.

Corazon “Cory” Aquino, the first woman to become president of the Philippines, was born in Tarlac on January 25, 1933. Her parents are Don Jose Cojuangco and Doña Demetria Sumulong. Cory was the sixth among the eight children of the Sumulong. Corazon Aquino’s children are Maria Elena Aquino, Aurora Corazon, Victoria Eliza, Noynoy and Kris Aquino, her youngest child is a TV and movie personality.

Corazon Cojuangco was born into a wealthy, politically prominent family based in Tarlac province, north of Manila. In 1946, her family left for the U.S. and she enrolled at Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia. She finished her junior and senior years at Notre Dame College in New York. She entered Mount Saint Vincent College in New York City in 1949 where she finished a Bachelor of Arts, major in French. In 1953, she returned to the Philippines to take up law at the Far Eastern University, but then abandoned further studies in 1955 to marry Benigno Aquino, who was then a promising young politician. Cory remained in the background during her husband’s subsequent career, rearing their five children at home and later in exile. Her husband was assassinated upon his return to the Philippines in August 1983.

When Ferdinand Marcos unexpectedly called for presidential election in February 1986, Corazon Aquino become the unified opposition’s candidate for the presidency. Though she was officially reported to have lost the election to Marcos, Aquino and her supporters challenged the results, charging widespread voting fraud. High officials in the Philippines military soon publicly renounced Marcos continued rule and proclaimed Aquino the Philippines rightful president. On February 25, 1986, both Aquino and Marcos were inaugurated as president by their respective supporters but that same day Marcos fled the country.

In March 1986 she proclaimed a provisional constitution and soon thereafter appointed a commission to write a new constitution. The resulting document was ratified by a landslide popular vote in February 1987. In spite of her continuous popular support, Aquino faced an ongoing outcry over economic injustice, a problem that was only exacerbated by continuing warfare between the communist insurgency and a military whose loyalties to Aquino were uncertain. In general, her economic policies were criticized for being mixed or faltering in the face of mass poverty.

Aquino children are Maria Elena Aquino, Aurora Corazon, Victoria Eliza, Noynoy and Kris Aquino. Her youngest child is a TV & movie personality.

(By Charles Keng / The Presidents, Republic of the Philippines by Rheno A. Velasco. 1996)

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