Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino dies at age 76

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Corazon Aquino, 1933 - 2009

Corazon Aquino, the 11th president of the Philippines, has died today at Makati Medical Center of complications from colon cancer. She was 76. She had been in the hospital since June. She was the first female president of the Philippines and Asia's first female President.

She was born María Corazón Sumulong Cojuangco on January 25, 1933 in Paniqui, Tarlac, Philippines. She was the widow of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., a leading figure in the political opposition against the autocratic rule of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos. After her husband was assassinated upon his return from exile on August 21, 1983, Aquino, who had no prior political experience, became a focal point and unifying force of the opposition against Marcos.

In the 1992 Philippine elections, though eligible to run for a second term, Aquino backed her then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos, Marcos' armed forces vice-chief of staff whose defection to the Aquino party proved crucial to the popular revolution. Ramos narrowly won with just 23.58 percent of the vote, and succeeded Aquino as president on June 30, 1992.

Funeral services will commence on Wednesday at 9 A.M. at Manila Cathedral.