Corazon Aquino


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(b. 25 Jan. 1933; d. 1 Aug. 2009).

President of the Philippines 1986–92 Born in Tarlac Province as Corazón Cojoangco. In 1946 her family moved to the USA, where she received much of her education, graduating from Mount Saint Vincent College in 1953. In 1954, she married the journalist Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, who became a prominent critic of President Marcos. Upon her husband's murder, she succeeded him as opposition leader, launching a defiant and successful campaign for the 1986 elections.

Aquino came to power despite Marcos's refusal to yield, due to the extent of her popular support, and her support in the army. In office, she fought successfully against Communist resistance movements, and made peace with Muslim secessionists, as well as the Cordillera People's Liberation Army. In order not to endanger the weak democracy, she did not carry out any major social or economic reforms. For instance, for fear of alienating the powerful landowning elites she refrained from land reforms, even though this might have alleviated some of the distress of the mass of landless labourers. She did not run for re-election, and was succeeded by her favoured candidate, Ramos. Following her retirement, she actively supported the cause of democracy and human rights throughout Asia.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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