Philippine coup December 1st 1989

The most serious coup d'etat against the government of Philippine President Corazon Aquino was staged beginning December 1, 1989 by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines belonging to the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) and soldiers loyal to former President Ferdinand Marcos. It was completely defeated by the Philippine government by December 9, 1989.

The coup was led by Colonel Gregorio Honasan, General Edgardo Abenina, and retired General Jose Ma. Zumel, and staged by an alliance of the RAM, led by Honasan, and troops loyal to Marcos, led by Zumel. At the onset of the coup, the rebels seized Villamor Airbase, Fort Bonifacio, Sangley Airbase, Mactan Airbase in Cebu, and portions of Camp Aguinaldo. From Sangley Airbase, the rebels launched planes and helicopters which bombarded and strafed Malacañang Palace, Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo. Government forces would recapture all military bases save for Mactan Airbase by December 3, but rebel forces retreating from Fort Bonifacio occupied 22 high-rise buildings along the Ayala business area in Makati. The occupation of Makati lasted until December 7, while the rebels surrendered Mactan Airbase on December 9. The official casualty toll was 99 dead (including 50 civilians) and 570 wounded.

The United States military supported the Aquino government during this coup. Operation 'Classic Resolve' involved the use of U.S. airpower from the USS Midway (CV-41) and USS Enterprise aircraft carriers and F-4 Phantom II fighters from Clark Air Base. The U.S. planes had clearance to ' the rebel planes at their base, fire in front of them if any attempted to take off, and shoot them down if they did'.

Following the failure of this coup, President Aquino established a Fact-Finding Commission headed by then-COMELEC Chairman Hilario Davide, Jr. to investigate and provide a full report on the series of coup attempts against her government. The report would become known as the Davide Commission Report.

Participants of the December 1989 coup would later blame perceived deficiencies in the Aquino government in areas as graft and corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, and lenient treatment of communist insurgents as the reasons for the coup. In response, the Davide Commission recommended several short-term and long-term counter-measures, including the establishment of a civilian national police force, a crackdown on corruption in the military, a performance review of appointive government officials, reforms in the process of military promotions, a review of election laws in time for the 1992 presidential elections, and a definitive statement on the part of Aquino on whether she intended to run for re-election in 1992.

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Maria Corazon ‘Cory’ Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino

Maria Corazon 'Cory' Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office. Aquino was also the first female president and the first elected female head of state in Asia. Aquino is best remembered for leading the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which toppled the authoritarian regime of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines. Cory, as she is affectionately known, is considered and revered by many Filipinos as the Philippines' Icon of Democracy. She has been hailed by TIME Magazine as the 'Saint of Democracy,' due to her well-known spiritual life and strong adherence to non-violence and democracy.

A self-proclaimed 'plain housewife', Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the popular opposition leader and staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos, who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the Philippines after his exile from the United States.

After her husband's assassination, the widowed Aquino became the unwilling and reluctant leader of the opposition against the authoritarian rule of the Marcos regime. She united the fragmented opposition and strengthened its moral crusade against the abuses and excesses of President Marcos' martial rule. In late 1985, when President Marcos called for a snap election, Cory Aquino was called upon by the people to challenge his regime. Reluctant at first, Aquino thrust herself into the political arena after one million signatures urging her to run for president were presented to her.

Despite having no prior political experience, except being her husband Ninoy's wife, Aquino proved to be a charismatic leader, inspiring orator and skilled campaigner. She ran for president with former senator Salvador Laurel as her vice-presidential running mate. When the Marcos allies-dominated Batasang Pambansa proclaimed Ferdinand Marcos as the winner in the 1986 Snap Presidential Elections, Cory called for massive civil disobedience protests against him, declaring herself as having been cheated and as the real winner in the elections. Filipinos enthusiastically heeded her call and rallied behind her. These series of events eventually led to the ouster of Marcos from power and the installation of Aquino as president of the Philippines in February 1986, an event which is now known as the historic 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution.

Now in power, Aquino oversaw the restoration of democracy in the Philippines and the promulgation of a new constitution, which limited the powers of the presidency and established a bicameral legislature. Her administration gave strong emphasis and concern for civil liberties and human rights, peace talks and dialogues with communist insurgents and Muslim secessionists. Aquino's economic policies, meanwhile, centered on bringing back economic health and confidence and focused on creating a market-oriented and socially-responsible economy. Despite these achievements, Aquino's presidency was not smooth-sailing as she had to face series of nine coup attempts against her administration and destructive natural calamities and disasters, which she was able to weather and survive until the end of her term in 1992.

After her term expired in 1992, Aquino returned to private life although she remained active in the public eye, constantly voicing her views and opinions on the pressing political issues in the country. In 2008, Aquino was diagnosed with colon cancer and after enduring a one-year battle with the disease, she peacefully passed away on August 1, 2009.

Early life and education

Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco was born to Jose Cojuangco of Tarlac, a wealthy Chinese Filipino and Demetria Sumulong of Antipolo, Rizal, an ethnic Filipina who belongs to a politically influential clan. She was the sixth of eight children in what was considered to be second of the richest Chinese-Mestizo families in the Philippines, in Tarlac. Her siblings are: Ceferino, Pedro, Josephine Reyes, Tere Lopa, Carmen, Peping and Maria Paz Teopaco.

She went to St. Scholastica's College in Manila where she finished grade school as class valedictorian in 1943. In 1946, she enrolled for a year in high school at the Assumption Convent in Manila but eventually went to the United States and finished high school at the Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in French, minor in Mathematics from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York. During her stay in the United States, she worked as a volunteer in the 1948 United States presidential campaign of Republican Thomas Dewey against Democratic US President Harry Truman.

Married life

After her graduation from college in the United States, the young Cory returned to the Philippines to study law at the Far Eastern University for one year. She interrupted her law studies when she tied the knot with the then rising political star Benigno Aquino, Jr., more popularly known as Ninoy, the son of the late Speaker Benigno Q. Aquino, Sr.. The couple produced five offsprings, four girls and one boy, namely: Maria Elena, Aurora Corazon, Noynoy Aquino, Victoria Eliza and Kris Aquino.

Aquino had initial difficulty adjusting to provincial life when she and Ninoy moved to Concepcion, Tarlac in 1955, after the latter was elected the town's mayor at the age of 22. The American-educated Aquino found herself bored in Concepcion, and welcomed the opportunity to have dinner with her husband inside the American military facility at nearby Clark Field.

A member of the Liberal Party, Aquino's husband Ninoy rose to become the youngest governor in the country and eventually became the youngest senator ever elected in the Senate of the Philippines in 1967. During her husband's political career, Aquino remained a housewife who helped raise their children and played hostess to her spouse's political allies who would frequent their Quezon City home. She would decline to join her husband on stage during campaign rallies, preferring instead to stand at the back of the audience and listen to him. Nonetheless, she was consulted upon on political matters by her husband, who valued her judgments enormously.

An eloquent speaker and brilliant politician, Ninoy Aquino soon emerged as a leading critic of the government of President Ferdinand Marcos]. He was then touted as a strong candidate for president to succeed Marcos in the 1973 elections. However, Marcos, being barred by the Constitution to seek a third term, declared martial law on September 21, 1972, and later abolished the existing 1935 Constitution, thereby allowing him to remain in office. As a consequence, Aquino's husband was among those to be first arrested at the onset of martial law, later being sentenced to death. During his incarceration, Ninoy sought strength from prayer, attending daily mass and saying three rosaries a day and drew inspiration from his wife, Cory. As a measure of sacrifice and solidarity with her husband and all other political prisoners, she enjoined her children from attending parties and she also stopped going to the beauty salon or buying new clothes until a priest advised her and her children to instead live as normal lives as possible.

In 1978, despite her initial opposition, Ninoy decided to run in the 1978 Batasang Pambansa elections. A reluctant speaker, Cory campaigned in behalf of her husband and for the first time in her life, delivered a political speech, though later on she refrained from giving campaign speeches when it became clearer that her six-year old daughter Kris was more willing than her to speak on stage to the public.

In 1980, upon the intervention of US President Jimmy Carter, Marcos allowed Senator Aquino and his family to leave for exile in the United States, where he sought medical treatment. The family settled in Boston, and Aquino would later call the next three years as the happiest days of her marriage and family life. On August 21, 1983, however, Ninoy ended his stay in the United States and returned without his family to the Philippines, only to be assassinated on a staircase leading to the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, which was later renamed in his honor. Corazon Aquino returned to the Philippines a few days later and led her husband's funeral procession, in which more than two million people joined the procession, the biggest ever in Philippine and world history.

1986 Presidential campaign

EDSA Revolution in the Philippines in February 1986 showing hundreds of thousands of people filling up Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA). The view is looking northbound towards the Boni Serrano Avenue – EDSA intersection.


Magkaisa (To Unite) is one of the famous songs during the People Power Revolution, performed by Virna Lisa. During the death of Aquino, it was used during the funal procession.

Following her husband's assassination in 1983, Aquino became active and visible in various demonstrations and protests held against the Marcos regime. She began to assume the mantle of leadership left by her husband Ninoy and started to become the symbolic figurehead of the anti-Marcos political opposition. In the last week of November 1985, Marcos surprised the nation by announcing on American television that he will hold a snap presidential election in February 1986, in order to dispel and remove doubts against his regime's legitimacy and authority.

Ninoy's childhood best friend and former senator Salvador 'Doy' Laurel was the initial favorite to become the opposition's standard-bearer in the upcoming election against Marcos. However, many doubted Laurel's chances of winning, the most prominent among them was the late media mogul Don Joaquin 'Chino' Roces. Roces personally believed that it was only Ninoy's widow, Cory, who could unite the people and defeat Marcos. As a result, he launched the Cory Aquino for President Movement and initiated a drive to gather one million signatures in order to urge Cory to challenge the dictator.

Reluctant at first, Aquino was eventually prevailed upon to heed the people's clamor, after one million signatures urging her to run for president were presented to her. Despite this, the erstwhile favorite opposite candidate, Laurel, did not immediately gave way to her best friend's widow. Laurel was only convinced to slide down as Cory's running-mate upon the urging of the influential Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin. As a compromise, Aquino agreed to run under Laurel's machinery, the United Nationalist Democratic Organizations (UNIDO), then the country's largest opposition party. With that, the Aquino-Laurel tandem was formally launched to challenge Marcos and finally put an end to his twenty-year martial rule.

In the subsequent political developments and events, Marcos charged that Aquino was being supported by communists and agreed to share power with them once elected into power. A political novice, Aquino categorically denied Marcos' charge and even stated that she would not appoint a single communist to her cabinet. Running on the offensive, the ailing Marcos also accused Aquino of playing 'political football' with the United States with respect to the continued United States military presence in the Philippines at Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base. Further, the male strongman derided Aquino's womanhood, by saying that she was 'just a woman' whose place was in the bedroom.In response to her opponent's sexist remark, Cory simply remarked that 'may the better woman win in this election.' Marcos also attacked Aquino's inexperience and warned the country that it would be a disaster if a woman like her with no previous political experience would be elected president; to which Aquino cleverly responded and sarcastically admitted that she had 'no experience in cheating, lying to the public, stealing government coffers, and killing political opponents.'

The elections held on February 7, 1986 were marred by the intimidation and mass disenfranchisement of voters. Election day itself and the days immediately after were marred by violence, including the murder of one of Aquino's top allies, Antique governor Evelio Javier. While the official tally of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) consistently showed Marcos in the lead, the unofficial tally of the National Movement for Free Elections indicated that Aquino was leading. Despite the job walkout of 30 COMELEC computer technicians alleging election-rigging in favor of Marcos, the Batasang Pambansa, controlled by Marcos allies, ratified the official count and proclaimed Marcos the winner on February 15, 1986. The country's Catholic bishops and the United States Senate condemned the election, and Aquino called for a general strike and a boycott of business enterprises controlled by Marcos allies. She also rejected a power-sharing agreement proposed by the American diplomat Philip Habib, who had been sent as an emissary by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to help defuse the tension.

Installation as President


The relatively peaceful manner by which Aquino assumed the presidency through the EDSA Revolution won her widespread international acclaim as an icon of democracy. She was selected as Time magazine's Woman of the Year in 1986. She was also nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize but lost to Elie Wiesel. On September 18, 1986, Aquino delivered a speech before a joint session of the United States Congress which was interrupted by applause several times.

The six-year administration of President Aquino saw the enactment of a new Philippine Constitution and several significant legal reforms, including a new agrarian reform law. While her allies maintained a majority in both houses of Congress, she faced considerable opposition from communist insurgency and right-wing soldiers who instituted several coup attempts against her government. Her government also dealt with several major natural disasters that struck the Philippines, as well as a severe power crisis that hampered the Philippine economy. It was also during her administration that the presence of United States military bases in the Philippines came to an end.
Constitutional and law reform

One month after assuming the presidency, Aquino issued Proclamation No. 3, which proclaimed her government as a revolutionary government. She suspended the 1973 Constitution installed during martial law, and promulgated a provisional “Freedom Constitution” pending the enactment of a new Constitution. She likewise closed the Batasang Pambansa and reorganized the membership of the Supreme Court. In May 1986, the reorganized Supreme Court declared the Aquino government as “not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government”, whose legitimacy had been affirmed by the community of nations.

Aquino appointed 48 members of a Constitutional Commission tasked with drafting a new Constitution. The commission, which was chaired by retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Cecilia Muñoz-Palma completed its final draft in October 1986 The 1987 Constitution was approved in a national plebiscite in February 1987. Both the “Freedom Constitution” and the 1987 Constitution authorized President Aquino to exercise legislative power until such time a new Congress was organized. She continued to exercise such powers until the new Congress organized under the 1987 Constitution convened in July 1987. Within that period, Aquino promulgated two legal codes that set forth significant legal reforms—the Family Code of 1987, which reformed the civil law on family relations, and the Administrative Code of 1987, which reorganized the structure of the executive branch of government.

However, as President instead of repudiating debts incurred by the former regime or repudiating the debts through selective debt repudiation Mrs. Aquino chose to honor the debts to the detriment of the country. In 1991, Aquino signed into law the Local Government Code partly written by Aquilino Pimentel, which further devolved national government powers to local government units. The new Code enhanced the power of local government units to enact local taxation measures, and assured them of a share of the national internal revenue.

Agrarian reform

President Corazon Aquino addresses base workers at a rally at Remy Field concerning jobs for Filipino workers after the Americans withdraw from the U.S. facilities.

On July 22, 1987, Aquino issued Presidential Proclamation 131 and Executive Order 229, which outlined the President’s land reform program, and expanded land reform to sugar lands. Her agrarian reform policy was enacted into law by the 8th Congress of the Philippines, which in 1988 passed Republic Act No. 6657, also known as “The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law”. The law authorized the redistribution of agricultural lands to tenant-farmers from landowners, who were paid in exchange by the government just compensation and allowed to retain not more than five hectares of land. Corporate landowners were also allowed under the law to “voluntarily divest a proportion of their capital stock, equity or participation in favor of their workers or other qualified beneficiaries”, in lieu of turning over their land to the government for redistribution. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law in 1989, characterizing the agrarian reform policy as “a revolutionary kind of expropriation.”

Prior to signing CARP a large farmer's group under Jimmy Tadeo tried desperately to air their grievances to the government. Among their grievances was the desire of peasants and farmers to acquire the land being tilled by them. However, instead of holding a dialogue with Heherson Alvarez, the group marched to Mendiola; as the group of farmers tried to breach the line of the police, several Marines fired, killing around 12 of the marchers and injuring 39. This caused Ka Pepe Diokno and several members of the Aquino government to resign.

Controversies eventually centered on the landholdings of Aquino, who inherited from her parents the 6,453-hectare large Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, which was owned through the Tarlac Development Company. Opting for the stock distribution option under the agrarian reform law, Tarlac Development Company established Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated (HLI) in order to effect the distribution of stocks to the farmer-tenants of the hacienda. Ownership of the agricultural portions of the hacienda were transferred to the new corporation, which in turn distributed its shares of stocks to the farmers. The arrangement withstood until 2006, when the Department of Agrarian Reform revoked the stock distribution scheme implemented in Hacienda Luisita, and ordered instead the redistribution of a large portion of the property to the tenant-farmers. The Department had stepped into the controversy when in 2004, violence erupted over the retrenchment of workers in the Hacienda, eventually leaving seven people dead.

Natural disasters and man-made disasters

The Aquino administration faced a series of natural disasters during its last two years in office. The 1990 Luzon earthquake left around 1,600 dead, with around a thousand of the fatalities in Baguio City. The 1991 eruption of the long-dormant Mount Pinatubo was the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century, killing around 300 people and causing widespread long-term devastation of agricultural lands in Central Luzon. The worst loss of life occurred when Tropical Storm Thelma (also known as Typhoon Uring) caused massive flooding in Ormoc City in November 1991, leaving around 6,000 dead in what was the deadliest typhoon in Philippine history.

It was during the term of Corazon Aquino that blackouts became sporadic and many of households during that time bought generators. Complaints were made against Napocor which was headed by Aboitiz who also owns shares in a firm making generators. It was also during Aquino's term that the MV Doña Paz sank, which is the World's worst peace-time maritime disaster of the 20th century. The disaster occurred in December 1987 which killed more than 1,700 people.
Influence in 1992 presidential campaign

The Philippine Constitution bars a President from serving more than one six-year term, however, President Aquino was not covered of this provision. She rejected re-election and instead, she backed her Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos (after initially naming Ramon Mitra, Jr., her former Agriculture Secretary and then Speaker of the House of Representatives, as her candidate), Marcos' armed forces vice-chief of staff whose defection to the Aquino party proved crucial to the popular revolution. This decision was unpopular among many of her core supporters, including the Roman Catholic Church (Ramos is a Protestant). Ramos narrowly won with just 23.58 percent of the vote, and succeeded Aquino as president on June 30, 1992.


Mrs. Aquino speaking before the 2003 Ninoy Aquino Award ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Following the end of her term, Aquino retired to private life. When she rode away from the inauguration of her successor, she chose to go in a simple white Toyota Crown she had purchased (rather than the government-issue Mercedes), to make the point that she was once again an ordinary citizen.

Aquino led the PinoyME Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists microfinance institutions through the provision of loans. She also oversaw social welfare and scholarship assistance projects through the Benigno S. Aquino Foundation, and good governance advocacy through the EDSA People Power Commission, and the People Power Movement.

President Aquino was likewise a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development.

Aquino was a skilled painter, and was fond of giving her own paintings as gifts to her close friends and acquaintances, including world leaders, diplomats, and corporate executives.

Political activities

Aquino continued to speak out on political issues. In the 1998 presidential elections, she supported the candidacy of Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, who placed fifth. In January 2001, Aquino played an active role in the second EDSA Revolution which ousted President Joseph Estrada and installed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the presidency. In 2005, Aquino condemned President Macapagal-Arroyo for allegedly rigging the 2004 presidential elections. She was a visible participant in mass demonstrations against the Arroyo government and called for the President's resignation.

In December 2008, Aquino publicly expressed some regrets for her participation in the 2001 EDSA Revolution and apologized to former President Joseph Estrada, who had been ousted following that revolt, in his presence.

In the 2007 senatorial elections, Aquino actively campaigned for her only son, Benigno III, in his successful bid for a Senate seat.

After leaving the presidency, Aquino received several awards and citations. In 1994, Aquino was cited as one of 100 Women Who Shaped World History in a reference book written by Gail Meyer Rolka and published by Bluewood Books in San Francisco, California. In 1996, she received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding from the Fulbright Association, joining past recipients such as Jimmy Carter and Nelson Mandela. In August 1999, Aquino was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th century. The same magazine cited her in November 2006 as one of 65 great Asian Heroes, along with Mahatma Gandhi, Deng Xiaoping, Aung San Suu Kyi, Lee Kuan Yew, and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. In January 2008, the Europe-based A Different View selected Aquino as one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy, alongside Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lech Walesa, and Václav Havel.

In 2002, Aquino became the first woman named to the Board of Governors of the Board of the Asian Institute of Management, a leading graduate business school and think tank in the Asia Pacific region. She served on the Board until 2006.


On March 24, 2008, the Aquino family announced that the former President had been diagnosed with colon cancer. While she had initially been informed by her doctors that she had only three months to live, Aquino pursued chemotherapy. The treatment caused both heavy hair loss, loss of appetite and immunological problems. In public remarks made on May 13, 2008, she announced that blood tests indicated that she was responding positively to the medical treatment.

By July 2009, Aquino was reported to be in a very serious condition and confined to Makati Medical Center due to loss of appetite and chronic baldness. It was announced that Aquino and her family had decided to cease chemotherapy and other medical interventions.

Aquino died of cardiorespiratory arrest after complications of colon cancer at the age of 76 on August 1, 2009, 3:18 a.m., at the Makati Medical Center.

The Aquino family declined an invitation by the government for a state funeral.


Aquino's body lay in state at a public wake at the St. Benilde Gymnasium of La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong up to August 3, when it was later transferred to the Manila Cathedral. She was the first member of the laity to have been permitted to lie in state in the cathedral. This honor has always been reserved for deceased archbishops of Manila. A crowd estimated at 120,000 witnessed the transfer of her remains from La Salle Green Hills to the Manila Cathedral. Most of the crowd was concentrated at the Ninoy Aquino memorial statue in Ayala Avenue, Makati, where the hearse paused briefly as the crowds sang 'Bayan Ko,' one of the anthems of the 1986 EDSA Revolution.

Queue of mourners at the Aquino wake going to the Manila Cathedral in front of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila campus, which opened its facilities such as the university clinic and restrooms for the mourners. For comparison, the Cathedral is the green dome in the background.

On August 4, two of Ferdinand Marcos' three children, Bongbong and Imee, paid their last respects to Aquino at the Manila Cathedral. The funeral mass and interment was scheduled on August 5, which was declared as a special nonworking holiday by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino is buried in Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque. The President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos Horta showed up at the funeral and paid his last respects to Aquino. He was the only foreign head of state to attend.

A Philippine flag at half-mast beside the Martial Law Memorial Wall at the Bonifacio Shrine. All Philippine flags were at half-mast during the 10-day mourning period.

All Roman Catholic dioceses held requiem masses for Aquino, after they held 'healing masses'. Meanwhile, the government declared a week of mourning for her death.

As much as 7,000 mourners on August 4 waited in queue at the Manila Cathedral.
Requiem mass and burial

President Arroyo, who cut short her trip from the United States, paid her last respects to Aquino in the early hours of Wednesday, August 5. Arroyo spoke to Noynoy Aquino and stayed for about seven minutes.

Singer Jose Mari Chan sang the poem Ninoy made for Cory, 'I Have Fallen In Love,' as Aquino's casket was carried outside the cathedral. Other songs performed in tribute were 'Sa Iyo Lamang' (For You, Especially) by Piolo Pascual; The Lord's Prayer by Erik Santos; 'The Impossible Dream' by Jed Madela; and 'Pangako (Promise)' by Ogie Alcasid. Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez performed a duet of 'The Prayer', while Sarah Geronimo sang the People Power Revolution anthem 'Magkaisa' ('Unite'); 'Your Heart Today' by Dulce; and Lea Salonga sang 'Bayan Ko' (My Country). The artists later joined the Apo Hiking Society in singing the People Power song 'Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo' ('The Filipinos' Offering to the World'). The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra played the background music.

The funeral procession lasted for almost eight hours, with hundreds of thousands of mourners flashing the 'Laban' ('fight'; holding the thumb and forefinger at right angles, like an 'L') sign lining the route from the cathedral to the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque. When the cortege reached the cemetery, Aquino was given full military honors, where a two-star general acting as military host and eight one-star generals as pallbearers carried the former president's flag-draped coffin. The crowd that lined the funeral route (passing through the cities of Manila, Makati, and Parañaque) was estimated to be between 500,000 to 750,000 people.

The attendees at the burial were originally restricted to Aquino's family and close friends, but the crowd broke through the security barricades after the last of the funeral convoy's 13 buses entered the cemetery at around 7:45pm. Although the crowd was inside the premises, they kept a respectful distance from the burial site.

Bishop Villegas gave the final blessing and the coffin was opened one last time per the Aquino family's request. The glass was removed, and after Bishop Villegas and Aquino's children sprinkled it with holy water, most members of Aquino's family gave a final kiss to the deceased leader. The casket having been sealed, the Philippine flag was removed from the coffin, folded, then presented to Sen. Noynoy Aquino. The pallbearers ushered the coffin into the niche prepared beforehand, and her family, supporters, and allies deposited yellow flowers inside after which it was sealed to as Bayan Ko and several religious anthems were sung by the congregation. Aquino's lapida (name plate) was a simple design identical to that of her husband, whose niche is beside hers.


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was on a state visit in Washington, D.C. when she was informed about the President Aquino's death, called Aquino a 'national treasure'. She ended her trip ahead of schedule and returned to Manila to visit Aquino's wake. Arroyo announced a 10-day mourning period for the former President, and issued Administrative Order No. 269 to 'official acts and observances” to help in the funeral of the former President.

Former President Estrada said that they lost a 'mother' and a 'guiding voice of the people.' Estrada also described Aquino as 'Philippines' most loved woman'. Aquino supported Estrada's removal from office in 2001, but the two supported each other to oppose amendments in the constitution since last year. The Senate has also expressed its grieving with Aquino's death; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who along with Fidel Ramos launched the People Power Revolution, asked the public to pray for her. Minority leader Aquilino Pimentel, who previously served as interior and local government secretary during her administration, had 'mixed feelings' with Aquino's passing, saying 'We shall be forever indebted to Cory for rallying the nation behind the campaign to topple dictatorial rule and restore democracy.'

A growing opinion among some Roman Catholic circles in the country is to push for Aquino's declaration as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced that it supported calls to put the former President on the 500-Peso banknote alongside her husband, Ninoy Aquino. BSP Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. said that, 'I have asked the numismatic committee to consider the proposal to put up the portrait of former President Aquino in the 500 peso bill in designing our new-generation currency notes', the BSP announced they are redesigning the banknotes and coins as well to improve the security features as well and release them in 2011.

International reaction

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in a telegram to President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stated, “The name of Corazon Aquino is associated with a period of profound reforms and the democratic transformation of Filipino society.” Medvedev also noted that Corazon Aquino showed great interest and sympathy to Russia and prioritised the development of Russian-Filipino relations. International figures expressed their grief, with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noting that Aquino was 'admired by the world for her extraordinary courage'. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that 'Her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation.' Other ambassadors also sent their messages of condolence following her passing. Pope Benedict XVI recalled Aquino as a 'courageous commitment to the freedom of the Filipino people, her firm rejection of violence and intolerance,' according to Manila Archbishop Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales. President of South Africa Jacob Zuma called Aquino 'a great leader who set a shining example of peaceful transition to democracy in her country.' The reigning Queen of the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, joined people in the Philippines here and all over the world in mourning the death of one “True Queen” of the Philippines, former President Corazon Aquino.Her message of condolence was conveyed to President Gloria Arroyo by British Ambassador to Manila, Peter Beckingham, in a letter dated on August 04. It was coursed through Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II brief messages are as follows:“I am saddened to hear of the death of Corazon ‘Cory’ Aquino the former President of the Republic of the Philippines.”She also added, “I send my sincere condolences to her family and to the people of the Philippines.” The brief message was signed “Elizabeth R.”

In popular culture

Aquino was portrayed by Laurice Guillen in the 1988 HBO miniseries A Dangerous Life.

Aquino was a main character in Boy Noriega's 1987 stage comedy Bongbong at Kris (Bongbong and Kris), about an imagined romantic coupling between the youngest son of Ferdinand Marcos and the youngest daughter of the Aquinos.

In the movie Alfredo Lim: Batas ng Maynila (Alfredo Lim: Law of Manila) Aquino was portrayed by Luz Valdez.

She was portrayed by Tess Villarama in the movie Ilaban Mo, Bayan Ko: The Obet Pagdanganan Story (My Fight, My Country) in 1997.

She was also portrayed by Geraldine Malacaman in the 1998 musical play Lean.

In the defunct comedy gag show Ispup, Madz Nicolas played a parodized version of Aquino who often reminisces about life with Ninoy.

In 2004, Aquino was portrayed by Irma Adlawan in the miniseries Sa 'Yo Lamang (Only Yours).

In 2008, a musical play about Aquino starring Isay Alvarez as Aquino, was staged at the Meralco Theater. Entitled Cory, the Musical, it was written and directed by Nestor Torre and featured a libretto of 19 original songs composed by Lourdes Pimentel, wife of Senator Aquilino Pimentel.

Awards and achievements

* 1986 Time Magazine Woman of the Year
* 1986 Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award
* 1986 United Nations Silver Medal
* 1986 Canadian International Prize for Freedom
* 1986 Nobel Peace Prize nominee
* 1986 International Democracy Award from the International Association of Political Consultants
* 1987 Prize For Freedom Award from Liberal International
* 1993 Special Peace Award from the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Awards Foundation and Concerned Women of the Philippines

* 1994 One of 100 Women Who Shaped World History (by G.M. Rolka, Bluewood Books, San Francisco, CA)
* 1995 Path to Peace Award
* 1996 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding from the U.S. Department of State
* 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding
* 1998 Pearl S. Buck Award
* 1999 One of Time Magazine's 20 Most Influential Asians of the 20th Century
* 2001 World Citizenship Award
* 2005 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Awards
* 2005 One of the World's Elite Women Who Make a Difference by the International Women's Forum Hall of Fame

* 2006 One of Time Magazine's 65 Asian Heroes
* 2008 One of A Different View's 15 Champions of World Democracy
* EWC Asia Pacific Community Building Award
* Women's International Center International Leadership Living Legacy Award
* Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize
* United Nations Development Fund for Women Noel Award for Political Leadership

Honorary doctorates

* Doctor of International Relations, honoris causa, from:
o Boston University in Boston
o Eastern University in St. David, PA
o Fordham University in New York
o Waseda University in Tokyo
* Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from:
o University of the Philippines
o University of Santo Tomas in Manila
* Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from:
o Ateneo de Manila University
o College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York
o Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines)
* Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, from:
o San Beda College in Manila, 2000
o Seattle University, 2002
o Stonehill College in Massachusetts
o University of Oregon, 1995
* Doctor of Public Administration, honoris causa, from:
o Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila), June 1994

Web References:

wikipedia -

Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II

Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II (born March 14, 1948), better known as Gringo Honasan, is a Filipino political figure. He played a key role in the 1986 EDSA Revolution that toppled the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos. He led a series of deadly coup attempts against the administration of Corazon Aquino, none of which were successful. President Fidel Ramos granted him amnesty in 1992. He entered politics and became a senator from 1995 to 2004 and again since 2007.


Gregorio Honasan was born in Baguio City to Colonel Romeo Honasan and Alice Ballesteros, both from Sorsogon province. Honasan spent his elementary days at San Beda College from Kindergarten to Grade 6. After which, he went to Taiwan and studied at the Dominican School, Taipei, Taiwan. He then returned to the Philippines and finished his high school at Don Bosco Mandaluyong. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree at the Philippine Military Academy, where he received the title of 'Class Baron', the academy's highest leadership award.

After graduating in 1971, he joined the Philippine Army and went into combat duty against separatist and communist insurgents in Luzon and Mindanao. He was wounded in action at battles in Lebak and Jolo. Making his way up through the armed forces, he became aide-de-camp to Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile in 1974, and later became the department's Chief of Security.

Concurrent with his position as security chief, he was a board member of the Northern Mindanao Development Bank and president of the Beatriz Marketing Company.

EDSA Revolution

In 1986, Honasan and a cabal of colonels, backed by Enrile, tried to use popular unrest to overthrow the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos. When the plot was uncovered, the conspirators sought refuge in the military headquarters and called on civilians, the media, and the Catholic Church for protection. Hundreds of thousands of people served as human shields to protect Honasan and his men from Marcos' forces, sparking the 1986 People Power Revolution that led to Marcos' fall from power and the installation of Corazon Aquino as president.

Attempts at regime change in the Philippines (1970–2007)
Civil unrest (1970)
People Power (1986)
1986-87 plots
Honasan's Second (1989)
Fall of Estrada (2001)
May 1 riots (2001)
Oakwood mutiny (2003)
State of emergency (2006)
Manila Peninsula rebellion (2007)

Coup attempts

Aquino awarded Honasan a Distinguished Conduct Star for the EDSA Revolution and the Presidential Government Medal in 1986. Under the new government, he was head of a special group in the defense ministry. Using his position, he was covertly involved in various coup attempts against Aquino. In August 28, 1987, fighting broke out in the streets and Honasan ordered his men to attack government installations, resulting in the deaths of dozens, including many civilians. The attack was put down by government forces, but Honasan was able to escape. He was later captured and imprisoned in a navy ship on Manila Bay. He later escaped once again by convincing his guards to join his cause.

Honasan launched another coup attempt in December 1, 1989, occupying air bases and key points in the capital and using captured aircraft to bomb Malacañang Palace. The government called on the American military for help, and Honasan's forces retreated when US fighter jets patrolled Manila. The coup attempt killed nearly 100 people.


President Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992, granted amnesty to Honasan. Honasan utilized his rebel infamy to enter politics in 1995, becoming the first independent candidate in Philippine history to win a seat in the senate. He was re-elected in 2001, and left the senate when his second term expired in 2004. In the general election held in May 2007, he was again elected to the Senate. Running as an independent candidate, he polled some 11.6 million votes, finishing 10th out of 37 candidates for 12 Senate vacancies. He took up his post on 30 June.

Coup accusations

Honasan has been accused of being the ringleader of 2003 Oakwood Mutiny against the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Since the allegedly failed February 2006 coup d'etat attempt against the Arroyo administration, Honasan had been in hiding for his alleged involvement in the planned putsch. On the early morning of November 15, 2006, Honasan was re-captured and detained at the CIDG headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He was subsequently transferred to the PNP General Hospital where he was treated after allegedly sustaining minor injuries while trying to elude arrest by jumping off from the second floor of the townhouse where he was found.

On April 20, 2007 he was released on bail allowed Court Order and said that he will not run under TEAM Unity or the Genuine Opposition and will remain an Independent. On July 13, 2007, Makati City RTC Judge Oscar Pimentel (Br. 148) dismissed the coup d'état charge against Honasan. The senator criticized speculation that he made a deal in exchange for the dropping of the charge: 'Kung lahat ng kaso [na] mabibigyan ng ganitong klaseng proseso ay pagdududahan natin na inayos, may deal, may usapan, ano na lang ang mangyayari sa hustisya natin (If all cases that went through such process will be doubted as a result of a deal with the government, what will happen to our justice system)? So we can say the same about, even the former congressmen, party-list congressmen who were cleared from rebellion charges. They're also striking a deal with the government? We should avoid these kinds of speculations.' Pimentel lifted the hold departure order and ordered the refund of the P210,000 posted bail.

Web References:

wikipedia -

asisbiz website qrcode x100

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This webpage was updated July 15, 2014