Wednesday, August 12, 2009

TIME Magazine Calls President Cory Aquino "The Saint of Democracy"

12 August 2009

TIME Magazine in its latest Asian edition has called the late President Cory Aquino as "The Saint of Democracy."  

The article, written by Hannah Beech, spoke of President Cory Aquino's legacy to the world:
"Aquino also understod, like Nelson Mandela, that the enduring success of People Power depends upon the leaders it thrusts into office knowing how to make a graceful exit. Even though the Filipino electorate would surely have granted her another presidential term, she anointed a political successor, Fidel Ramos, and eased into retirement.  Yet Aquino's example has not been fully followed in her homeland, where another woman President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, has taken advantage of electoral loopholes to elongate her tenure.  Far worse are the Robert Mugabes of the world, once genuine heroes who long outlived their welcomes. Aquino's rare gift was to realize the People Power was only half the battle. Equally important was knowing when to relinquish that power bestowed by the people."
Cory's first grandson, Jiggy Aquino-Cruz, expressed the Aquino family's appreciation of TIME Magazine's latest tribute to his lola and he expressed his desire for Filipinos never to forget Cory's legacy:
"Actually, tuwang-tuwa ang pamilya, grabe talagang nagawa ng lola ko even at her death she's still influencing a lot of people and being her grandchild as in sobrang proud lang talaga ako ... it's an honor and a privilege to be called one of her grandsons."

"Sana lang talaga, huwag nating kalimutan yung Lola ko, huwag nating kalimutan yung iniwan n'ya, yung sanctity siguro ng demokrasya."
More on this story in this News on Q report by Connie Sison courtesy of GMANews.tv:

In the January 5, 1987 article naming President Cory Aquino 1986 Woman of the Year, TIME Magazine had this to say:

"Whatever else happens in her rule, Aquino has already given her country a bright, and inviolate, memory. More important, she has also resuscitated its sense of identity and pride. In the Philippines those luxuries are especially precious. Almost alone among the countries of Asia, it has never been steadied by an ancient culture; its sense of itself, and its potential, was further worn away by nearly four centuries of Spanish and American colonialism. The absence of a spirit of national unity has also made democracy elusive. Even Jose Rizal, a political reformer shot by the Spanish and a national hero, called the Filipinos "a people without a soul." Yet in February, for a few extraordinary moments, the people of the Philippines proved their bravery to the world, and to themselves.

Aquino's revolution with a human face was no less a triumph for women the world over. The person known as the "Mother of the Nation" managed to lead a revolt and rule a republic without ever relinquishing her buoyant calm or her gift for making politics and humanity companionable. In a nation dominated for decades by a militant brand of macho politics, she conquered with tranquillity and grace."

The sight of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos expressing their love and respect, battling the rains, exhaustion, hunger, and hours of waiting in a massive people's funeral that brought President Cory Aquino to her to final earthly resting place evoke images of EDSA 1, the 1986 Cory-inspired, prayer-backed people power revolt that dismantled a dictatorship and restored popular democracy to the Philipines.

Ironically, with Cory gone, memories of those heady days of 1986 are  back, bringing with it the hope that we Filipinos, whom Rizal called "a people without a soul," may finally find it within ourselves to obtain one. 

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