Corazon C. Aquino

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Former President Corazon C. Aquino

Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (25 January 1933 - 1 August 2009), more popularly known as Cory Aquino, was a politician who served as the 11th president of the Philippines, holding the office from 1986 to 1992. She was Asia's first female president.

The widow of popular opposition senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., Aquino became the central figure of the opposition against the autocratic rule of President Ferdinand Marcos after Ninoy was assassinated at then Manila International Airport on his return from exile on 21 August 1983. Despite not holding any elected office, she became the opposition's presidential candidate in a snap election in 1986, which was marred by allegations of massive electoral fraud, violence, and intimidation, ultimately leading to the EDSA People Power Revolution and the subsequent overthrow of Marcos's government.

While successfully uprooting Marcos-era crony capitalist monopolies and leading the framing of the 1987 Constitution, Aquino's government faced several crises including disasters including the 1990 Luzon Earthquake and Typhoon Uring, crisis in land reforms that led to Mendiola Massacre, electrical crisis that led to nationwide rotational blackouts, and several coup attempts, among others.

She returned to civilian life after handing over the presidency to Fidel V. Ramos in 1992. She died from colorectal cancer in 2009.

Early Life and Education

Corazon Cojuangco was born the sixth of eight children in Tarlac, a member of one of the richest Chinese-mestizo families in the Philippines.

She was sent to St. Scholastica's College Manila and finished grade school as class valedictorian in 1943. In 1946, she studied high school for one year in Assumption Convent Manila. Later she was sent overseas to study in Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia, the Notre Dame Convent School in New York, and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, also in New York. She worked as a volunteer in the 1948 United States presidential campaign of Republican Thomas Dewey against President Harry Truman.

Married Life

Aquino returned to the Philippines to study law at the Far Eastern University, owned by the family of the late Nicanor Reyes, Sr., who had been the father-in-law of her older sister Josephine. She gave up her law studies when in 1954, she married Benigno Servillano "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., the son of a former speaker of the National Assembly. They had five children together: a son, Benigno Simeon Aquino III, who was elected as Philippine President in 2010,, and four daughters, Maria Elena A. Cruz, Aurora Corazon A. Abellada, Victoria Eliza A. Dee, and actress-television host Kristina Bernadette Aquino. Cory Aquino had initial difficulty adjusting to provincial life when she and her husband moved to Concepcion, Tarlac in 1955, after her husband had been elected the town's mayor at the age of 22. The American-educated Aquino found herself bored in Concepcion, welcoming opportunities when she and her husband would have dinner inside the American military facility at nearby Clark Field.

A member of the Liberal Party, Aquino's husband rose to be governor of Tarlac, and was elected to the Philippine Senate in 1967. During her husband's political career, Aquino remained a housewife who helped raise the 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 in order to listen to him. Nonetheless, she was consulted upon on political matters by her husband, who valued her judgments enormously.

Benigno Aquino soon emerged as a leading critic of the government of President Ferdinand Marcos of the Nacionalista Party, and there was wide speculation that he would run in the 1973 presidential elections, Marcos then being term limited. However, Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972, and later abolished the 1935 Constitution, allowing him to remain in office. Aquino's husband was among those arrested at the onset of Martial Law, later being sentenced to death. During his incarceration, Aquino drew strength from prayer, attending daily mass and saying three rosaries a day. As a measure of sacrifice, she enjoined her children from attending parties, and herself stopped from 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, Aquino's imprisoned husband decided to run the 1978 Batasang Pambansa elections. Aquino campaigned on behalf of her imprisoned husband and for the first time in her life, delivered a political speech, though she willingly relinquished having to speak in public when it emerged that her six-year old daughter Kris was more than willing to speak on stage.

In 1980, upon the intervention of United States 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. He returned without his family to the Philippines on August 21, 1983, only to be assassinated at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport, which was later renamed in his honor. Aquino returned to the Philippines a few days later and led her husband's funeral rites, where more than two million people were estimated to have participated, the biggest ever in Philippine history.

1986 Presidential Campaign

Aquino participated in many of the mass actions that were staged in the two years following the assassination of her husband. In the last week of November 1985, Marcos unexpectedly announced a snap presidential election to be held in February 1986.

Aquino was reluctant at first to run for presidency, despite pleas that she was the one candidate who could unite the opposition against Marcos. She eventually was convinced following a 10-hour meditation session at a Catholic convent. Salvador “Doy” Laurel did not immediately accede to calls for him to give way to Aquino, and offered her the vice-presidential slot under his UNIDO party. Aquino instead offered to give up her affiliation with her husband's political party, the Lakas ng Bayan (LABAN), which had just merged with Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, and run under the UNIDO banner with Laurel sliding down to the vice-presidential slot. Laurel gave way to Aquino to run as President and ran as her running-mate under UNIDO as the main political umbrella of the opposition.

In the succeeding political campaign, Marcos charged that Aquino was being supported by communists and agreed to share power with them, to which she responded that she would not appoint one to her cabinet.

The elections held on February 7, 1986 were marred by the intimidation and mass disenfranchisement of voters.[1] 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,[1] the Batasang Pambansa, controlled by Marcos allies, ratified the official count and proclaimed Marcos the winner on February 15, 1986.

Installation as President

On February 22, 1986, the People Power Revolution was triggered after two key Marcos allies, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Armed Forces Vice-Chief of Staff Fidel Ramos, called on Marcos to resign and holed up in two military camps in Quezon City. Aquino, who was in Cebu City when the revolt broke out, returned to Manila and insisted on joining the swelling crowd that had gathered outside the camps as a human barricade to protect the defectors.


In his book Cory, Profile of a President: The Historic Rise to Power of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, Isabelo T. Crisostomo states that Cory Aquino is different from other presidents of the Philippines in that:

  • She was the first female president of the Philippines.
  • She was the first president without any political experience as she had not held any other elective office.
  • She was the only president of the Philippines who became a candidate by "direct draft" or endorsement of 1.2 million Filipinos who signed a resolution urging her to run for president.
  • She became president after a "snap" election, not a regular presidential election.
  • She won the election not on the basis of an actual number of votes counted in her favor, but on the basis of a proclamation ("A People's Resolution" signed by 150 people) by military revolutionists and opposition members of the Batasang Pambansa.

As the new President of the Philippines, Cory Aquino faced the massive task of restoring the nation. She established a revolutionary government under a provisional "Freedom Constitution" pending the adoption of a permanent, democratically drafted constitution. In late 1986, the Aquino government appointed a 50-member Constitutional Commission, drawn from all sectors of society, to draft a new constitution. One of the world's most lengthy and detailed constitutions, the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines was completed in record time and overwhelmingly ratified by the Filipino people on February 7, 1987. In the congressional elections that followed, Cory Aquino's allies garnered 22 out of 24 Senate seats and majority of the House seats. Local elections soon followed.[2]

Cory Aquino endeavored to reconcile the different factions in her government. She appointed Fidel Ramos as head of the armed forces and retained Juan Ponce Enrile as defense chief. At the same time, she appointed human rights advocates such as Joker Arroyo and Rene Saguisag to cabinet posts. She lifted the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and freed political prisoners, including Communist Party Chairman Jose Maria Sison and New People's Army supremo Bernabe Buscayno. She went to Davao City to preside at a people's meeting where multi-sectoral groups presented their comments and suggestions, and later met with a group of Communist Party guerrillas to whom she extended amnesty. She made free secondary schooling mandatory in public schools.

Despite her popularity and the popularity of the new constitution, Cory Aquino continued to face repeated military coup attempts and communist insurrections. Marcos loyalists continued to oppose the government, even attempting to establish a rival government at the Manila Hotel, with Arturo Tolentino as temporary president, in July 1986. A more serious threat came from attempted coups, one in November 1986, when some 1200 soldiers led by Col. Gregorio Honasan tried to take over the government in a plot called "God Save the Queen". In August 1987, soldiers attempted to storm Malacañang and the headquarters of the armed forces, an attempt repeated in December 1989. All in all, there were seven coup attempts during Cory Aquino's presidency, and countless rumors of such attempts. There were also major natural disasters: the massive earthquake in 1990 and supertyphoon Thelma and the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

Although eligible to run for a second term, Cory Aquino chose to back her then defense secretary, Fidel Ramos, as candidate for president in the May 1992 elections, an unpopular decision among many of her core supporters, including the Roman Catholic Church (Ramos is a Protestant). Ramos won with 23.6 percent of the vote, and succeeded Aquino as president on January 20, 1993.

Four years later, on 11 October 1996, the 42nd anniversary of her marriage to Ninoy, Corazon Aquino was awarded the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding at the U.S. Department of State. In her address, she stated her reason for being the only Philippine president who had the opportunity to seek reelection but did not take it.

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 of the Philippines. 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.[3]

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, 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

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 farmers' 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 Minister of Agrarian Reform Heherson Alvarez, the group marched to Mendiola Street in Manila on January 22, 1987; 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 event has since been referred to as the Mendiola Massacre. This caused the chairman of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights (now Commission on Human Rights), Jose "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.

Military Insurrections

From 1986 to 1989, Aquino was confronted with a series of attempts<ref>The Davide Commission Report identified seven such attempts: (1) the July 1986 Manila Hotel incident; (2) the November 1986 "God Save the Queen" plot; (3) the January 1987 GMA-7 incident; (4) the April 1987 "Black Saturday" incident; (5) the July 1987 takeover plot of the Manila International Airport; (6) the August 1987 coup attempt; and (7) the December 1989 coup attempt.

Military interventions by some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines aimed at the overthrow of the Aquino government. Most of these attempts were instigated by the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM), a group of middle-ranking officers closely linked with Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile. Soldiers loyal to former President Marcos were likewise involved in some of these attempts. The first five of the attempts were either crushed before they were put in operation, or repelled with minimal or no violence. The sixth attempt, staged on August 28, 1987, left 53 people dead and over 200 wounded, including Aquino's son, Noynoy. The seventh and final attempt, which occurred throughout the first week of December, 1989, ended with 99 dead (including 50 civilians) and 570 wounded.

The coup attempts would collectively impair the Aquino government, even though it survived, as it indicated political instability, an unruly military, and diminished the confidence of foreign investors in the Philippine economy.

The 1989 coup alone resulted in combined financial losses of between 800 million to 1 billion pesos.

The November 1986 and August 1987 coup plots would also lead to significant reorganizations within the Aquino government. Given the apparent involvement of Defense Secretary Enrile in the November 1986 plot, a fact which was reaffirmed by the Davide Commission Report, Aquino fired him on November 22, 1986, and likewise announced an overall cabinet revamp, "to give the government a chance to start all over again." The revamp would lead to the dismissal of Labor Secretary Augusto Sanchez, a perceived leftist, which was believed to be a compromise measure in light of a key rebel demand to cleanse the cabinet of left-leaning members. Following the August 1987 coup attempt, the Aquino government was seen to have veered to the right, dismissing perceived left-leaning officials such as Executive Secretary Joker Arroyo and tacitly authorizing the establishment of armed quasi-military groups to combat the communist insurgency. It was also believed that General Fidel Ramos, who remained loyal to Aquino, emerged as the second most powerful person in government following his successful quelling of the coup. Across-the-board wage increases for soldiers were also granted.

Aquino herself would sue Philippine Star columnist Louie Beltran and publisher Maximo Soliven for libel after Beltran wrote that the president had hid under her bed during the August 1987 coup as the siege of Malacañang began.

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 brownouts became sporadic and many households bought generators. Complaints were made against Napocor which was headed by Aboitiz, who also owned shares in a firm making generators. It was also during Aquino's term that the MV Doña Paz sank, which was the world's worst peace-time maritime disaster of the 20th century. The disaster occurred in December 1987 and 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 by this provision. She rejected re-election and instead 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's 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.


At the end of her term, Cory Aquino retired to private life. While going to her inauguration in 1985, she had insisted that the car stop at traffic lights to let civilian traffic pass. When she rode away from the inauguration of her successor in 1993, she chose to go in a simple white Toyota Crown she had purchased, rather than the government-issued Mercedes Benz, to make the point that she was once again an ordinary citizen. She had since directed a number of projects that aimed at furthering the spread of democracy in Asia. She played host to visiting groups of oppositionists-in-exile, delivered a speech smuggled out of Burma in the name of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and welcomed Wan Azizah Ismail, wife of Malaysia's ex-Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

After her term, continued to Cory Aquino speak out about major issues in government and Philippine politics. In 1998, she supported Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for the presidency; however, Lim landed in the 5th place in the May 1998 election, where Joseph Estrada won in a landslide victory. In January 2001, Cory Aquino participated in the second EDSA Revolution, a four-day popular revolt that peacefully overthrew Philippine president Joseph Estrada that led Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the presidency. In 2005, she condemned Macapagal-Arroyo for allegedly rigging the 2004 electoral process, and joined protestors demonstrating against Arroyo on EDSA in February 2006, after an alleged coup attempt by members of the Filipino military.

Cory Aquino was the recipient of the 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding.

Cory Aquino is included in the International Women's Forum International Hall of Fame, along with Britain's Margaret Thatcher and America's Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, among others. In November 2006, she was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the great Asian Heroes.

Struggle with Cancer

On 24 March 2008, actress and television host Kris Aquino disclosed to the media that her mother Cory Aquino was diagnosed with cancer of the colon, and asked the Filipino people to pray for her recovery. She underwent a series of chemotherapy sessions.

After a year of battling against cancer, Aquino underwent a laparoscopic surgery at the Makati Medical Center. On the morning of 4 May 2009, she was brought to the operating room for the procedure that took an hour and a half long. Later that day, her daughter Kris Aquino announced that the operation successfully removed the cancerous portions from her mother's colon. She was expected to be discharged from the hospital after four days to recover from the surgery.

In July 2009, the former president was admitted to the Makati Medical Center's ICU due to loss of appetite "caused by fluid build-up in her stomach area." A statement from the Aquino family on 2 July 2009 revealed that Aquino and her family had decided that she would no longer receive chemotherapy and other medical treatments. She was later moved from the ICU to a private room. Reports said that she received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.

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.

Wake and Burial

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 had 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 on Ayala Avenue in Makati, where the hearse paused briefly as the crowds sang "Bayan Ko," one of the anthems of the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Soon celebrities born between 1983 and1989 were joined in the funeral procession: Paula Taylor, AJ Dee, Camille Pratts, Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, KC Concepcion, Maxene Magalona, Angelica Panganiban, Denise Laurel, Joyce Cheng, Bea Alonzo, Dino Imperial, Enchong Dee, Gerald Anderson, Robi Domingo, Rayver Cruz and Rodjun Cruz, Shaina Magdayao, Ejay Falcon, Kim Chiu, Nicole Uysiuseng.

On August 4, two of the children of Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong and Imee, paid their last respects to Aquino at the Manila Cathedral.

President Gloria Macapagal-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" was sung by Dulce; and Lea Salonga sang "Bayan Ko" (My Country). The artists later joined the Apo Hiking Society in singing another People Power song "Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo" ("The Filipinos' Offering to the World").

Bishop Socrates Villegas gave the final blessing, and per the Aquino family's request, the coffin was opened one last time. 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 one last time, the Philippine flag was removed from the coffin and folded before being 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. The lapida or name plate of Aquino was a simple design identical to that of her husband.

The Salamat, President Cory TV special was co-presented by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Real Leaf, Family Rubbing Alcohol, Family Toothpaste, Dragon Katol, Growee, Swish, Alactagrow, Enfagrow, Lactum, Sustagen, Enfapro, Enfakid, Tempra, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, Abante Newspaper, Bulgar Newspaper, Revicon Forte, Alaxan FR, Philippine National Bank, Zesto Corporation, Lion Tiger Katol Lavender Scent, Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, Vaseline, CreamSilk, Rexona, Surf, Ponds, Knorr, Lady's Choice, Best Foods, Alsa, White Castle Whisky, Napoleon VSOP, Hope Cigarettes, More Cigarettes and Ping-Ping Lechon.

Aquino 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, about an imagined romantic coupling between the youngest son of Ferdinand Marcos and the youngest daughter of the Aquinos.

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

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

In 2004, Aquino was portrayed by Irma Adlawan in the miniseries Sa'yo Lamang.

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:

Boston University in Boston

Eastern University in St. David, PA

Fordham University in New York

Waseda University in Tokyo

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from:

University of the Philippines

University of Santo Tomas in Manila

Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from:

Ateneo de Manila University

College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York

Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines)

Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa, from:

San Beda College in Manila, 2000

Seattle University, 2002

Stonehill College in Massachusetts

University of Oregon, 1995

Doctor of Public Administration, honoris causa, from:

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila), June 1994

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pi
  2. Biography of Corazon Aquino. The 1998 Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding.
  3. Template:Cite court




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