On February 25, 1986, Corazon Aquino was sworn in as the 11th President of the Philippines at a ceremony in Greenhills, San Juan.
Aquino and Vice President Salvador Laurel won power after the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled President Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy to the Philippines. The former first family then went into exile in Hawaii, allegedly carrying a vast personal fortune with them.
More popularly known as Cory Aquino, she was widely revered as an “Icon of Democracy”. She was also hailed by TIME Magazine as a “Saint of Democracy”. The magazine cited her “well-known spiritual life and strong adherence to non-violence and democracy”.
Prior to her election as president, Cory presented herself as the “plain housewife” of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, the popular opposition leader and staunch critic of Marcos. He was assassinated in August 1983 after returning to the Philippines after exile in the USA.
This event served to unite the previously fragmented opposition against the Marcos regime. It led to a clamour for the recently widowed Cory to enter into political arena against Marcos. This was backed up by a million-strong signature petition that encouraged her to run for president in a snap election on February 7, 1986.
She finished her term on June 30, 1992, and returned to private life. However, she remained active in the public eye, constantly voicing her views and opinions on political issues in the country. Her son, also Benigno, was later to take office in the Malacañan.
Corazon Aquino died on August 1, 2009, at the age of 76.