On this day in Philippines history – January 25th, 1933 – Maria Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino was born.
She is best known for leading the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution in the Philippines – the movement toppeled the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the country.
Cory Aquino became the 11th President of the Philippines and the first women to hold the office. Revered by many Filipinos, she was once hailed by TIME Magazine as the “Saint of Democracy.”
Before becoming President, she liked to describe herself as the “plain housewife” of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, the popular opposition leader and staunch critic of the Marcos regime, who was assassinated on August 21, 1983, after returning to the Philippines after his exile in the United States.
However, this tragic event united the fragmented opposition against the authoritarian rule of Marcos. It led to calls for the widowed Cory to enter the political arena against Marcos with one million people signing a petition encouraging her to run in snap elections.
The snap election called by Marcos held on February 7, 1986, was marred by massive electoral fraud, violence, intimidation, coercion and disenfranchisement of voters.
Cory who ran for president with former senator Salvador “Doy” Laurel as her vice-president, called for civil disobedience protests against Marcos after she declared herself the real of the election.
To the amazement of the entire world, after 20 years in the Malacañan, Marcos was driven out of power and Cory was formally and peacefully sworn on February 25, 1986, as the new president.
She finished her term as president in 1992 and returned to private life – she remained active in the public eye, constantly voicing her views and opinions on pressing political issues in the country.
She died on August 1, 2009, of colon cancer at the age of 76.