Philippines: Failing to live up to Aquino’s legacy

The Philippines still suffers from too much poverty, violence, and  corruption. The current president has been accused of cheating in the last election.

The Philippines has lost its mother, said Jullie Yap Daza in the Manila Bulletin. With the death of former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, the nation is in deep mourning. Aquino was not the typical politician but a housewife who dared to stand up to the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. After her husband, Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, was assassinated by Marcos henchmen, she agreed to run for president in 1986 and ultimately led the “people power” protests that toppled the dictator. Cory set an example of “classy simplicity and dignity,” almost like “a living saint.” It’s no surprise that in these last weeks of her life, while she was suffering from colon cancer, millions of Filipinos were praying for her, in “government offices, malls, and schools.” Hundreds of people sent the hospital “their healing rosaries and miracle-working medals.” In a grand gesture, the Catholic Church allowed her wake to be held in Manila Cathedral, an honor denied even to bishops. Thousands of Filipinos filed past to pay their respects.

Hers is a legacy of peace, said the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an editorial. Aquino rose above “our bloodstained political culture” and showed us a new path of “active nonviolence.” Ever since her rule, nonviolence has been “the dominant means to accomplish change in our country—a revolution in thought, accomplished by prayers, marches, candlelight vigils.” Yet people power had its limits, said Malaysia’s New Straits Times. Even the popular Aquino was challenged by multiple coup attempts during her single six-year term. She survived only because of “the strong support that she continued to receive from the generals and the Pentagon.” And while her own reign was legitimate, since she stepped down “the Philippines has experienced no respite from rampant corruption, grinding poverty, or political violence.” The current president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, has been widely accused of cheating in the last election.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us