Office of the Vice President
1 August 2017
Eight years ago, an icon of democracy, not just for the Filipino people, but for the entire community of nations, bid us farewell and joined with her Creator. And it is in both celebration and sorrow that we join our fellow citizens in remembering the late former President Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino on the anniversary of her passing today.
Much has been said about the life and leadership of President Cory. From relatively quiet obscurity, she rose to become the leading symbol and rallying point of the people’s resistance to a seemingly invincible tyrant, who ultimately fell in a now historic bloodless revolution. Under her leadership, freedoms long denied to a benighted citizenry were restored, and the people’s right to meaningful participation in their own governance enshrined in a new, progressive Constitution. But perhaps her most admirable achievement was also her simplest: when the time came, she quietly, without fuss or fanfare, gave up the power of the Presidency – a testament to her unshakeable trust and commitment to an idea called Democracy.
Historians may debate the specific merits and demerits of her tenure as Chief Executive, but none can deny how, in 1986, she became a living embodiment of hope prevailing against tyranny. Nor how, in 1992, she taught us the crucial lesson that for democracy to truly thrive, it must be anchored on the bedrock of humility.
Since 1986, our nation’s journey to a truer, more meaningful democracy has oftentimes been a tumultuous process, and continues to be one that we must devote our patience, effort, and conviction to. Today, let us remember that this journey became possible due to the quiet grace and faith of one woman.
May we all continue to be inspired by her example, and the hope that she ignited among our people. May we always be reminded, especially in trying times, that we must keep our faith and hold on to hope as we continue to dream of building a better nation, and a better world.