Corazon Cojuangco - Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines. She is considered an icon of democracy, and was titled by TIME Magazine in 1986 as its 'Woman of the Year'.
A self-proclaimed "plain housewife", Aquino was married to Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr., the staunchest critic of then President Ferdinand Marcos. Senator Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the Philippines ...view middle of the document...
Aquino's administration also faced a series of coup attempts and destructive natural calamities and disasters until the end of her term in 1992.
Succeeded by Fidel V. Ramos as President in 1992, Aquino returned to private life although she remained active in the public eye, often voicing her views and opinions on the pressing political issues. In 2008, Aquino was diagnosed with colon cancer and, after a one-year battle with the disease, died on August 1, 2009. Her son Benigno, III became president on June 30, 2010.
Socio-economic programs and policies
When Aquino became president, she inherited a weak economy. The Philippines was bankrupt and debt-ridden after twenty years of the Marcos regime and her own civil disobedience campaign against Marcos and his cronies.
In response to cronyism, she dismantled the various monopolies that were perpetrated by Marcos during his stay in power.
She also moved quickly to tackle the issue of the US$26 billion foreign debt incurred by her predecessor. Aquino chose to honor all the debts that were previously incurred. Her decision proved to be unpopular but Aquino defended that it was the most practical move. It was crucial for the country at that time to regain the investors' confidence in the Philippine economy. Since 1986, the Aquino administration has paid off $4 billion of the country's outstanding debts to regain good international credit ratings and attract the attention of future markets. Nevertheless, the administration borrowed an additional $9 billion, increasing the national debt by $5 billion within six years time since the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Upon her ascension into power, President Aquino envisioned agrarian and land reform as the centerpiece of her administration's social legislative agenda. However, her family background and social class as a privileged daughter of a wealthy and landed clan became a lightning rod of criticisms against her land reform agenda.
On February 22, 1987, three weeks after the resounding ratification of the 1987 Constitution, agrarian workers and farmers marched to the historic Mendiola Street near Malacanang Palace to demand genuine land reform from Aquino's administration. However, the supposedly peaceful farmers' march turned bloody and violent when Marine forces fired at farmers who tried to go beyond the designated demarcation line set by the police. As a result, 12 farmers were killed and 19 were injured in this incident now known as the Mendiola Massacre. This tragic incident led some...