Alexa

Philippines' democracy icon Aquino turns 74, says she was never ideal president

Philippines' democracy icon Aquino turns 74, says she was never ideal president

Former President Corazon Aquino, who restored democracy in the Philippines after leading a 1986 "people power" revolt, turned 74 on Thursday, saying she never considered herself an ideal leader.
"People used to compare me to the ideal president, but he doesn't exist and never existed. He has never lived," The Philippine Star daily quoted Aquino as saying.
Aquino, a former housewife, reluctantly took over as dictator Ferdinand Marcos' main challenger after her husband, opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., was gunned down at Manila airport upon returning from exile in 1983.
Three years later, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, accusing Marcos of cheating in the 1986 election, swept Aquino to power in a peaceful protest that became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide.
Marcos fled the country and died in Hawaii in 1989. Aquino held office until 1992.
"During Ninoy's incarceration and before my presidency, I used to ask why it had always to be us to make the sacrifice," The Star quoted Aquino as saying. "And then, when Ninoy died, I would say, why does it have to be me now? It seemed like we were always the sacrificial lamb."
Aquino again became active in 2001, throwing her support behind current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who was swept to power in the country's second "people power" revolt that toppled Joseph Estrada.
However, Aquino later took on Arroyo, joining opposition figures in calling for her resignation over allegations of vote-rigging in the 2004 elections.
Aquino also assailed the Arroyo administration's attempt to change the constitution to switch from the current U.S.-style presidential system of government to a parliamentary one.
She said this would never work in her country, "because the Filipino people want the privilege of being able to directly elect their leader."


Updated : 2021-04-18 11:03 GMT+08:00