Saturday, August 1, 2009

Corazon Aquino

Corazon Aquino died today at the age of 76.

Reading her obituary took me back to the mid-80's (her "people power" revolution was in 1986), which was probably about the time that I really started following world events. I remember being cognizant of the fact that she was the first female politician/leader of whom I was really aware -- I guess I knew about Margaret Thatcher at the time, and I can remember Geraldine Ferraro's nomination being a big deal in 1984, but Aquino was the first female that I remember seeing "out in the streets," rallying people's support.

The Times's obituary (here) emphasizes that her term as President was actually relatively unsuccessful and that she disappointed many Filipinos by using the military to battle Communist revolutionaries -- rather than working towards peaceful reconciliation ("under pressure from her restive military, she was forced to abandon one of the most strongly held ideas she brought to her presidency, an amnesty and reconciliation with a Communist insurgency").

The obit also states that Aquino joined street protests, last year, calling for the resignation of current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
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I've checked the World Almanac this morning and the Phillipines has a population of approximately 90 million. One piece of news I've heard about the Phillipines in the past several months is a concern, among some security analysts, that there are al-Qaeda-allied groups that train and operate in the remote islands there.

268. Corazon Aquino was famous for wearing yellow -- was this the first time in recent history that a color was identified with a particular national movement?

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