Tributes pour in for Aquino

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — THE Aquino family also received condolences from the US ambassador as high officials from other countries paid tribute to the late president Corazon Aquino.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said: “After her husband was assassinated in 1983, President Aquino’s determined leadership of the peaceful ‘People Power’ revolution restored democracy to the Philippines.

“Her courage in the face of tragedy and the peaceful restoration of democracy made her an icon for freedom-loving people everywhere.

“President Aquino’s example and memory will inspire generations to come. For the past twenty years, President Cory worked closely with the US embassy in helping to select the annual recipients of the Ninoy Aquino Fellowships given for public service and journalism.

“We will deeply miss her personal warmth and her tireless zeal on behalf of talented Filipinos emerging as leaders in those fields. Our deepest sympathy, thoughts, and prayers are with the Aquino family and all those who, like us, loved her.”

European Union Ambassador Alistair MacDonald honored the legacy of Mrs. Aquino. He said, “My heartfelt condolences, and deepest sympathy, go to the family of President Aquino, and to the Philippine nation, on this very sad occasion. In 1986 President Aquino became a beacon of democracy in the Philippines, and an inspiration for many others around the world.

“Throughout her Presidential term, and notwithstanding a number of severe challenges, she never flinched in her determination to ensure that the Philippines would not veer from its democratic path.”

Officials of the government of the United Kingdom, including Foreign Office Minister of State Ivan Lewis MP and former Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch Brown, who worked closely with Mrs Aquino during her election campaign, sent their condolences. Brown said: “I received the news of Corazon Aquino’s death with great sadness.

“As an advisor in her campaign against President Marcos, the privilege of working with Cory and watching her was one of my life’s greatest lessons in courage, leadership, the art of politics and humanity.

“The way she and all her family made such friends of me as an outsider is something I have always treasured.”

British Ambassador Peter Beckingham said: “I had the honor and pleasure of meeting former President Aquino on several occasions, when we were able to discuss her visits to London and her interests in members of the Filipino community in Britain, especially those serving in the Church.

“Those discussions left me with an overwhelming sense of her grace, charisma, and compassion. The Philippines has lost a wonderful leader who is widely admired in Britain for her courage and inspiration.”

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Robert Desjardins said: “President Aquino will be remembered as a leader who ushered in a new era of freedom in the Philippines, and inspired millions around the world. She was an international icon of democracy, a global model of people power, and a passionate advocate of good governance.