Bayan mourns death of Cory, pays tribute to ex-president

ANTIPOLO CITY , Philippines — The leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance) joined the nation Saturday in grieving the death of the former president and icon of democracy Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.

Aquino, 76, died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 a.m. at the Makati Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for more than a month. She had been battling colon cancer.

“The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan joins the nation and the world in mourning the death of former president Corazon Aquino,” Bayan said in a statement.

“To the end, Mrs. Aquino was in solidarity with the people in the fight against tyranny. While unable to join protest actions because of her frail health, she sent a message that was read at the June 10, 2009 rally in Ayala against Charter change. The message was her last and strongest yet against moves to change the Constitution,” Bayan said.

It added that “Mrs. Aquino was a leading figure in EDSA 1 and EDSA 2,” the two popular uprisings, the first in 1986, which toppled the Marcos dictatorship and installed her as the first woman president of the country, the second in 2001, which ousted then president Joseph Estrada and replaced him with his then vice-president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“In the past four years, she joined mass actions against electoral fraud, corruption and charter change. She marched to support the impeachment complaint in 2005 and supported NBN-ZTE whistleblower June Lozada in 2008,” Bayan said.

The leftist alliance,which had been critical of Aquino, nevertheless said its members paid tribute to the former president’s “immense contributions in the fight against the Marcos dictatorship then and the purveyors of dictatorship now.” (Dateline Philippines)