Corazon Aquino (1933-2009)
“ Without true values, a democracy is only a confederation of lunatics. ”
Corazon Aquino, President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992, is a good example of virtuous leadership.
After the assassination of her husband, the popular Senator Begnino Aquino, Cory Aquino became the keystone of the opposition to autocratic President Ferdinand Marcos. With most Filipinos convinced that the government had ordered the death of her husband, Aquino suddenly announced his intention to confront Marcos in the 1986 presidential elections. The official result of the vote gave Marcos the winner, but the massive fraud was too obvious. Both candidates claimed victory. Hundreds of thousands of Cory Aquino fans invaded the streets in a massive demonstration of popular power. The country united against him, the army refusing to intervene to support him, Marcos had to flee abroad.
“I assumed the powers of the dictatorship the time needed to abolish them,” Cory Aquino commented a few years later. “I had absolute power, but I used it in moderation. I created independent courts of justice to challenge my absolute power and a parliament to suppress it. ”
At a time when democracy is considered a god by many Western intellectuals, Cory Aquino claims that she does not accept the idea of democracy for the sake of democracy: “Without true values, a democracy is a confederation of fools, “she says.
Aquino practiced humility in his way of governing. According to her, collegiality is a moral principle that applies in business as well as in politics: “The ability to work effectively with others”, she says, “to listen to different points of view, to credit them with a sincerity equal to those of one’s own points of view, to have the flexibility to accommodate the justified worries of others, all this represents an important quality for anyone who wishes to serve others. It is an expression of the spirit of service. How could one claim to have a genuine spirit of solidarity with the people in general, if one is incapable of operational solidarity with the people with whom one works every day? ”
During the election campaign against Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator accused him of not being prepared to govern because she was a stay-at-home mother. Yet it was this housewife who won the elections, sent Marcos into exile, and allowed the Philippine fund to transform fundamentally.
At a time when politics fell into the hands of a caste, an establishment that uses itself rather than serving others, Aquino shows the world that a mother of Family is often better prepared for politics than professional politicians who have long lost the sense of greatness and service.
Cory Aquino was a remarkable example of sincerity, simplicity and integrity in politics. She served her country for six years, and chose not to represent herself. Filipinos still consider it today as the leader who unified their nation.