She has earned not only our gratitude but our enduring love; and so the nation owes her all the prayer and support we can muster…
This is just a short post, but I just want to react to the news; for I learned just now, thanks to a heads-up from a dismayed family member, that former President Corazon C. “Cory” Aquino has been diagnosed with colon cancer. According to CNN, her daughter Kris announced that Aquino had undergone tests after suffering weight loss and other symptoms, and ABS-CBN reports that the Aquino family is hoping for the nation’s prayers.
Together with the late great and oh-so-terribly-missed Jaime Cardinal Sin, “Tita Cory” has been, as Ralph Guzman puts it, a “lasting icon of Philippine democracy”; for indeed, they were the twin pillars of the Centrist (Church-middle-class) alliance that, however weakened, even now guards authentic liberty in our country. With her persevering courage, born of prayer and piety, Aquino helped lead us of the Marcos kleptocracy amid coups and crises and the infighting within her coalition; and considering that Aquino for a time (1986-1987) had revolutionary powers exceeding even those of Marcos himself and yet did not abuse them, her example of self-control and liceity makes her a steadfast pillar of Philippine reformism.
Admittedly, the Aquino administration had its share of serious problems, but her achievements are too strongly buttressed by the facts of history to collapse from administrative or other imperfections. Even if she erred in Edsa Dos–as I think she did not (for there is nothing illicit in removing a corrupt leader who abused the Constitution, and the evil of the next one can be blamed on herself alone)–it was through sincere desire for reform and no other. This is indeed well-known to the Autocracy, hence its illegal effort to block Aquino from joining the protest of the ill-fated marines in Fort Bonifacio; for nothing else would have stopped her.
Therefore the news of her illness comes as a terrible shock. Corazon Aquino is a woman of faith and valor, a Philippine ashet chayil in the line of Deborah, Matilda and Dorothy Day who even now leads the cause of reform; she has earned not only our gratitude but our enduring love; and so the nation owes her all the prayer and support we can muster. Amid triumphs and hardships she has fought for us for over twenty years. Now the mater patriae weakens–naghihina na ang ating ina–and it’s our turn to fight for her.
Heavenly Father, with Christ Your Son and the Holy Spirit we worship and bless You as one God, and we thank you for helping our country through the effort and example of our leader Corazon Aquino. Help her now as she undergoes the affliction of illness. Give her the strength to overcome her suffering in spirit and, we hope and pray, in body. This we ask by the merits of Christ our Lord, Who freely suffered with us to give us new life. Amen.
Saint Peregrine, pray for Cory Aquino, to the greater glory of God!
Update (2355h): I finally watched the footage of Kris and Noynoy Aquino explaining the illness of their mother. And though I know of the medical probabilities–which, though dire, are not bereft of hope–, I still could hardly stop the tears as I watched the two siblings evidently struggle to maintain a dignified calm amid this terrible blow to their family. Whether or not they are uncrowned royalty (and a far worthier one than so many others that laid claim to that distinction), they are still, as Kris noted, a family like any other; and no child can ever stand seeing the sufferings of the same mother who dried his tears, kissed away her scrapes. It will literally feel like the ending of the world.
May God grant them all strength.
(For more on the background of Cory Aquino’s rise to prominence, please see also our related post “Remembering Ninoy Aquino, Part 2“. God bless us all.)