MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE 2) The world weeps with the family of President Corazon Aquino and the Filipino nation, as ambassadors from various countries sent their message of condolences following her passing.
The United States, which hosted the Aquino family during the exile of her husband during Marcos?s time, had three statements of condolences?from US State Secretary Hillary Clinton, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, and US Ambassador Kristie Kenney.
Clinton said, ?Cory Aquino was beloved by her nation and admired by the world for her extraordinary courage after the assassination of her husband, and later, during her service as president. She helped bring democracy back to the Philippines after many years of authoritarian rule with a faith in her country and its people that never wavered. Like millions of people worldwide, Bill and I were inspired by her quiet strength and her unshakable commitment to justice and freedom. We join the American and Filipino people in honoring her life and memory.?
Gibbs said, ?The President was deeply saddened by the death of former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino. Ms. Aquino played a crucial role in Philippines history, moving the country to democratic rule through her non-violent ?People Power? movement over twenty years ago. Her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation. On behalf of the American people, the President extends his deepest condolences to the Aquino family and the nation of the Philippines.?
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 former president. 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.?
EU President Jose Manuel Barroso made his expression of condolences formal by sending a note verbale to the Office of the Protocol of the Office of the President.
The Delegation of the European Commission to the Philippines was established during Aquino?s presidency, formally opening in May 1991, after her visit to Brussels two years before in 1989. 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. President Aquino has been recognized internationally for her contributions to human rights and political freedoms, values that Canada strongly shares with the Philippines. She will be sincerely missed by the international community, and people everywhere, including the 300,000
Canadians of Filipino origin.?
The Chinese embassy in Manila said: "The Philippines lost an inspiring statesman while China, in sharp grief, is bereaved of a sincere friend."
It said the former president, who traces her roots to China, made great efforts in developing China-Philippine friendly relations.
"Her vision would be remembered and her contribution would be long cherished by China and the Chinese people. May she rest in peace," it said in a statement.