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Diplomats pay respects to Aquino

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 12:18:00 08/04/2009

Filed Under: Diplomacy, Cory Aquino

MANILA, Philippines ? (UPDATE 3) Members of the diplomatic community heaped praises on the late President Corazon Aquino during her wake at the Manila Cathedral on Tuesday.

?We will miss Tita Cory. All of us have lost a woman who stood bravely for freedom, unification and for bringing people together while her family lost a mother so my heart goes out to them,? United States Ambassador Kristie Kenney said, affectionately referring to Mrs. Aquino by her nickname.

?She was the beacon of democracy for this country and for the world. She was very much committed to helping those who are disadvantaged and her legacy remains. We're very sad for her family's loss but what she represents is an inspiration to the world,? said Stephen Anderson, country director for the United Nations World Food Program.

World bank country representative Bert Hoffman said that even in death, Aquino ?continues to be an inspiration for the Filipino people.?

Charge d'affaires Anita Van De Haar-Conijn, deputy head of mission of the Dutch Embassy, said Aquino was a global symbol for ?peace, revolutionary strength, not from military but from peace.?

Japan?s Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to visit the Philippine embassy in Japan to pay his last respects to Aquino, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Makato Katsura told reporters.

Katsura said he personally met Aquino when she was no longer President and found her ?devoted to democracy and very much interested in RP-Japan relations.?

He said Japan would always look up to Aquino for her role in restoring democracy from the clutches of dictatorship.

The envoy noted that Aquino visited Japan three times during her incumbency.

Chile?s Ambassador to the Philippines Ovid Harasich was also at the wake and hailed Aquino for her important role in bringing democracy back in the country. He said the people of Chile were saddened by Aquino?s demise.

On the last day of the wake, people continue to troop to the Manila Cathedral amid the alternating rain showers and sunshine.

Reports have said that the lines of mourners have reached a kilometer-long, blocking some streets in Intramuros.

Aquino died from complications of colon cancer on Saturday. She will be buried at the Manila Memorial Park on Wednesday, after the funeral mass set at 9 a.m.

With reports from Marjorie Gorospe


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