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Cory star shines once more on global stage

By Cynthia Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:36:00 08/05/2009

Filed Under: Cory Aquino, Foreign affairs & international relations

MANILA, Philippines?In death, President Corazon Aquino shines once more on the global stage, as the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Philippine missions around the world continue to receive tributes to the late icon of democracy.

In a message written in the book of condolences opened by the DFA in Manila, Finnish Ambassador Heikki Hannikainen said ?Cory Aquino set an example of courage and integrity that hopefully will inspire future generations of Filipino leaders.?

Swiss Ambassador Peter Sutter said Aquino ?conquered the hearts of the Swiss people? when she visited his country in June 1988. ?As champion of democracy, she will remain an inspiration to us all,? he said.

Outgoing British Ambassador Peter Beckingham said his country would miss Aquino?s dignity and charisma.

Ambassador Pieter Andries Vermeulen of South Africa said his country joined the Philippines and the world in mourning?and also in celebrating Aquino?s life as an icon of courage and democracy.

Brazilian Ambassador Alcides G.R. Prates offered his country?s condolences to Aquino family and the Filipino people.

Diplomats from Iran, Cuba, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Sweden, Thailand, Iraq, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and China, and the representative of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) also signed in the book.

The DFA said the book of condolences would remain open during office hours until Aug. 10.

Also Tuesday, the US Embassy in Manila said it would be closed on Wednesday following Malacañang?s declaration of Aug. 5, the day of Aquino?s burial, as a special nonworking holiday.

In Madrid, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Ana I. De Sequera-Ugarte and the Filipino community offered a mass for the late President at Nuestra Señora del Pino parish on Aug. 2.

In Seoul, former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung recounted to the Philippine Embassy how the 1986 People Power Revolution that catapulted Aquino to power inspired similar democratic movements worldwide, including his country?s own venture into democracy in 1987 following massive rallies.

In Hong Kong, a representative of the territory?s Chief Executive Donald Tsang went to the Philippine Consulate to write in the book of condolences.

In Sydney, Consul General Eva G. Betita reported that a Requiem Mass was held for Aquino, which gathered members of the Philippine-Australian Community of New South Wales.

The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday also carried a feature on the late Philippine leader.

In Kuala Lumpur, the Philippine Embassy said a number of Malaysians?private citizens and government officials?had called the mission to express their condolences and sympathies.



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