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Only a private celebration to mark Tita Cory’s birthday

THERE will be no official Malacañang event to mark the 83rd birth anniversary   of the late President Corazon C. Aquino today (Monday), according to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

However, her son, the current President Aquino will be joining his family in a private commemoration of his mother’s birthday, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief said Sunday. He did not elaborate.

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Asked if Mr. Aquino will visit his mother’s tomb at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City today or tomorrow, Coloma told the Inquirer that he had “no information.”

In a statement issued over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, the Palace official said “the Filipino nation pays homage to the memory of President Corazon Aquino,” whom he recalled “took on the leadership of the movement to restore democracy after the assassination of [her husband] Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. in 1983.”

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Ms Aquino “became president in the aftermath of the triumph of the Edsa People Power revolution following the failed snap elections in February 1986,” he noted.

Aftermath of Edsa

“As President, she moved decisively to restore and rebuild the democratic institutions that had been dismantled during the regime of the dictatorship since the imposition of martial rule in September 1972,” he said.

Coloma also cited the late president for her “steadfast dedication and commitment to democracy,” which was “highlighted by the conduct of credible elections and the peaceful hand over of power to a new president [Fidel V. Ramos] in June 1992.”

The PCOO chief, who briefly served as Presidential Management Staff head during the Corazon Aquino administration, described his former boss as an “effective leader,” from whom he “learned lots of lessons and good examples.”

Malacañang had earlier praised Ms Aquino—whom Filipinos called “Tita Cory”—for being the nation’s “moral compass.”

“As a widow dressed in yellow, her soft-spoken and honest dedication to the struggle to win back our democracy by peaceful means earned her the respect of an empowered nation and the international community,” it noted.

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Binay honors late president

Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay issued a statement honoring the late President, who died of colon cancer in 2009.

“President Corazon Aquino’s humility and selfless service inspired all of us in our fight to restore democracy and rebuild our nation,” he said.

“As we commemorate her birth on Jan. 25, let us continue to fight for the ideals she fought for—a government that truly cares for the people and a nation free from fear, hunger and poverty,” Binay, the opposition’s presidential candidate in the May elections, said.

Despite running and winning against Mar Roxas, President Aquino’s running mate in the 2010 elections, the controversial Binay dissociated himself from the Aquino administration last year when he resigned from the Cabinet and formally led the opposition.

Roxas and Binay are again running against each other in the May polls—this time in the presidential race.

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