Timeline: Events in the life of Cory Aquino

Research by Maria Althea Teves, abs-cbnNEWS.com/ Newsbreak

Posted at Jul 22 2009 02:00 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2009 03:55 AM

January 25 – Corazon “Cory” Cojuangco is born to into a wealthy, political family in Tarlac. She was the sixth of eight children (of whom two died in infancy) of Jose Cojuangco, a former congressman, and Demetria Sumulong Cojuangco, a pharmacist.

The Cojuangco family leaves for the United States and Cory enters Ravenhill Academy in Phildelphia, a sister school of Assumption Convent in Manila where she used to study. She later enrolls at the Notre Dame Convent School in New York where she finishes high school.

Cory returns to the Philippines and enrolls at the Far Eastern University to study law.

October 11 – Cory marries journalist and budding politician Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. She helps Ninoy campaign for Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac.

Ninoy becomes Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac.

November 1955
Cory gives birth to Maria Elena, the first of her five children.

Cory gives birth to her second daughter, Maria Corazon

Cory gives birth to her only son, Benigno III

Third daughter, Victoria Elisa, was born.

Youngest daughter, Kristina Bernadette(Kris) is born.

November 14 – The 1967 elections: Ninoy wins a seat in Senate. He is the only Liberal Party (LP) candidate to win a seat in the Nacionalista Party-filled Senate.

August 21 – LP’s proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda, Manila, is marred by a bomb explosion. Almost all LP Senatorial candidates are injured.

September 21 – Marcos declares Martial law after Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile was allegedly ambushed on Wack Wack Road, Mandaluyong September 22. On the same day, the military arrests people in the “Order of Battle” list. Among those in the list was then Senator Ninoy Aquino.

Ninoy suggested to Cory that she and the children leave for Australia but she refused.

Ninoy was detained for 7 years and 7 months, mostly in solitary confinement. At one point, when Cory’s visiting privileges were cancelled, she frantically made the rounds of people she thought could help her get permission to see Ninoy again. The Supreme Court was prevailed upon to request the military to allow Cory to see her husband for humanitarian reasons.

April 1975 to May 1975
Ninoy goes on hunger strike while in Prison. He stopped his hunger strike forty days later after being rushed to the intensive care unit. Cory was allowed to be with him all this time. She would feed him one or two tablespoons of baby food every two hours.

Cory finds herself in despair when a military tribunal sentences Ninoy to face the firing squad for subversion, illegal possession of firearms, and murder.

While awaiting execution, Ninoy was allowed to run in the 1978 election for a seat in the Interim National Assembly. Marcos’s wife Imelda led the ruling party in a 21-0 sweep in Metro Manila.

Cory accompanies Ninoy into exile in the United States, with Marcos’ permission, after he is diagnosed to have a serious heart condition.

August 13 – Ninoy leaves Boston, passing through Tokyo, then Singapore and Taipei.

August 19 – Ninoy flies to Taiwan via Hong and stays another day in Taipei.

August 21 – Ninoy boards China Airlines flight to Manila. He arrives 1:00 pm at the Manila International Airport. A group of soldiers fetch him from his plane seat onto the stairway leading to the tarmac. They block doorways to prevent media from covering the scene. Seconds later, a single shot is fired. Ninoy is assassinated. The assassination rouses opposition against the Marcos government.

November 3 – President Marcos announces that he is ready to call “snap election,” while being interviewed n the “David Brinkley Show.”

December 2 – The Sandiganbayan acquits Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver and all military personnel charged with Ninoy’s murder in 1983. On the same day, Marcos signs Cabinet Bill No. 7, formally setting the Snap elections to February 7, 1986.

2nd week of February – There is still no declared winner a week after the snap elections. The National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) figures show that Cory and her vice-presidential running Salvor “Doy” Laurel are consistently in the lead. NAMFREL’s final tabulation of Cory’s votes is of 7,853,070 and Laurel 7,441,313 votes. Marcos obtains 7,053,068 and Tolentino 6,613,307 votes.

But Commission on Elections (Comelec) tabulations show that Marcos is leading by 1.2 M votes.

Twenty-nine computer programmers, many of them women, walk out from the control center of the national canvassing office to protest the deliberate manipulation of the official election results to favor Ferdinand Marcos.

The administration dominated Batasan Pambansa declares Marcos as President-elect and Arturo Tolentino vice-president elect.

On the same day, Cory is similarly proclaimed president in a mammoth “People’s Victory Rally” at Rizal Park. Cory calls for a civil disobedience campaign. She urges followers to boycott certain banks, publications and corporations to bear pressure on Marcos to step down without bloodshed.

February 22 – Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos announces, through Radio Veritas, their withdrawal of support from the Marcos administration.

Thousands of people peacefully rally and pray along EDSA highway in what became known as the People Power Revolution.

February 25 – Marcos takes his oath of office before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino in Malacañang Palace, while Cory is inducted into office by Justice Claudio Teehankee at the Club Filipino, in San Juan. Marcos’ televised oath taking is cut short after rebel soldiers captured TV Channel 4. Macros and his family flee to Honolulu.


February 25 - Cory, in her inaugural address, issues her first edict: Proclamation No. 1 calling all appointive public officials to submit their courtesy resignations. In her speech, she proceeded to reorganize the government issuing Executive Order No. 1—appointing Cabinet ministers and task forces to help her run the government.

March 25 - One month after assuming the presidency, Cory issues Proclamation No. 3, proclaiming her government a “revolutionary government.” With this, she suspends the 1973 Constitution installed during martial law and promulgates a provisional “Freedom Constitution,” which vests legislative making powers on her, pending the enactment of the new constitution.

April 23 - Cory issues Proclamation No. 9 which provides for the creation of a constitutional commission (Concom) to draft a new charter “truly reflective of the ideals and aspirations of the Filipino People,” on or before September 2 of the same year. She appoints 48 men and women, led former justice Cecilia Muñoz Palma, to be members of the Concom.

May 1986 - The reorganized Supreme Court declared the Aquino government as “not merely a de facto government but in fact and in law a de jure government”, whose legitimacy had been affirmed by the community of nations.

September 18 – Cory makes a historic speech before the joint session of the US Congress. US Congress welcomes Aquino with a round of applause that lasts a little over two minutes. “Three years ago, I left America in grief to burry my husband Ninoy Aquino. I thought I had left it also to lay to rest his restless dream of Philippine freedom. Today I have returned as a President of a free people,” her speech began. (Watch the first part of her speech)

October 15 - Cory issues Executive Order 48: Creating an Ad Hoc Special Committee to supervise the liquidation of the affairs of the Constitutional Commission of 1986, preservation of its records, and to undertake its constitutional education campaign.

November 22 – A coup attempt originally scheduled November 11 is discovered by the Aquino government and is deliberately leaked to the Philippine Daily Inquirer—thwarting the plan and rescheduling it to November 22. On this day, the military is placed under red alert and rebel troops are blockaded leading them to return to the barracks. The coup attempt is called “God Save the Queen”

November 23 – Cory fires Defense Secretary Enrile and makes an overall Cabinet revamp. Intelligence reports claim that Defense Secretary Enrile and members of the Reform Armed Forces Movement (RAM) actively participated in the November 22 coup attempt. Ramos is Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

January – January issue of TIME Magazine names Cory 1986 Person of the Year.

January 22 – Seventeen farmer demonstrators are killed when shooting broke out on Mendiola bridge, near Malacañang Palace. The farmers were demanding for land reform.

January 27-29 – Another coup attempt arises under the leadership of Colonel Oscar Canlas, a hundred soldiers seize the main compound of GMA Network in Quezon City. Other troops attempt to capture Sangley Point Air Force Base, Cavite.

February – The new constitution is approved in a national plebiscite. The 1987 constitution restores the bicameral Congress that Marcos abolished in 1973.

May – The 1987 national elections for the newly restored Congress is held.

April 18 – Fifty six rebel soldiers raid the Fort Bonifacio in what became known as the The “Black Saturday” coup. The coup is repelled same morning but with one rebel soldier dead.

July – Cory cedes legislative powers to the newly restored bicameral Congress.

Meantime, a plot to stage another coup attempt against the Aquino administration through a military takeover of the Manila International Airport is discovered. Four officers involved in the plot are court-martialed.

August 13 – The Supreme Court responds positively to Enrile’s petition to be proclaimed as 24th Senator to the disappointment of Cory. The new Senate is filled with 22 pro-administration Senators, one opposition (Enrile) and then-film star Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

August 28 – Colonel Gregorio Honasan, former top aide to Enrile, leads rebel soldiers to launch an attack against Malacañang early morning. The siege is repelled within hours but with several military and civilian casualties. Cory’s only son, Noynoy is wounded during the siege.

Honasan leads soldiers seizing portions of Camp Aguinaldo, including Department of National Defense headquarters. Other rebel soldiers seized other parts of the Philippines: parts of Villamor Airbase, military camps in Pampanga and Cebu, Legaspi City airport and three television stations in Manila. However, at the end of the day, government troops are able to recapture most of the rebel-held facilities.

August 29 – The previous day’s coup ends leaving 53 people dead and over 200 wounded. Honasan evades capture while Enrile denies involvement in the coup.

November – Cory visits US President George Bush on the subject of negotiations over the US Bases in the country. Francisco Tatad writes a commentary in Newsday that Bush wanted a, “New, long-term security arrangement.”

On November 9, she opens United States trading in the First Philippine Fund Inc. She later spoke at a meeting of the United States Chamber of Commerce and the United States-Philippine Business Committee, where she urged American business to increase its investment in the Philippines.

December 1 – Colonel Gregorio Honasan and retired General Jose Ma. Zumel lead RAM and troops loyal to Marcos respectively to stage the most serious coup d’etat attempt in the Aquino administration. At the outset, the rebels seize parts of Camp Aguinaldo, Villamor Airbase, Fort Bonifacio, Mactan Airbase in Cebu and Sangley Airbase in Cavite. From Sangley Airbase, rebels launch planes and helicopters bombarding Camp Crame, Camp Aguinaldo and the Malacañang Palace.

December 3 – Government forces recapture all military bases but Mactan Airbase. Rebels retreat from Fort Bonifacio and then occupy high rise buildings along the Ayala business area in Makati.

December 7 – The December 3 occupation of buildings in Makati ends.

December 9 – Rebels surrender the Mactan Airbase. The coup ends and RAM is completely defeated. The official casualty toll: 99 dead (50 of which are civilians) and 570 wounded.

July 22 – President Aquino delivers her last State of the Nation Address stressing the need for clean elections in 1992, to pave the way for the first political succession by clean and peaceful elections since 1965.

September - The Philippine Senate discards a treaty that will allow a 10-year extension of the US Military bases in the country.

November – The US turns over Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

January – May – Cory supports then Armed Forces chief and now Defense Secretary Ramos. She calls the campaign “Steady Eddie.”


June 30 – Cory’s term as president of the Philippines ends. She is succeeded by Ramos, whose victory was largely aided by the “Cory factor.”

September 21 – Cory and Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin lead protests against Ramos’ attempts to change the constitution to be head of state, even beyond his term. Ramos’ charter change attempts do not continue.

January – May – Cory supports Alfredo Lim’s presidential bid for the May 1998 elections.

May – Lim does not win the elections. Sen. Estrada wins the presidential bid.

January 16 – Cory is among the first few thousand people in EDSA endorsing the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada. The gathering at EDSA is dubbed as “People Power II.”

January 19 – Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines withdraw their support for Estrada. Estrada calls for a Snap election on May 14, 2001 and says he will not run.

January 20 – Estrada and his family leave Malacañang Palace. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo takes over the presidential seat. Arroyo is the second woman President of the Republic of the Philipines.

August – During the “Jose Pidal” controversy involving first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo handling different bank accounts under the said name, Aquino gives a public message to President Arroyo: “I want to tell President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that I will continue to pray for her and I support her.”

June 30 – Arroyo is, once again, elected President of the Philippines.

October - Cory publicly opposes proposals for charter change in the Arroyo administration.

June 21 – Long time friend former Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin dies at age 76.

July 5 – Cory joins forces with four Roman Catholic Bishops to pay President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a visit to Malacañang Palace telling her to resign.

July 8 – In response to the President Arroyo’s apology for the “Hello Garci” scandal, the release of wiretapped conversations between President Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano about padding the 2004 presidential elections count, Cory holds a press conference calling asking President Arroyo to make “the supreme sacrifice” by resigning from office.

July 11 – Cory reiterates the call for Arroyo’s resignation.

October – Pulse Asia credits Cory as the least corrupt Philippine President. Only one percent of the respondents blame her for corruption.

November - Cory graces the cover of TIME Magazine’s Issue “60 Years of Asian Heroes.” She is an Asian Hero in the Nation Builders category.

February 17 – Cory attends a mass at La Salle Greenhills to show her support for Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, the “secret witness” who emerged early morning of February 7, implicating former Comelec chair Benjamin Abalos and First Gentleman in the anomalous National Broadband Network deal with China’s ZTE Corporation.

February 29 – Cory joins former President Estrada in an inter-faith rally calling for the resignation of President Arroyo at the Ayala business center in Makati.


March 24 - Cory’s children Noynoy Aquino, Ma. Elena Cruz, Aurora Corazon Abellada, Victoria Elisa Tee and Kristina Bernadette Yap (actress Kris Aquino) announce in a public statement that Cory, 75, is diagnosed with colon cancer. Her children ask for prayers and request to respect her privacy while undergoing treatment. Cory is confined in Makati Medical Center and starts her chemotherapy in the evening.

December 22 – Cory apologizes to former President Estrada for helping oust him in January 2001.

May 3 – Cory’s daughter Kris announces that her mother is set to undergo laparoscopic surgery to remove cancer cells from her colon after she passes medical tests.

May 4 – Cory undergoes laparoscopic surgery. Doctors start her pre-op procedure at 6:30 am. She is wheeled in to the operating room past 9 am.

May 9 – Kris Aquino announces that Cory’s laparoscopic surgery was a success. She adds that the doctors were able to remove all cancer cells from Cory’s colon.

June 22 – Cory is confined at Makati Medical Center due to lack of appetite.

June 30 – A 9-day healing mass for Cory is held at the Greenbelt Chapel in Makati City.

July 1 – Cory is moved out of the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center, according to staff of Sen. Noynoy Aquino.


Davide Commission Report, Philippine Presidents: 100 Years, President Aquino: Sainthood Postponed,

Website Sources: ABS-CBN News, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Probe TV, www.coryaquino.ph