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Last updated at 11:45 BST, Tuesday, 04 August 2009

Former Philippine leader dies


3 August 2009

Thousands of mourners have been queuing for hours in the Philippine capital, Manila, to pay their respects to the former president, Corazon Aquino, who died on Saturday.


Brenda Marshall

Mourners watch as Aquino's body is taken through the streets of Manila

Mourners in the streets of Manila


Click to hear the report:


World leaders have paid tribute to the former Philippine president who played such an essential role in restoring democracy to her country. President Barack Obama spoke of Mrs Aquino's courage and moral leadership, and his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said Mrs Aquino had been an inspiration. China's president Hu Jintao described her as an outstanding leader.

Mrs Aquino was a devout Roman Catholic and Pope Benedict recalled her courageous commitment to the freedom of the Filipino people, her firm rejection of violence and intolerance, and her deep and unwavering faith. Among the mourners who filed past Mrs Aquino's coffin, was Wan Azizah, whose husband, the Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned for many years - as was Corazon Aquino's husband, Benigno.

The Philippine president, Gloria Arroyo, has announced that she'll cut short her current visit to the United States to pay her last respects to Mrs Aquino who will be buried on Wednesday, beside her late husband, whose assassination in 1983 sparked the popular revolt that led to the downfall of the authoritarian ruler, Ferdinand Marcos.

Brenda Marshall, BBC News, Philippines


Click to hear the vocabulary:


paid tribute to

praised someone (here, after their death)

restoring democracy

bringing back a system of government based on the belief in freedom and equality between people

moral leadership

ruling the country according to high standards of good behaviour, fairness and honesty

an inspiration

a person who gave others hope and encouragement


excellent, very good

her courageous commitment

her willingness to give her time and energy to something she believed in even though it put her life in danger

firm rejection

strong refusal to accept something (here, violence)

pay her last respects to

honour someone after their death

her late husband

her dead husband


refers to an event which started something especially an argument or fighting

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