Former Philippine leader Aquino passes away | world | Hindustan Times
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Former Philippine leader Aquino passes away

world Updated: Aug 01, 2009 09:08 IST

Former Philippine leader and democracy icon Corazon Aquino died on Saturday of cardiac arrest after battling colon cancer for more than a year, her son announced. She was 76.

"Our mother peacefully passed away at 3.18 am, August 1, 2009 of cardio-respiratory arrest," Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, said in a statement outside the Makati Medical Centre in Manila, where his mother had been hospitalised.

A close family friend, Boy Abunda, said funeral arrangements would be announced later in the day.

Presidential spokesman Cerge Remonde the government had declared a weeklong period of national mourning and would give Aquino a state funeral.

Aquino, the widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, was propelled into the spotlight in 1986, when she headed a massive "people power" movement that toppled late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

A former housewife who reluctantly became president, she went on to restore democracy in the Philippines and rewrite the country's constitution.

Until March last year, when she withdrew from public life after being diagnosed with colon cancer, she had been active in street protests denouncing corruption in the government.

More than a month ago, she was rushed into emergency medical care after she lost appetite and her weight fell dramatically.