Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006

Corazon Aquino: 1986

In 1986, Aquino became the first woman to be president of the Philippines, and for that TIME named her its Woman of the Year. A reluctant presidential candidate at the outset, Mrs. Aquino overcame the government's electoral intimidation and rampant fraud to be proclaimed the winner when the populace took to the streets and the defection of Marcos' own associates forced him to flee the country.

"Whatever else happens in her rule," said TIME, "Aquino has already given her country a bright, and inviolate, memory. More important, she has also resuscitated its sense of identity and pride." Despite repeated coup attempts and a mixed record of success, Corazon Aquino remained in office for more than six years. She was succeeded as president by longtime supporter Fidel Ramos when she did not seek reelection in 1992, and she retains her popularity with the Filipino people.

Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center