Photos: Former Filipino president Corazon Aquino dies

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  1. A sea of mourners crowd the cortege of former Philippine president Corazon Aquino as it passes along the main avenue of the financial district in Manila on Monday, Aug. 3, transferring her body to a cathedral. (Nat Garcia / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The children (L-R: Kris, Noynoy and Ballsy) of late former Philippine President Corazon Aquino sing the national anthem before their mother's casket at the Manila Cathedral August 3, 2009. Aquino ousted one of the 20th century's most corrupt dictators Ferdinand Marcos to become a global icon of democracy. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Catholic nuns encircle the casket of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Cathedral in Manila, Philippines, on Monday, Aug. 3. (Cheryl Ravelo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Filipinos offer candles as they pay tribute to former Philippines president Corazon Aquino at the foot of her late husband's Ninoy' statue in Makati's financial district, south of Manila, Philippines on Saturday, Aug. 1. (Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Supporters of former Philippines president Corazon Aquino pay their last respects during her wake in Manila, on Saturday, Aug. 1. (Jay Directo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Yellow confetti is thrown from above while Philippine military carry the coffin of the late Philippine President Corazon 'Cory' Aquino as family and loved ones walk from behind at the La Salle Greenhills highschool grounds in Mandaluyong City, east of Manila, Philippines on Saturday, Aug. 1. (Rolex Dela Pena / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. President Joseph Estrada (R) is joined by two former presidents, Corazon Aquino (C) and Fidel Ramos (L) as they release white doves as a symbol of peace during the 13th anniversary of the "people power" revolt on February 23, 1999, which ousted the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos from power. (Bert Maprangala / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. President Corazon Aquino, center, faces a crowd of more than a million in Rizal Park in Manila on March 2, 1986, holding a proclamation restoring the right of habeas corpus. (Sadayuki Mikami / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Corazon Aquino shows the Laban fight sign as she leads her followers in Bayan Ko on February 25, 1986, after she was proclaimed President of the Philippines in ceremonies. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Philippines opposition presidential candidate Corazon Aquino (L) and running mate Salvador Laurel flashing the thumbs down in front of a Marcos concrete bust in Pugo on January 3, 1986. (Romeo Gacad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Corazon Aquino, 52, widow of Philippines opposition leader Benigno Aquino, distributes food and sugar to workers during her visit to the families of some 20 peasants and bus drivers killed by military gunfire in Escalante town at the depressed sugar-producing province of Negros September 28, 1985. (Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Former Philippine leader and democracy icon Corazon Aquino, second from left, the wife of the slain opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., along with some 2,000 Philippino women, students, teachers, professionals and nuns marching to the official residence of President Ferdinand Marcos to hold a sit-in demonstration to protest against his 20-year rule during the International women's day on March 8, 1985. (Romeo Gacad / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The body of Filipino Sen. Benigno Aquino, foreground center, lies on the ground next to the body of his assassin, left, as security officers of the Manila International Airport take cover on Aug. 21, 1983. Corazon Aquino's unlikely rise began when her husband, opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., was assassinated on the tarmac of Manila's international airport as he returned from exile in the United States to challenge Ferdinand Marcos, his longtime adversary. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Former Philippine President Corazon "Cory" Aquino, left, and her assassinated husband Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. look on during his rebellion trial before a military commission. Aquino, who swept away a dictator with a "people power" revolt and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years, died on Saturday, Aug. 1, after a battle with colon cancer. She was 76. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 8/3/2009 12:15:32 PM ET 2009-08-03T16:15:32

Masses of mourners chanted the name of former President Corazon Aquino as her body was escorted through the Philippine capital's rain-soaked streets Monday.

The five-hour funeral procession, slowed by mobs of followers, traced some of the same streets where hundreds of thousands of protesters — inspired by the woman in a yellow dress — faced down army tanks 23 years ago and ousted a dictator.

On Monday, tens of thousands left their offices, schools and homes and converged on streets and overpasses, clutching clumps of yellow balloons, waving yellow ribbons and showering confetti on Aquino's flag-draped casket, carried on a flatbed truck bedecked with flowers. Yellow was the symbol of the nonviolent mass "people power" uprising that forced Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986.

As rays of sunshine broke through the clouds, a man on a bicycle released four doves. Manila's notorious traffic came to a standstill as drivers rolled down windows and put out their hands flashing Aquino's trademark "L" sign for "laban," or "fight" in Filipino, her slogan in the campaign that toppled Marcos' 20-year repressive rule.

'You're Not Alone'
Many of the mourners — nuns, priests, students, wealthy residents and their uniformed maids — wore yellow, Aquino's favored color. Huge banners displayed "Thank You Corazon Aquino" and "You're Not Alone" — an Aquino slogan from the 1986 revolt.

Aquino died early Saturday at a Manila hospital after a yearlong battle with colon cancer. She was 76.

From a school stadium where the casket had been open for public viewing since her death Saturday, the motorcade passed by a "people power" shrine on EDSA highway, where hundreds of thousands of her supporters blocked Marcos' tanks in 1986.

Along Ayala Avenue, where Aquino led many pro-democracy marches, employees from high rises rained yellow confetti on the crowds below — reminiscent of the anti-Marcos protests that Aquino led.

"I have not seen a crowd like this," said Franklin Drilon, Aquino's former Cabinet aide. "The people here are very enthusiastic, people in sandals, people in coat and tie, young and old with babies, they're coming out waving."

Instead of the usual stock figures, the Philippine Stock Exchange's streetside neon screen flashed Aquino's favorite nickname with her portrait and a message: "Goodbye Cory and Thank You So Much Cory."

The funeral convoy briefly stopped at a monument to Aquino's assassinated husband, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

"I'm looking out the window now, and I see women crying," said daughter Kris Aquino. "I really just appreciate the love. Everybody's saying thank you to us for sharing my mom."

After driving across the congested capital for nearly five hours, Aquino's funeral convoy reached the Manila Cathedral, where her children, former Cabinet members and fellow pro-democracy activists gathered for a Mass.

Her body will lie in state for public viewing until Wednesday's funeral.

Husband's assassination
Aquino rose to prominence after the 1983 assassination of her husband upon his return from U.S. exile to challenge Marcos. She later led the largest funeral procession Manila had ever seen, with crowd estimates as high as 2 million, and emerged as a leader of a broad-based opposition movement.

Obit Philippines Corazon Aquino
David Longstreath  /  AP
Former President Corazon Aquino and son Rep. Benigno Aquino Jr. , right, talk with police and others outside a standoff at the Philippines Marines Headquarters in Manila on Feb. 26, 2006.
Marcos claimed victory over Aquino in a snap 1986 election, but the polls were widely seen as fraudulent. A group of military officers rebelled against him, triggering three days of "people power" protests by hundreds of thousands that finally toppled Marcos.

In office, Aquino struggled to meet high public expectations. Her land redistribution program fell short of ending economic domination by the landed elite. Her leadership, especially in social and economic reform, was often indecisive, leaving many of her closest allies disillusioned by the end of her term.

Still, the bespectacled, smiling woman remained beloved in the Philippines, where she was affectionately referred to as "Tita (Auntie) Cory."

She stepped down in 1992 after serving for six years.

State funeral turned down
Aquino will be buried beside her husband in a private funeral Wednesday.

Her youngest daughter Kris thanked the Marcos family in a rare conciliatory gesture and said her mother had forgiven all her political enemies.

Nevertheless, Kris Aquino said her family refused President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's offer of a state funeral because the government had attempted to recall two soldiers assigned to guard her mother when she was still alive. Former Philippine presidents traditionally have the right to retain at least two guards.

Aquino's only son, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, said the family would not be too enthusiastic to see Arroyo at the funeral but she could pay her respects.

Months before she was diagnosed with cancer, Aquino joined street protests organized amid opposition fears that Arroyo could amend the country's 1987 constitution to lift term limits or impose martial law to stay in power when her term ends next year. Arroyo has said she has no desire to extend her term.

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