Today in Philippine History, February 25, 1986, Corazon C. Aquino and Ferdinand E. Marcos were sworn in as Presidents of the Philippines

Saturday February 25, 2012 ()

On February 25, 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino was sworn in as President of the Philippines during ceremonies held at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Almost simultaneously, about an hour later, President Ferdinand E. Marcos was also sworn in before Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino in the Ceremonial Hall of the Malacañang Palace in Manila and broadcast live by IBC-13 and GMA-7 TV stations.

This day is often referred to as The Philippines' "longest day", as it started the day with virtually no president, had two presidents by noon, and one president just around midnight.

Corazon Aquino  inauguration
(Corazon Aquino, with her hand resting on a bible held by her late husband’s mother Doña Aurora Aquino, recites the presidential oath, administered by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee)

Prior to the EDSA "revolution", Cory was known as the self-proclaimed "plain housewife" of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., the popular opposition leader and staunchest critic of the Marcos administration who was assassinated on August 21, 1983 upon returning to the Philippines after his exile in the United States.

This tragic event united the then fragmented opposition against the authoritarian Marcos regime. It called for widowed Cory to enter into political arena against Marcos to run for President in a snap election on February 7, 1986.

President Ferdinand E. Marcos is sworn in by Chief Justice Aquino
(President Ferdinand E. Marcos is sworn in by Chief Justice Ramon C. Aquino in the Ceremonial Hall of the Malacañang Palace)

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared Marcos the victor of the Snap Elections, but the National Citizen's Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel), an election watchdog funded by the US government, said Aquino was the real winner.

At around midnight on advice of a US Senator, the Marcos family boarded a United States Air Force rescue helicopters and flew to Clark Air Base in Angeles City 83 kilometers north of Manila. The Marcoses and their servants then rode US Air Force DC-9 Medivac and C-141B planes to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, then flying to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. This gave way to the Aquino presidency.

Aquino finished her term on June 30, 1992 and returned to private life, although she remained active in the public eye, constantly voicing her views and opinions on pressing political issues in the country.

Marcos stayed in Hawaii until his death. He died of kidney, heart and lung ailments on September 28, 1989. Aquino died on August 1, 2009 of colon cancer at the age of 76.

Sources: Philippine News Agency archives
Wikipedia and other open sources


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