Thursday, July 02, 2009

No more treatment for ex-Philippine leader Corazon Aquino: Report

Former President Corazon Aquino. Time Woman of the Year

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Corazon Aquino, who is battling colon cancer, has decided to forgo further chemotherapy or any other medical treatment, her spokeswoman was quoted Thursday as saying.

The 76-year-old Aquino, who led the Philippines from 1986 to 1992 after the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, was admitted to a Manila hospital last week, and is reportedly being fed intravenously.

"The country's icon of democracy is fighting the hardest battle of her life," spokeswoman Deedee Siytangco wrote in an article published in the Manila Bulletin.

Siytangco said Aquino had been moved to a private room, in a decision "she and her children made in consultation with her doctors." Family members have rushed to her bedside, she added.

"She is no longer receiving any chemotherapy or any other medical interventions," she said, quoting a family member.

Members of the Aquino family and the former president's doctors were not immediately available for comment. Reporters who converged at the hospital were asked to leave, an AFP photographer said.

Aquino has largely remained out of the public eye in recent months, with doctors fearing she may contract infections in her fragile state.

She had been undergoing chemotherapy and was previously hospitalized from March to May.

The murder of Aquino's husband, Benigno Aquino Jr., in 1983 led to widespread street protests that culminated three years later in the toppling of Marcos, who had ruled the Philippines for 20 years with an iron hand.

Aquino was installed as president shortly thereafter.

She is regarded as a symbol of the country's return to democracy, although her six-year term was marked by several bloody coup attempts.

Aquino is also known as a moral crusader after her term ended in 1992, she continued to fight for various causes, including anti-corruption efforts.

Aquino helped mobilize street protests against president Joseph Estrada, a self-confessed former womanizer and heavy drinker who was ousted in 2001.

She reconciled with Estrada last year, and both of them joined street protests against current President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose family has been accused of massive corruption. (AFP)

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