x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Philippine ex-premier Aquino 'seriously ill'

The cancer-stricken former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, who has been fighting stage-four colon cancer, taken to hospital.

The cancer-stricken former president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, has been admitted to a hospital in serious condition, her spokeswoman said Wednesday. The 76-year-old democracy icon was admitted to the intensive care unit last week after she stopped eating, the spokeswoman Deedee Sytangco said. Ms Aquino, who has been fighting stage-four colon cancer, was receiving nourishment in the hospital, Ms Sytangco said.

The former leader was "not very well", but was not in pain and had not been placed on life support, she said. Ms Aquino was diagnosed with the disease last year. She had been undergoing chemotherapy, but was no longer receiving treatment, Ms Sytangco said. "We hope that people will support her and pray for her," Ms Sytangco said. Ms Aquino was a humble homemaker propelled to politics by the 1983 assassination of her husband, opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino. She later led a peaceful uprising in 1986 that toppled late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and became a harbinger of non-violent protests around the world.

She stepped down in 1992 but remained active in social and political causes. Before her illness, she joined protest rallies calling for the resignation of the president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over allegations of vote-rigging and corruption. Members of her former cabinet and other supporters gathered today in a church near the hospital in Manila's financial district of Makati where Ms Aquino was admitted to offer prayers for her recovery.