Corazon C. Aquino, with her hand resting on a bible held by her late husband’s mother Doña Aurora Aquino, recites the presidential oath, administered by Supreme Court Senior Justice Claudio Teehankee on February 25, 1986. Aquino was the first female president in Asia, and as leader of the "People Power Revolution," helped end 21 years of dictatorship in the Philippines.
Photograph courtesy Malacañang Palace Archives

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  • On February 25, 1986, the “People Power” Revolution in the Philippines ended with the swearing-in of Corazon Aquino as the country’s president. Aquino was not only the first female president in the Philippines, she was the first female president in all of Asia. Her presidency ended 21 years of dictatorship in the Philippines, and established a democratic political tradition in the island nation. 
     
    The United States had supported Ferdinand Marcos, leader of the Philippines, since he declared martial law in 1972. In 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated, and a long series of protests began in the Philippines. Protesters demanded greater democracy and freedom. This was the “People Power Revolution” led by Benigno Aquino’s widow, Corazon.
     
    The U.S. withdrew support for Marcos after contested elections in 1986. Three days later, Corazon Aquino was sworn in as president. 
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    assassinate Verb

    to murder someone of political importance.

    democracy Noun

    system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

    dictator Noun

    person with complete control of a government.

    election Noun

    selection of people to public office by vote.

    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    martial law Noun

    legal system established and enforced by the military.

    political Adjective

    having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

    protest noun, verb

    demonstration against a policy or action.

    revolution Noun

    overthrow or total change of government.