MANILA, Philippines- Former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino resembles to Pope Francis, the current Pope of the Catholic Church, a comparison drawn by her spiritual mentor during the commemoration of her fourth death anniversary on Thursday afternoon at the Manila Memorial Park.
The former president’s spiritual adviser, Father Catalino Arevalo, depicted comparisons in his homily between the lives of the late democracy icon and Pope Francis. He narrated the simplicity and the brand of leadership of Cory which is believed to influence President Benigno Aquino III’s own style of governance.
“We remember Tita Cory for her austerity and simplicity, and she shares these virtues with our Blessed Pope,” said Arevalo.
Furthermore, Arevalo said the late president’s humble lifestyle is shown when she rejected the lavishness of Malacañang and chose the Arlegui Mansion as her official residence, just like that of Pope Francis.
“It’s similar to the Pope’s decision not to stay at the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, and instead live with the other clergy in the Domus Sta. Martha building,” Arevalo added.
The priest further recalled a time when the ailing president refused to have a Eucharistic celebration in her home so as not to “bother other people.”
The said commemoration was attended by PNoy and his sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abellada and Viel Aquino-Dee.
Also present on the event were the Cojuangco-Aquino clan, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Franklin Drilon, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada, MTRCB Chairman Toto Villareal, and Congresswoman Gina De Venecia, close family friends, colleagues and members of the Cabinet and Congress.
However, the former president’s youngest daughter, Kris Aquino, was not present as she is currently on travel to Israel.
Meanwhile, PNoy chose to wear a black shirt with a small yellow ribbon even if yellow was the predominant color at the gathering. He stood throughout the mass under a tree beside the grave of his parents to give way to the elderly in canes.
Dessa Ruth B. Reyes
Leyte Normal University