Former Philippine president Corazon Aquino is suffering from colon cancer and is in a hospital, her family said Monday.Aquino’s daughter Kris, a TV host and actress, read a statement on television saying the cancer was discovered when the former president went to have a check up.
A weeping Kris, with her brother, Senator Benigno Aquino III beside her, said their family is asking for “compassion and prayers for our Mom’s recovery”.
"Our mother had suffered from an episode of high blood pressure and difficulty in breathing followed by fever during the week in between Christmas and New Year. Since that time, we became concerned because of her consistent cough, loss of appetite and noticeable weight loss,” she said.
"Our mom wanted to know what was wrong with her, and with her family by her side, she submitted herself to a check-up and several tests. The results showed that our mother is suffering cancer of the colon," she added.
At the same time, she also asked that the former president “be accorded her privacy” during a “very difficult time for our family and, most especially our mother”.
“We’re saddened to hear the news about the condition of former president Cory Aquino,” Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said in Malacañang. “We join her family and the rest of the Filipino nation in praying that God give her strength during this time of adversity and we pray for her speedy recovery.”
However, Bunye admitted that President Gloria Arroyo has not yet been informed of Aquino’s condition. “I’m really sorry. We just have to pray that she’s not very, very serious,” Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.
Aquino, 74, widow of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., became president after a popular uprising ousted the dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Her husband was assassinated on his return the country from exile in 1983. The murder gave birth to the protest movement that eventually led to the downfall of the 14-year Marcos dictatorship.
Usually dressed in her trademark yellow in public, she has remained active in social and political causes. Most recently, she has been attending rallies calling for Arroyo's resignation.