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Marcos seeks peace as Philippines mourns Aquino

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos Imelda Trinidad Romuáldez-Marcos (born July 2, 1929 in Manila) is a former First Lady and influential political figure in the Philippines. She is known as the "Steel Butterfly" and remains a controversial figure not only in her home country, but around the world.  said Monday she wanted a reconciliation with the family of Corazon Aquino Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (born January 25, 1933), widely known as 'Cory Aquino', was President of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992. She was the first female President of The Philippines. , as the ex-president's coffin was taken on a solemn procession through Manila.

Aquino, whose husband was assassinated as·sas·si·nate  
tr.v. as·sas·si·nat·ed, as·sas·si·nat·ing, as·sas·si·nates
1. To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons.

 by the forces of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralín Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was President of the Philippines from 1966 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives (1949-1959) and a member of the Philippine Senate (1959-1965).  after returning home from exile in 1983, died at the weekend following a battle with cancer.

"I can feel the pain, the loss of a loved one, so I am in prayer. If these two families reconciled, there will be a miracle for the Philippines," the former first lady said on television.

The Aquino family earlier said members of the Marcos family could attend the wake for the former president, who died Saturday at the age of 76, but should not expect a warm welcome.

The youngest of Aquino's children, Kristina Bernadette Aquino, thanked Marcos for offering Sunday prayers for her mother.

"I never thought the time would come (that I would say this), but thank you to the Marcoses for really praying for mum," she said.

Marcos's aides have said the former first lady or her children may attend Aquino's wake later Monday, although there were no concrete plans.

The comments came as preparations for Aquino's funeral on Wednesday gathered pace.

An open truck carrying her coffin and decorated with yellow flowers symbolising the "People Power" revolution that swept her to power started its three-hour procession through the streets of Manila.

Traffic was at a standstill while mourners threw yellow confetti and flowers onto the cortege as it passed through the capital on its way to Manila Cathedral The Manila Cathedral, also known as the minor basilica of the Immaculate Conception, was the seat of the Archbishop of Manila during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, and still remains the ecclesisastical seat of the Archdiocese of Manila. , where Aquino's body was to lie in state until her funeral.

Aquino will then be buried beside her husband, Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino.

Outside the cathedral around 1,000 policemen were setting up steel barricades to contain the thousands of people expected to gather there later.

Thousands braved heavy monsoon rains over the weekend to queue up Verb 1. queue up - form a queue, form a line, stand in line; "Customers lined up in front of the store"
queue, line up

stand, stand up - be standing; be upright; "We had to stand for the entire performance!"
 for hours to catch a glimpse Verb 1. catch a glimpse - see something for a brief time
catch sight, get a look

see - perceive by sight or have the power to perceive by sight; "You have to be a good observer to see all the details"; "Can you see the bird in that tree?"; "He is blind--he
 of the woman fondly referred to by the public as Tita, or Auntie, Cory, as she lay in state at a Manila high-school.

Mourners from all walks of life offered silent payers and recalled fond memories of the deeply religious woman who, even in death, wore her trademark yellow dress, and clutched a rosary with a golden cross.

Many wore pins and shirts with pictures of Aquino, whose death sparked tributes from around the world.

Among those who had visited her body was Wan Azizah Ismail, the wife of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (born August 10, 1947) is a former deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia. Early in his career, he became a protege of the former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohamad, but subsequently emerged as the most prominent critic of , who called Aquino a source of inspiration for Asian leaders.

East Timor East Timor (tē`môr) or Timor-Leste (–lĕsht), Tetum Timor Lorosae, republic, officially Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (2002 est. pop.  President Jose Ramos-Horta was also expected to view the coffin at the cathedral later Monday, friends and family said.

John Bolinao, 43, stood four hours late Sunday to see Aquino's body.

"I'm a fan of Cory. I identify with her heroism, that's why I am here to pay my last respects Noun 1. last respects - the act of expressing respect for someone who has died; "he paid his last respects by standing quietly at the graveside"
deference, respect - a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard; "his deference to her wishes was very
," said Bolinao, who joined the 1986 revolution when he was a 19-year-old student.

Patricia Patriarca meanwhile took a bus from out of town and arrived as heavy rain began to drench drench

1. to give medicines in liquid form by mouth and forcing the animal to drink. See also drenching.

2. medicines given as a drench.
 the crowd. "I am sad because she is gone, but happy that she is no longer in pain."

"I appreciate what she did for the poor like me," she said.

Reluctantly stepping into the shoes of her husband, Aquino in 1986 challenged Marcos in a presidential election that he won amid massive cheating.

A group of military officers subsequently turned against him, and Aquino called millions onto the streets to protect them from Marcos's troops.

This mushroomed into a massive street protest that eventually forced Marcos to flee to Hawaii, where he died in 1989.

Aquino's family rejected the offer of a state funeral from President Gloria Arroyo, who fell out with the former president over allegations of corruption in Arroyo's nine-year presidency.
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Publication:AFP Global Edition
Date:Aug 3, 2009
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