False alarm on Aquino’s death
Posted July 24, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero, Maila Ager, Tina Santos
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 13:20:00 07/24/2009
Filed Under: Cory Aquino, Health
MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE 2) A text message that former President Corazon Aquino has died is circulating, but a daughter, a friend, and a staff member of her son Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III denied the story.
Toward the end of a mass for Aquino at the Manila city hall on Friday, former Supreme Court justice Adolf Azcuna was prompted by fellow Cabinet members of the former president to make the announcement after they all received a text message saying “Cory is dead.”
The announcement by the former presidential legal adviser caused churchgoers to break out into sobs.
Margie Juico, Aquino’s private secretary during her term, had just arrived when Azcuna made the announcement. She had just come from Makati Medical Center, where Aquino has been confined, and was surprised to hear about the news so she called up one of Aquino’s daughters Pinky, who told her that the news was not true.
“Please let us not make these untoward statements against Cory. She is still alive. Let us await word from the family. Let us respect that and let us all pray for her,” said Juico.
Azcuna apologized for the false alarm. “I made the announcement because they told me to do it after we all received the text. I phrased it this way: ‘We received word that Cory has died.’ But after the verification and the announcement of Ms. Juico, we are very glad that Cory is still alive and I call on all Filipinos to please pray for her,” he said.
The United Kingdom embassy, apparently receiving the same text message, issued a message of condolences to the Aquino family. It has since recalled its message.