FALSE ALARM: CORY AQUINO… DEAD?


FILE - In this file photo taken Sunday Aug. 17, 2008, cancer-stricken former Philippine President Corazon Aquino smiles to friends inside the church at the Ateneo de Manila University in suburban Quezon City, Philippines. Aquino has been admitted to a hospital in serious condition, her spokeswoman said Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

FILE - In this file photo taken Sunday Aug. 17, 2008, cancer-stricken former Philippine President Corazon Aquino smiles to friends inside the church at the Ateneo de Manila University in suburban Quezon City, Philippines. Aquino has been admitted to a hospital in serious condition, her spokeswoman said Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

Only Aquino family can issue statements on Cory’s condition
07/24/2009 | 04:16 PM

The Aquino family on Friday requested the public to ignore rumors circulating about ailing former president Corazon Aquino’s health amid false text messages saying the People Power icon has passed away.

“The Aquino family appreciates expressions of support form the public, but would like to request that only announcement from the five children and grandsons be given credence by the public and the media,” said the family statement read to reporters by Dr. Eric Nubla, head of patient relations at the Makati Medical Center where Mrs. Aquino has been staying since June 23.

“Any statement will come from them. Let’s respect what they (said). The fact that we’re doing a statement like this says a lot,” said Nubla.

Text messages falsely saying Mrs. Aquino has passed away made the rounds early Friday, with former Supreme Court justice Adolf Azcuna announcing the content of the message during a Mass for Mrs. Aquino.

The British Embassy in Manila also made a huge faux pas after sending to reporters a statement expressing condolences for the “death” of Mrs. Aquino, who is battling stage-4 colon cancer.

The Embassy issued an apology shortly after for the error.

“Our deepest apologies, it appears the information we received was premature,” the Embassy’s statement of apology read. “Thank you very much for your understanding.”

Mrs. Aquino, who became recognized worldwide as an icon of democracy after millions of people against the Marcos administration placed her in power during the 1986 EDSA revolution, earlier received prayers for her recovery from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pope Benedict XVI.

US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said she delivered Clinton’s personal letter to Mrs. Aquino’s family Thursday, and later attended a healing Mass for the 76-year-old democracy icon.

In Vatican City, the Pope expressed his “spiritual closeness” to Mrs. Aquino after learning of her condition from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, according to an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Web site.

Healing Masses led by Mrs. Aquino’s friends, colleagues, and supporters have since been held in various locations. – Aie See Balagtas with Jam Sisante, GMANews.TV