Friday, July 24, 2009

'I Received the News of Corazon Aquino's Death With Great Sadness'

Oops. Just one problem. Corazon Aquino isn't dead.
BRITAIN was forced to retract a statement of condolence for former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, following false reports that the ailing 76-year-old had died.

Ms Aquino, who is suffering from colon cancer, is in hospital in "serious condition", her spokeswoman Lourdes Siytangco said, refuting the rumours that had quickly spread through the Philippines.

The statement from the British embassy in Manila quoted outgoing junior Foreign Office minister Lord Mark Malloch Brown as saying: "I received the news of Corazon Aquino's death with great sadness."

Malloch Brown, who advised Ms Aquino during her campaign for office, said working with her was "one of my life's greatest lessons in courage, leadership, the art of politics and humanity".

British Ambassador Peter Beckingham also praised Ms Aquino's "grace, charisma and compassion. The Philippines has lost a wonderful leader who is widely admired in Britain for her courage and inspiration".

But less than an hour later, the embassy withdraw the statement, saying: "Our deepest apologies, it appears the information we received was premature. Thank you very much for your understanding."

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