US envoy during EDSA revolt dies
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippines on Wednesday, January 6, mourned the death of Stephen Bosworth, US ambassador to the Philippines during the peaceful People Power Revolution in 1986. He was 76.
President Benigno Aquino III expressed sadness over the death of Bosworth, and conveyed the Filipino people’s condolences to the family of the Philippines’ “enduring friend.”
Bosworth served as US ambassador to the Philippines from 1984 to 1987.
His posting covered the last years of the presidency of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. He also witnessed the rise to power of the incumbent President’s mother, Corazon Aquino, after the People Power Revolution along the iconic EDSA highway in February 1986.
“It is with a deep sense of loss that I pay tribute to former Ambassador Stephen W. Bosworth, a man who was not only an able and honorable envoy of his country, but a man who proved to be an enduring friend of the Filipino people and our democratic way of life,” Aquino said in a statement on Thursday, January 7.
Aquino said his mother "found Bosworth to be a diplomat who went above and beyond the call of duty to understand and support the aspirations of our countrymen.”
“Serving as US Ambassador to the Philippines, he made it possible for his fellow citizens and the rest of the world to see the true condition of our country, while actively engaging Mr Marcos to help him realize the consequences of his administration’s actions,” the President said.
He added that “at the most crucial moments, Ambassador Bosworth served as an active broker and advocate, one who truly contributed to the reclamation of our liberty.”
“Through his unwavering commitment to our shared values, he earned the trust and confidence of a nation yearning to breathe free,” Aquino said.
Aquino, who met with Bosworth during his US visit in September 2014, said that Bosworth would have welcomed the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution in February.
“His passing is a reminder that the freedom we regained to the acclamation and admiration of the world is a gift that a new generation of Filipinos must carefully nurture, protect, and even expand,” the President said.
‘Unique brand of diplomacy’
Philippine Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Bosworth "proved to be an honorable representative not just of his country’s interests but of the spirit of the times: one that embraced the toppling of tyrants throughout the world and the ‘restoration of democracy by the ways of democracy,’ as former president Corazon C Aquino so memorably expressed it."
“In his dealings with the democratic opposition to the dictatorship, he proved to be an understanding and sympathetic envoy,” he said.
Lacierda said Bosworth’s death “marks the loss of one more important figure in the history of people power, as we prepare to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.”
His death came after another icon of the People Power Revolution, long-time Philippine Daily Inquirer editor-in-chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, died at 74.
In another statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Bosworth also served as a US diplomat in the Republic of Korea and Tunisia.
Kerry said he has known Bosworth “since the mid-1980s,” when he was a young senator and Bosworth was a young diplomat.
“We were trying to help restore democracy in the Philippines, and Stephen wound up playing a key role in that historic transition,” he said.
Kerry added: “Steve’s unique brand of diplomacy blended the gravitas of a statesman and the timing of a comedian. He was an unfailingly genuine and nice person, a straightforward man who was quick with a kind comment or a self-deprecating joke.”
Bosworth was one of the US' “most capable and admired diplomats,” Kerry said. – Rappler.com