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The Aquino Administration (1986-1992)

Corazon Aquino's statement into power marked the restoration of democracy in the country. She immediately formed a government to normalize the situation, and provided for a transitional constitution. A new permanent constitution was approved and enacted in February 1987. The new constitution crippled presidential power to declare martial law, proposed the creation of autonomous regions in the Cordilleras and Muslim Mindanao, and restored the presidential form of government and the bicameral Congress.

Under Aquino's presidency, progress was made in stimulating democratic institutions and respect for civil liberties. However, the administration was also viewed as weak and fractious, and a return to full political stability and economic development was hindered by several attempted coups staged by disaffected members of the Philippine military.

On June 12, 1991, Mount Pinatubo in Central Luzon erupted, after being inactive for over 600 years. It was the second-largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century and cooled global weather by 1.5°C. It left more than 700 people dead and 200,000 homeless.

In 1991, the Philippine Senate discarded a treaty that would have allowed a 10-year extension of the U.S. military bases in the country. The United States turned over Clark Air Base in Pampanga to the government in November, and Subic Bay Naval Base in Zambales in December 1992, ending almost a century of U.S. military presence in the Philippines.


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