Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Cardinal Jaime Sin, the former archbishop of Manila who played a pivotal role in the ousting of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, died in hospital on Tuesday morning, church officials said. He was 77 years old and had been suffering from a kidney ailment. He has been sick for a long time. His illness prevented him to join in the conclave for the election of Benedict XVI.
"Jaime Cardinal Sin, archbishop emeritus, died early this morning," Sin's spokeswoman, Peachy Yamsuan, told reporters. Radio Veritas, the main Roman Catholic radio station played hymns to mourn Sin, who retired in 2003. In February 1986, Sin rallied a million people to form human barricades on Manila's main highway and protect a puny band of 300 army rebels against advancing Marcos tanks. His radio broadcasts in support of mutineers ignited the now legendary "People Power" revolt, or "The Rosary revolution" that drove Marcos into exile and swept political novice Corazon Aquino to the presidency. He has been one of the few Vatican personalitity having visited China, the country of origin of his family.