Walesa: Cory made impact on Poland's democracy

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of Poland Lech Walesa on Sunday recognized the influence of the late Philippine President Corazon Aquino on his country's own fight for democracy. "For sure there were a lot of solutions which she [Cory] gave to us which we could also use in our own building up of democracy," Walesa said on the sidelines of the 9th Media Nation Summit in Tagaytay, where he spoke with the aid of a translator. Walesa, 69, also spoke of his admiration for the 1986 People Power revolution and its leader Cory, mother of the current president Benigno Aquino III. Walesa, along with Cory Aquino, Nelson Mandela, and only a few others, is considered one of the symbols of the democratization that swept the world in the late 20th century. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for leading a workers' movement against the communist regime. He was elected President of the Republic of Poland in 1990 and, during his term, saw Poland through privatization and its transition to a market economy. Walesa did not elaborate how Cory influenced Poland but said in his speech delivered before journalists at the summit that "in this world nothing happens by accident." "We always have an impact better or less. It's very difficult to measure what impact it did have," he said. Also part of his admiration of Cory stems from the Catholic wellspring of Aquino’s faith.

Walesa, as well as the majority of Poles, is a devout Catholic. Beautiful Philippines But in his speech, Walesa said there is still a lot to be "corrected" in the Philippines. "You can do much more here. I see your possibilities," he said. He specifically said that the country has "so many beautiful things which are not yet used." "How much beauty there is here... how beautiful the girls here. If I could be a little bit younger I'd stay here," he added with a laugh. He likewise said that in issues concerning the future of the country, the media plays a big role. "Media have the most important role in today's world. You have to provoke a discussion. So now media move a little bit," he said. After losing his re-election bid in 1995, Walesa established the Lech Walesa Institute, enabling him to remain active both on the international stage. — BM/HS, GMA News