Jo’s lung cancer won’t make Noy quit smoking, 29/06/11

President Aquino won’t quit smoking despite the lessons learned from Josephine “Jo” Martinez Ramos, second daughter of former President Fidel Ramos and wife Ming, who succumbed to lung cancer last Monday. “Not at this time. Not yet,” Aquino said in an interview when asked about the ex-president’s advice to smokers to kick the habit.

Aquino remained unfazed about the ill effects of smoking even after visiting Jo’s wake last Monday night at the Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque.


Aquino said he is not keen on kicking the habit even after Ramos attributed his daughter’s cancer to her heavy smoking for the past 25 years.

Jo was 54 when she died after battling lung cancer for about eight months.  At 51 years old, Aquino is also a heavy smoker.  Aquino was evasive when asked if Ramos was right in his assertion about the bad effects of smoking.

However, Aquino wondered if the disease can be “induced” by other factors such as stress, considering that the Ramoses and Aquinos occupied the presidency.  “Are there other (types of) stress that can induce (the disease)?” he asked.  In Aquino’s case, his family had experienced being in Malacañang when his mother Corazon Aquino was installed president after the 1986 people power uprising.

“I don’t feel right to comment on what Jo had to undergo,” he said. “I don’t want to cast judgment.”

Aquino asked if those who occupy Malacañang suffer the same amount of stress compared to their previous occupants.  Asked further if the Jo Ramos experience had an impact on his smoking, Aquino replied in the negative.  “Alam mo lahat naman may tadhana tayo (We each have our own destiny),” he said.
As far as his smoking is concerned, Aquino said he tries not to influence anybody with his habit and not to smoke in public “as much as possible.”

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