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MANILA, Philippines - Ailing Philippine democracy icon, former President Corazon Aquino attended a dinner Friday hosted by ex-President Joseph Estrada for Malaysian former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

"This is a coming together of icons of democracy," Estrada said in a statement.

He was referring to Aquino, Anwar and Datin Seri Wan Azizah, Anwar's wife who has been leading the opposition in Malaysia.

A press statement issued by the Estrada camp said that Aquino - who had been diagnosed with cancer - looked "quite strong and was in very jovial spirits."

Estrada and Aquino, who had arrived earlier with his son Senator Noynoy Aquino, greeted Anwar when he arrived at 7 p.m. sharp at Estrada's residence at No.1 Polk Street, North Greenhills.

Also on hand to greet the Malaysian leader were former Estrada Cabinet members who had met Anwar in the past, including Sec. Jose Pardo and Sec. Ben Diokno.

Also present were Senator Jinggoy Estrada, and to represent Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Sharif Kabunsuan Rep. Didagen Dilangalen and former Senator Santanina Rasul.

Dinner was an elaborate fine dining experience catered by French Corner Chef Billy King but the mood was very casual and pleasant. The dinner included lamb, roast beef, sea bass and lobster.

"It was truly a reunion between old friends," Estrada spokesperson Margaux Salcedo said of the event, "You could see it in their faces. They could've eaten tuyo and they would've been equally as happy with the occasion. They were just excited to see each other. They probably wanted to compare notes because they were both unjustifiably imprisoned, then now they are both released and the clamor for them both to make a comeback is so strong."

Datin Seri Wan Azizah also mentioned that this meeting is important to them because they had been wanting to visit Estrada when he was incarcerated but they were not allowed by the government to do so. - GMANews.TV

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