Four young women yesterday placed a placard on a growing mound of flowers, letters and candles outside the home of the late Philippine president Corazon Aquino and her son, senator Benigno Aquino III. The placard pleads with the senator to run for president next year because, 'you are the hope of the nation'. It is signed: 'Love, Janelle, Tricia, Isay, Ella.' The message was one of a growing number of calls for Aquino's son, plunged into the spotlight after his mother's death on Saturday, to follow in his mother's footsteps. A similar sentiment was posted by Herman Mapili on GMANews TV's Facebook page during Aquino's funeral procession on Wednesday. 'To Noynoy Aquino ... Sir, please run for presidency this coming 2010 election. We will support you. Please continue what your mother started.' 'Benigno Aquino III for president!!! Let's support, my countrymen,' Mr Mapili wrote. Senator Aquino's Liberal Party colleague, Congressman Rozzano Biazon, said he had received a barrage of text messages bearing similar sentiments this week. It was the work of 'evil minds [who] conceived of a plan to sow intrigue through text messages meant to drive a wedge between Cory's son Noynoy and the Liberal Party', he said, using the late president and senator's nicknames. The party had earlier said that its president, Senator Mar Roxas, would run in the presidential election. Benito Lim, a political science professor at Ateneo de Manila University, said he was not surprised Filipinos were touting Aquino's only son as a presidential contender. 'Almost 250,000 people went to her funeral. This morning, people brought yellow ribbons to Aquino's house on Times Street and a streamer - 'Noynoy for president',' he said. 'It's very clear they want him to ride on the popularity of his mother.' He said it was 'accepted practice' for children to inherit positions. He noted that Senator Aquino was not previously very popular because he stayed out of the spotlight. His mother had to campaign for him when he ran in the Senate race. Senator Aquino could be helped this time by his popular actress sister, Kris, who said during their mother's funeral mass that she and her brother had vowed 'to continue' their mother's work. Senator Aquino was commended by the presidential palace for his handling of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's attendance at the wake. The women had been at odds since 2005 when Aquino told Mrs Arroyo to resign over poll-rigging allegations. When he met Mrs Arroyo on Wednesday, Senator Aquino was civil and shook hands, despite earlier expressing distaste at the prospect of meeting her. 'The gesture was statesmanship of the highest order,' presidential spokesman Cerge Remonde said. The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted veteran congressman Roilo Golez as saying the younger Aquino could play a critical role in the polls. 'The way he conducted himself with dignity and in a very statesman-like manner, especially the way he received President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she visited the wake, he has elevated himself into a much, much higher level,' Mr Golez was reported as saying. Senator Aquino, 49, also scored points among civil rights groups when he rejected Imelda Marcos' reconciliation offer. He said the family had yet to make restitution for the excesses of the Marcos regime. Any drafting of Senator Aquino would be reminiscent of the way his mother was pressured by a group of citizens to run against Marcos in 1986. She told them she would only run if they gathered a million signatures - unpaid volunteers across the nation got 1.2 million signatures.