Cardinal Jaime Sin has retired from his position as head of the Roman Catholic church in the Philippines, the Vatican has confirmed.
Cardinal Sin turned 75 in August
Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation on Monday.
The cardinal - who will be remembered for leading peaceful revolts to depose two Philippine presidents - reached the retirement age of 75 last month.
Cardinal Sin said in a statement: "As I enter a new chapter in my twilight years, I can say with gratitude that I have given my very best to God and country.
"I beg pardon from those I might have led astray or hurt. Please remember me kindly."
Cardinal Sin has been Archbishop of Manila - and hence head of the Philippines' 65 million Roman Catholics - for nearly three decades.
He played an influential role in the "people power" uprising that led to the removal of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Marcos - accused of corruption and human rights violations - died in exile in
Hawaii in 1989.
Two years ago, Cardinal Sin took to the streets again, this time to lead protests against President Joseph Estrada, who was subsequently deposed.
Mr Estrada is now detained in a military hospital for the duration of his trial on corruption charges.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's spokesman, Ignacio Bunye, said Cardinal Sin had "guided our people through some of the most difficult periods in our history".
In recent years, the cardinal has suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and a kidney complaint.
The Pope has named Gaudencio B Rosales - the archbishop of nearby Lipa City - as Cardinal Sin's successor.