Born In: Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III was the 15th President of the Philippines. He was scion of a famous and influential political family of four generations. Servillano "Mianong" Aquino, his great-grandfather was a delegate of the ‘Malolos Congress’. Benigno Aquino, Sr, his grandfather was the speaker of the ‘House of Representatives’ of the Philippines while his father Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. was a Senator. His mother Corazon Aquino remained the 11th President of the country from 1986 to 1992. He resided in the US for a while with his family when they took self-exile but after his father’s assassination he went back to Philippines and worked in private organisations. His first political representation was from the 2nd district of Tarlac province in 1998, as an elected member of the ‘House of Representatives’. He represented the House for the next two terms and was barred in 2007, because of term restrictions. He served as a Senator of the 14th Congress. He served as the Secretary General and Vice President of the ‘Liberal Party’ for Luzon and also served as a Chairman of the party. He succeeded Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the 15th President of the country.
Nick Name: Noynoy Aquino, PNoy
Also Known As: Benigno
Died At Age: 61
father: Benigno Aquino Jr.
mother: Corazon Aquino
siblings: Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada, Kris Aquino, Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz
Born Country: Philippines
place of death: Quezon City, Philippines
City: Manila, Philippines
education: 1981 - Ateneo de Manila University
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He was born on February 8, 1960, in Sampaloc, Manila, in the family of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. and Corazon Cojuangco as their only son among five children. At that time his father was the Vice Governor of the province of Tarlac and later remained a Senator from 1967 to 1972. His mother became the 11th President of the country from 1986 to 1992.
He studied in Quezon City at the ‘Ateneo de Manila University’ starting from primary education till college studies and earned a bachelor degree in Economics in 1981.
His father was arrested on charges of subversion in September 1972, as he had emerged as a noted leader of opposition of the government of President Ferdinand Marcos. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. faced a military tribunal in August 1973, at the ‘Fort Bonifacio’.
From 1986-92, he remained the Vice President of his uncle, Antolin Oreta Jr’s company, ‘Intra-Strata Assurance Corporation’.
During tenure of his mother’s presidency, he encountered a brutal attack on August 28, 1987, when a treacherous military coup unsuccessfully tried to take over the ‘Malacañang Palace’. He was severely injured by five bullets while three of his four security personnel died.
In 1998, Benigno Aquino III was elected as a member of the ‘House of Representatives’ from the 2nd district of Tarlac province, a stint he continued for the next two terms as well.
From November 8, 2004, he served the House as the Deputy Speaker. However, he gave up the position in February 21, 2006, to join the ‘Liberal Party’ at a time when the Hello Garci scandal alleging President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of rigging the 2004 national election in Garci’s favour escalated. The ‘Liberal Party’ demanded resignation of the President.
He was unable to run for the 2007 election of the House because of term restrictions. He became a Senator after being elected during the midterm election held on May 15 that year. He represented ‘Genuine Opposition’, a coalition of several parties including the ‘Liberal Party’. The coalition sought to restrain President Arroyo’s attempts of altering the 1986 Philippine Constitution.
Benigno Aquino III was instrumental in filing several developmental and reformatory Senate bills, including the ‘Budget Impoundment and Control Act’ (SB 3121), ‘Preservation of Public Infrastructures bill’ (SB 2035) and the ‘Philippine National Police’ reform bill.
The ‘Noynoy Aquino for President Movement’ was formed by several lawyers and activists, including Edgardo "Eddie" Roces on August 27, 2009. A nationwide campaign was conducted by the group that garnered millions of signatures in favour of his presidency. Finally on September 9 Benigno Aquino III gave his nod for presidential candidature.
He refused to take oath of office under the Chief Justice (traditional practice) as he disapproved the midnight induction of Renato Corona as Chief Justice by outgoing President Arroyo. Following his request, he was sworn in as the 15th President of the country on June 30, 2010 by the ‘Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines’, Conchita Carpio-Morales.
He was the first president to choose the ‘Bahay Pangarap’ (meaning House of Dreams) situated in the ‘Malacañang Park’ as his presidential residence instead of the ‘Malacañang Palace’ which is the official residence of the President.
The no ‘wang-wang’ policy created by him to check use of blaring sirens was enforced by the ‘Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’ who seized any such device from public and private vehicles that were unauthorised to use them. Despite his authority, he chose not to use it himself and also continued to use his white Toyota Land Cruiser 200 instead of the official presidential vehicle, a black Mercedes Benz S-Guard limousine.
He executed several orders during his presidential term, including creating the ‘Truth Commission’, abatement of midnight appointments and revocation of ‘Executive Order No. 883’executed during the tenure of President Arroyo. Despite fear of facing excommunication from the Catholic Church, he backed the ‘Reproductive Health Bill’. He also signed order to follow October 2, 2010 as the ‘Nationwide Philhealth Registration Day’.
The Manila crisis occurred on August 23, 2010 when Rolando Mendoza, a discontented former police officer hijacked a tourist bus in Rizal Park, Manila. A gun battle followed that resulted in killing of Rolando and eight hostages while injuring others. Later ‘Proclamation No. 23’ was signed by Aquino instructing all Philippine institutions and embassies to observe August 25, 2010 as a national day of mourning.
In September 2010, he visited the US with his delegation. There a contract was signed with ‘Millennium Challenge Corporation’ that fetched his administration a fund of US$434-million for undertaking various programs including infrastructure development, generation of revenue and poverty control. He spoke at the 65th ‘United Nations General Assembly’ on September 24, held at New York City. At the time of the ‘2nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ held in New York City, he and the US President Barack Obama had a one to one talk.
Benigno Aquino III was a bachelor but had been in relationships. He had dated Shalani Soledad, Bernadette Sembrano, Liz Uy and Korina Sanchez. He was rumoured to be in a relationship with Pia Wurtzbach, a Filipino-German model.
He liked billiards and shooting and was also interested in video games. He was an enthusiast of history and loved music.
Benigno Aquino III died on June 24, 2021, of renal disease, secondary to diabetes. He was 61.
In 2013, he was included in the list of ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ by ‘TIME’.
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