Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino, former Philippine president dies at 61

World | 24 Jun 2021 11:08 am

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the former Philippine president who oversaw the fastest period of growth since the 1970s and challenged China’s expansive territorial claims before a United Nations-backed tribunal, has died, Bloomberg reports. He was 61.

Aquino, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, was rushed to a hospital in Quezon City where he died after heart failure, the Manila Bulletin reported on Thursday, citing his family.

A bachelor with a weakness for cigarettes and computer games who had spent much of his life in the shadow of his parents -- icons of Philippine democracy -- Aquino had said he didn’t aspire to lead the nation.

His father, senator and opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., was jailed under the regime of Ferdinand Marcos and assassinated in 1983 upon his return from U.S. exile.

Three years later, his mother Corazon Aquino ran against Marcos in a snap election that led to the dictator’s ouster.

The 2009 death of Corazon, the first female president of Philippines, prompted calls for Aquino, then a senator, to run for the top post the following year.

“I didn’t have any ambition to be president,” he said in a 2013 interview with Bloomberg News. “It was fate. The people found me.”

Aquino was born on February 8, 1960, the only son among five children.

An economics graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University, he served as a congressman and senator. Prior to his public sector career, he worked as retail supervisor and promotions manager at Nike Inc.’s Philippine unit.


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