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Benigno Aquino III (1960–2021), former president of the Philippines

by Linnea Crowther

Benigno Aquino III was the president of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016 and the son of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino (1933–2009).

Political family

Aquino’s father, Benigno Aquino Jr., was a senator in the Philippines before his exile under the Ferdinand Marcos regime. He was later assassinated, and in the wake of his death, Corazon Aquino mounted a successful challenge to Marcos and served as president from 1986 to 1992. In the wake of her 2009 death, Aquino, who presiously served as a representative and a senator, was urged to run for the office his mother had successfully held.


Aquino was elected president in 2010. He became widely known as “PNoy” or “Noynoy,” echoing his father’s nickname of “Ninoy.” He became the first president to deliver a State of the Union address in the prominent indigenous language of Tagalog. Aquino brought new economic growth to the Philippines, leading to the country being dubbed “The Rising Tiger of Asia.” But he also drew criticism for issues including a botched military raid on a terrorist group that resulted in the death of 44 special forces personnel. Aquino served a single six-year term as president


Aquino on his legacy

“The greatest has been a change in attitude among our people. In the period of 2010 and before that, the ultimate ambition [among Filipinos] was how to leave the country, that our country would never amount to anything, we can’t change anything. [Now there is] a preference to finding jobs here, as opposed to finding them abroad.” —from a 2016 interview with Time

Tributes to Benigno Aquino III

Full obituary: The New York Times

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