NewsWorldFormer Philippine President Benigno Aquino dies at 61

Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino dies at 61

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(CNN) – Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III died Thursday at the age of 61 after being hospitalized in Quezon City, state media reported.

Popularly known as “Noynoy,” Aquino was the country’s 15th president, serving from 2010 to 2016 after the death of his mother, former president and democracy icon Corazon Aquino.

He died at the Capitol Medical Center near the capital Manila, the Philippine News Agency reported.

Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, who was appointed by Aquino in 2012, confirmed the death in a statement, according to the ANP.

“With deep sadness I learned this morning of the death of former President Benigno S. Aquino,” he said. “It was an honor to have served with him. We will miss you”.

An economist by training, Aquino worked in the family sugar business before launching his political career in 1998. He served three terms as a congressman in the House of Representatives before becoming a senator in 2007.

He was the only child of the icons of popular democracy Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and former President Corazón. His father, a senator who opposed the government of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated in 1983 upon returning home from exile in the United States.

The assassination shocked the nation and helped remove Marcos from office in the 1986 “People’s Power” revolution, according to Reuters. In 1987, while her mother was president, rebels attacked her residence at the Malacanang Palace in Manila, and Aquino narrowly escaped death. Three of his escorts were killed and he received five bullets, one of which is still embedded in the neck.

His mother, who died in August 2009, was president from 1986 to 1992.

A month after his death, Benigno Aquino announced his candidacy for the presidency, saying that his mother’s supporters had urged him to make an offer and continue the fight started by his parents to promote democracy in the Philippines.

He won his election in 2010 overwhelmingly, convincing voters that he was morally fit for the job and would represent ordinary Filipinos.

However, his six-year tenure was marked by several crises, such as in 2015, when 44 police commandos were killed in a failed operation to capture a Malaysian militant suspected of being behind the 2002 Bali attacks.

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, devastated the central Philippines, killing more than 6,000 people and destroying towns and villages.

And a few months after his presidency in 2010, Aquino came under fire for his handling of a hostage crisis in Manila that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

Despite some progress in the fight against corruption, his image as «Mr. Clean ”was marred by scandals over the misuse of public funds by lawmakers that same year, according to Reuters.

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