Benigno Simeon Aquino III
|Political Party:||Liberal (1998 to date)|
|Born:|| February 8, 1960|
To read this page in Filipino, please see Benigno Aquino III.
Benigno Simeón Cojuangco Aquino III (born February 8, 1960) is the 15th President of the Philippines. He is the son of Benigno Aquino Jr., a former senator and Marcos critic and Corazon Aquino, a former Philippine president. He was a Senator during the 14th Congress of the Philippines, and a Representative of the 2nd District of the province of Tarlac to the 11th, 12th, and 13th Congress of the Philippines (1998-2007).
Early life and education
Noynoy, as he is fondly called, was born in Manila to a clan of politicians. He is the only son of Benigno Aquino, Jr. and former President Corazon C. Aquino. He has four other siblings, Kristina Bernadette, Maria Elena, Aurora Corazon and Victoria Eliza.
He completed his elementary, secondary, and college education at the Ateneo de Manila University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Economics in 1981.
After graduation, he joined his family in Boston in exile. He became a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress in 1983. He also worked humbly as a retail sales supervisor for Nike Shoes and as an assistant for advertising and promotion for Mondragon Philippines, both in 1985 to 1986.
In 1986, he joined Intra-Strata Assurance Corp. as vice-president of the family-owned corporation. He also was the vice president and treasurer for Best Security Agency Corporation from 1986 to 1993 and served as executive assistant for administration (1993-1996) and fields service manager (1996-1998) for Central Azucarera Tarlac.
On 28 August 1987, eighteen months into the presidency of Corazon Aquino, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan staged a coup d'etat in an attempt to siege Malacañang Palace. Noynoy was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of his four security escorts were killed. The last was wounded while protecting him. Aquino was hit by five bullets, fragments of a bullet are still lodged in his neck.
House of Representatives
He is a member of the Liberal Party, the banner of the political opposition. He is its Vice Chairman, having assumed the post on 17 March 2006. He was previously Secretary General of the party (1999-2002), Vice-President of the Luzon Liberal Party (2002-2004), and Secretary General of the party (2004-16 March 2006).
He ran for congressman in 1998 and served as Representative of the 2nd District of Tarlac until 2007. He also served as Deputy Speaker from 8 November 2004 to 21 February 2006. He relinquished his post after calling for the resignation of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when the Hello Garci Scandal was exposed.
During his term as a Representative, he served on the following committees:
- 13th Congress
- Banks & Financial Intermediaries
- Export Promotion
- Public Order & Safety
- 12th Congress
- Political & Human Rights
- Good Government
- Public Order & Security
- Inter-Parliamentary Relations & Diplomacy
- 11th Congress
- Political & Human Rights (Vice-Chairman)
- Public Order & Security
- Transportation & Communications
- Banks & Financial Intermediaries
- Peoples’ Participation
- Suffrage and Electoral Reforms
- Natural Resources
- Trade & Industry
Selected House Bills and Resolutions
- House Bill No. 4251: Grants annual productivity incentives to all workers in the private sector
- House Bill No. 4397: Strengthens the regulatory power of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to effectively enforce consumer laws
- House Bill No. 4252: Increases the penalties for non-compliance of the prescribed increases and adjustments in the wage rates of workers
- House Bill No. 3616: Extends the reglementary period for the educational qualification for PNP members
- House Bill No. 1842: Provides for the codification of criminal laws
- House Resolution No. 65: Inquires in aid of legislation into the policies and processes of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in granting rate increases to electric utilities
- House Resolution No. 788: Creates a select Congressional Oversight Committee on intelligence funds to check and study the use of intelligence funds by government agencies to ensure that funds allocated therefor are utilized for the purpose they are intended
He was then elected as Senator in the 2007 midterm elections under the Genuine Opposition, a coalition comprising a number of parties, including his own Liberal Party. With more than 14.3 million votes, Aquino's tally was the sixth highest of the 37 candidates for the 12 vacant seats elected from the nation at large. He assumed his new office on 30 June 2007.
As a Senator, he made sure that the accountability processes in the government were at work. He studied the General Appropriations Act of 2009 and proposed key amendments to make sure that public funds were spent wisely. He also participated in investigations on the abuses of government officials and fought for justice for victims of human rights violations.
As the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Local Government, he introduced amendments to the Cooperative Code to make it more responsive to the needs of the people.
Among his proposed measures were:
- Senate Bill 2035: Seeks to raise standards in the construction of all public infrastructures by penalizing contractors of defective infrastructure
- Senate Bill 2160: Seeks the amendment of Government Procurement Act
2010 presidential bid
A member of the Liberal Party from 1998 to present, Aquino served as the party's secretary general and vice-chairman.
After the death of his mother, Corazon Aquino on 1 August 2009, Noynoy was pegged to run for president in the 2010 Elections. Aquino was uncertain if he would run for the presidency and went to the Carmelite Convent in Zamboanga on 4 September 2009 for a few days of spiritual retreat. He said he wanted to be enlightened before making a decision. According to Aquino, three factors would influence his decision on running for president: his ability to guarantee that there will really be meaningful changes for society and the country, the availability of logistics for his electoral campaign, and the sentiments of his four sisters on his presidential bid.<ref name="gmanews"> Mar gives way to Noynoy as Liberal Party standard bearer</ref>
On 8 September 2009, at a press conference organized by the Liberal Party held in Club Filipino, LP President Mar Roxas gave way to Aquino to become the standard bearer of LP.
Aquino came back after his retreat and made the announcement of his bid for presidency on 9 September 2009 at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. On 28 November 2009, Aquino filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) along with Roxas as his vice president, under the Liberal Party banner.
According to a Special Survey by the Social Weather Stations conducted from 5 to 6 September 2009 in the National Capital Region (NCR), Pangasinan province, Central Luzon (Region 3), and in some parts of Southern Tagalog (Region 4-A), Aquino was preferred by 50% of the 1,200 respondents from a pre-selected list of presidential candidates.
On another survey conducted by SWS from 4 to 8 November 2009, Aquino was named by 59% of the sample population as the top three best leaders to succeed Gloria Arroyo.
He also held a wide margin in the 8 to 10 December 2009 survey conducted by Pulse Asia among 1,800 respondents in a nationwide pre-election survey, with 45% while top presidential rival Manny Villar received 23%. However, the gap was closed in the 22 to 26 January 2010 survey that yielded neck-and-neck results, 37% of the 1,800 respondents favored Aquino while 35% chose Villar.
In April 2010, a document containing a psychological evaluation on Aquino's mental health leaked to the public. Allegations of the leakage of the document, conducted in 1996 under the Department of Psychology of Ateneo de Manila, were pointed at the Nacionalista Party. NP's standard bearer, Manny Villar, denied the allegations and challenged Aquino to take a psychiatric test and other medical evaluations to prove his sanity and fitness to become President.
Senator Chiz Escudero, a former presidential candidate aspirant, announced his support for Aquino and Jejomar Binay, causing a stir among Aquino-Roxas supporters.
In May 2010 Aquino admitted that he had been meeting with Iglesia ni Cristo Minister Eduardo Manalo and was also hoping to get an endorsement from Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of Kingdom of Jesus Christ who later supported Aquino's presidential rival and cousin, Gilbert Teodoro.
A few days after the elections, leading presidential candidate, Noynoy Aquino said that he would rather take oath in before a baranggay chairman. Aquino refused to recognize Gloria Arroyo's appointed Supreme Court Chief, Renato Corona.
Aquino's platform was grounded on the legacy that his parents left to the Filipinos: democracy and democratic process, which he aims to preserve by maintaining transparency, personal and institutional integrity, honesty, and good governance. He also campaigned for transformational leadership, government service, gender equality, peace and order, and environment protection.
In a forum with Blogwatch.ph members on 6 February 2010, Aquino elaborated on his plans for the country should he win the presidency, highlighting the importance of job generation, especially among the youth, and health and judicial reform.
On 9 June 2010, Aquino was officially declared as the winner of the May 2010 Elections after 9 days of canvassing done by the National Board of Canvassers. Aquino garnered a total of 15,208,678 votes against former president Joseph Estrada who got 9,487,837. Aquino received 298,217 votes in Manila. The other provinces where Aquino led are Cebu, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, Negros Oriental, Camarines Norte, Zambales, Iloilo, Batanes, Agusan del Sur, Romblon, Taguig-Pateros, Eastern Samar, Bacolod, Mt. Province, Lanao del Sur, Pasig City, and Valenzuela City.
- The first bachelor president.
- The second president to have studied in the Ateneo de Manila University, the other being Joseph Estrada.
- The only president who is the third of his name.
- The fourth president who was not sworn in by a chief justice. He was sworn in by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.
- The sixth president to have been elected to a six-year term. The other five were Manuel L. Quezon (1935), Corazon Aquino (1986), Fidel V. Ramos (1992), Joseph Ejercito Estrada (1998), and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2004).
- The seventh president to be inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand.
- The eighth president to receive an honorary degree from Fordham University, the Jesuit University of New York.
- The tenth senator to become president.
- The fourth-youngest president after Emilio Aguinaldo, Ramon Magsaysay, and Ferdinand Marcos.
- The second president to be a child of a former president.
To see the reports on the status of the nation under his term, please see:
- State of the Nation Address 2011
- State of the Nation Address 2012
- State of the Nation Address 2013
- State of the Nation Address 2014
- Former Chair, Pacific Asia Network
- Former Chair, Philippine Cooperative Center
- Former Chair, National Cooperative Movement
- Former National President, Philippine Jaycees
- Chair, August Twenty-One Movement
- Member, Philippine Business for Social Progress, 1983–1984
- Field Services Manager, Central Azucarera de Tarlac
Noynoy Aquino has been rumored to have had past relationships with Korina Sanchez, broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano and actress Diana Zubiri. At age 50, Aquino was in a relationship with Valenzuela councilor and TV host Shalani Soledad, but the couple ended their relationship in November 2010. After the breakup, Aquino reportedly admitted that he has been dating his personal stylist, Liz Uy, but both him an Uy denied any romantic relationship between them.
Aquino enjoys shooting and playing billiards. He is also an audiophile and loves listening to jazz, bossa nova, and Original Pilipino Music (OPM). One of his favorite Filipino artists, is singer-composer Noel Cabangon.
Honours and Awards
- Honorary doctoral degree in Economics, Fordham University
- Honorary doctoral degree in Economics, Centro Escolar University
- Honorary doctoral degree in Economics, Kasetsart University
- Honorary doctoral degree in Law, University of the Philippines, Diliman
He is part of the Philippine Tatler's list of Who's Who of the Philippines. He also graced the cover of the April 25 issue of Time Magazine.
Noynoy with running mate, Mar Roxas during the filing of their certificates of candidacy
- Noynoy Aquino Official Site. (accessed 12 May 2009)
- Benigno Aquino III profile (accessed on December 19, 2007).
- Who's Who of the Philippines. Philippine Tatler 2009
- Fidelis Tan. "Noynoy Aquino to run for President" Thepoc.net (accessed 14 September 2009)
- "SNAP USA" Petitiononline.com (accessed 14 September 2009)
- "Noynoy Aquino for President" Petitionspot.com (accessed 14 September 2009)
- "Noynoy Aquino announces bid for presidency in 2010" Gmanews.tv (accessed 14 September 2009)
- "Photos of Senator Noynoy Aquino's rumored girlfriend..." Pep.ph (accessed 14 September 2009)
- "Noynoy holds wide margin in latest Pulse Asia survey" Manila Times (accessed 12 February 2010)
- "Aquino, Villar neck and neck in latest Pulse Asia survey" GMANews.tv (accessed 12 February 2010)
- Noynoy Aquino's platform, Philippine Online Chronicles (accessed 31 March 2010)
- Noynoy bares plans on economy, sports, and agrarian reform, Philippine Online Chronicles (accessed 31 March 2010)
- Sen. Noynoy Aquino Podcast Blogwatch.tv (accessed 31 March 2010)
- Now it’s final: Aquino, Binay win in May 10 polls Inquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Aquino can take oath before village chief, says Corona Inquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Villar dares Aquino to take psychiatric test Inquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Noynoy Aquino admits pitching for Iglesia vote with sistersInquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Time story on Noynoy Aquino cites Ninoy, Cory legacy Inquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Escudero all out for ‘Noy-Bi’ Inquirer.net (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- SWS November 4-8, 2009 Survey: Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar top the people's "three best leaders to succeed PGMA in 2010" Sws.org.ph (Accessed 9 June 2010)
- Noynoy graces Time Magazine's cover Philstar.com (Accessed 15 June 2010)
- “Biography”.Office of the President of the Philippines.(Accessed 9 February 2015)
- “Senator Benigno S. Aquino III”.Senate of the Philippines.(Accessed 9 February 2015)
- “Ten facts about President Benigno S. Aquino III”.Official Gazette.(Accessed 9 February 2015)
- Medalla, Joan.“PROFILE: Benigno Simeon “NOYNOY” Cojuangco Aquino III”.ABSCBNnews.(Accessed 9 February 2015)
- Benigno Aquino III profile on Freebase. Accessed 12 May 2009.