Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aguirre Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977) is a Filipino politician and social entrepreneur. He served as a Senator of the Philippines from 2013 to 2019. During his stint as senator, he has advocated for the passage of bills focusing on entrepreneurship, culture and arts, and education and science and technology.
Template:Further Bam Aquino was born on May 7, 1977 in Manila. He is the son of Paul Aquino, a son of Benigno Aquino Sr., and Melanie Aguirre Aquino. His grandfather, Benigno Aquino Sr., served as a congressman from Tarlac's 2nd District (1919–28), a senator from the 3rd District (1928–34) Speaker of the National Assembly of the Japanese-puppet state of the Philippines from 1943 to 1944. Went on trial for Treason after the world war II for collaborating with the Japanese, and eventually became the 6th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines (1943–44). Under President Ferdinand Marcos' regime, his uncle Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., a former senator (1967–72), was exiled in the United States from 1980 until 1983 when he returned to the Philippines and was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. In 1986, Marcos fled into exile and Ninoy's wife, Corazon Aquino, became the first female President of the Philippines. His uncle Butz and aunt Teresa also served as senators. His cousin, Benigno Aquino III, was elected the 15th President of the Philippines in 2010, which he served until 2016.
Aquino was a consistent honor student in Ateneo de Manila, Quezon City from grade school to college. During his grade school graduation, Aquino delivered the valedictory speech and graduated with first honors. He also graduated as the class valedictorian in High School in 1995. He continued to serve when he joined the Ateneo Catechetical Instructional League, where he spent three years teaching catechism at nearby public schools.
In 1999, Aquino graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Engineering. He took an Executive Education Program on Leadership and Public Policy, at the Kennedy School of Government in the Harvard University in 2008.
Aquino, as one of the founding members, became the Constitutional Chairman of the National Union of Catholic Student Councils, an association of student councils and governments of various Catholic universities and colleges in the Philippines. In that same year, he was the Student Council President at the Ateneo de Manila University.
After his graduation, Aquino joined the special projects group of the ABS-CBN Foundation. He was involved with rehabilitation centers for abused and neglected children, disaster management and relief operations, and volunteer recruitment. In 2001 he was appointed as NYC's commissioner-at-large.
TV and film
Aquino was also one of the hosts of the TV show Breakfast, a youth-oriented morning talk show at Studio 23. In 2006, Aquino hosted the youth-oriented debate show Y Speak in Studio 23 (now ABS-CBN Sports & Action Ch. 23).
In 2009, Aquino played the role of his uncle Ninoy Aquino, in the documentary film The Last Journey of Ninoy. The film premiered on August 21, 2009 in commemoration of the 26th anniversary of the assassination of Ninoy. It was directed by Jun Reyes.
Before becoming a senator, Aquino became the President of MicroVentures, Inc., a social enterprise company that manages the Hapinoy Program which provides micro-financing, training and access to new business opportunities for women micro-entrepreneurs.
The project has helped 10,000 sari-sari stores to become successful and lifted thousands of poor families from poverty. The program bagged the UN's Project Inspire Award in 2011, besting over 400 enterprises all over the world.
For his efforts, Aquino was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in the category of Social Enterprise and Community Development. He was also chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World in 2012.
Aquino's work in the Hapinoy Program gave him a first-hand view on how access to livelihood, capital, market, training, and mentoring helped lift poor families out of poverty. He was also a Board Member of Rags2Riches, Venture for Fundraising, and the Coca-Cola Foundation.
2013 senatorial bid
16th and 17th Congress
Aquino chaired the Committee on Science and Technology from 2016 to 2019. He was also a member of the following committees:
- Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon)
- Committee on Agriculture and Food
- Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies
- Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization
- Committee on Cooperatives
- Committee on Cultural Communities
- Committee on Education, Arts and Culture
- Committee on Energy
- Committee on Environment and Natural Resources
- Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports
- Committee on Health and Demography
- Committee on Local Government
- Committee on National Defense and Security
- Committee on Peace, Unification and Reconciliation
- Committee on Public Information and Mass Media
- Committee on Rules
- Committee on Science and Technology
- Committee on Social Justice, Welfare, and Rural Development
- Committee on Ways and Means
- Senate Electoral Tribunal
He was the former chairman of the Committee on Education Culture and Arts from July 2016 until his removal from the position on February 2017 due to his opposition on a Duterte-backed legislation. He was chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship and Committee on Youth from July 2013 to June 2016.
- Republic Act 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.
- Republic Act 10929, or Free Internet Access in Public Space
- Republic Act 10693, or Microfinance NGOs Act
- Republic Act 10911, or Anti Age-Discrimination Act
- Republic Act 10821, or Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act
- Republic Act 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)
- Republic Act 10909, or No Shortchanging Act
- Republic Act 10644, or the Go Negosyo Act
- Republic Act 10642, or the Philippine Lemon Law
- Republic Act 10667, or the Philippine Competition Act
- Republic Act 10668, or the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act
- Republic Act 10679, or the Youth Entrepreneurship Act
- Under Republic Act No. 10742, or the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act
- Republic Act No. 10693, or the Microfinance NGOs Act
- Republic Act No. 10744, or the Credit Surety Fund Act of 2014
- Republic Act No. 10756, or the Election Service Reform Act of 2014
- Republic Act 10755, or the Act Authorizing The Punong Barangay to Administer the Oath of Office
- Republic Act No. 10844, or the Department of Information and Communication Technology Act of 2015
- Republic Act No. 10754, or the Act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability
- Republic Act 10905, or Closed Caption Broadcasting of Television Programs Act
- Republic Act 11054, or the Bangsamoro Organic Law
- Republic Act No. 11106, or the Filipino Sign Language Act
2019 re-election bid
Aquino ran as one of the Otso Diretso candidates of the Liberal Party. He failed to win in his re-election bid, placing 14th overall with 14,144,923 votes. Aquino was quoted that "There are 14 million people who voted for an Aquino during the time of Duterte. That's something". According to his wife, he might return to his social entrepreneurship initiatives after his term ended on June 30, 2019.
On July 19, 2019, the PNP–Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against Aquino and other members of the opposition for "sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice". On February 10, 2020, he was cleared of all charges.
He is married to Maria Fatima "Timi" Gomez. They have two daughters together, Consuelo Victoria Aquino and Anna Aurora Aquino.
Awards and involvements
- Panelist, “Changing the Game: Innovating Smartly in Organizations and Systems”; Panelist, “Cracking the Emerging Market Code” World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland (2014)
- Manila 40 Under 40 Global Development Leader, Awarded by Devex (2013)
- Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (2012) 
- Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year with Mark Ruiz (World Economic Forum, 2011)
- United Nations Project Inspire Grand Prize (The Hapinoy Program, 2011)
- Awarded by MasterCard and The Singapore National Committee for UN Women
- Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (Community Development and Social Enterprise, 2010)
- GoNegosyo Inspiring Young Entrepreneur (2010)
- Co-Finalist, Ernst & Young (Entrepreneur of the Year 2010)
- PLDT Bossing Co-Awardee (Retail Financing Category, 2010)
- Exile Begins. Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation (2011).
- The Death of a Hero. Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation (2011).
- "Bam Aquino: What can a 6th Aquino bring to the Senate?", Rappler, May 10, 2013.
- Office of Senator Bam Aquino. 2014. http://www.bamaquino.com
- Bam Aquino’s Achievements (January 2013).Template:Dead link
- Reyes, Paolo R. (July 24, 2009). Ninoy Aquino’s last journey. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Official Website of the Senate of the Philippines.
- Keh, By Harvey S.. 2013 elections: Why Bam Aquino and Grace Poe are suddenly up.
- 9-3 win for Team PNoy in Senate race (en).
- Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV. https://www.senate.gov.ph/senators/sen_bio/aquino_bam_bio.asp
- Avendaño, Christine O.. LP members ousted from Senate majority (en).
- Halalan 2019 Philippine Election Results (en).
- Elemia, Camille. 14 million votes for an Aquino in time of Duterte still a feat, says Bam (en).
- News, ABS-CBN. Bam admits defeat, says love for Filipinos won't run out.
- "Robredo, ilang taga-oposisyon kinasuhan ng PNP-CIDG ukol sa 'Bikoy' videos", ABS-CBN News. (in tl)
- "Sedition raps: Solons, bishop hit ‘stupid’ PNP", Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- DOJ clears Robredo, indicts Trillanes and 10 others for 'conspiracy to commit sedition'. GMA News (February 10, 2020).
- DOJ clears Robredo, charges Trillanes in sedition case. Rappler (February 10, 2020).
- News, ABS-CBN. Bam Aquino, wife Timi welcome second child on Valentine's Day.