Benigno Aquino Sr.

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Benigno Simeon Aquino, Sr. was the 6th Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

Benigno Simeon Aquino Sr. (September 3, 1894 – December 20, 1947) was a Filipino politician who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Second Philippine Republic National Assembly from 1943 to 1945.

Personal life

He was born in Murcia, now part of Concepcion, Tarlac to Servillano Aquino a general in the Philippine Revolution who later served as a member of the Malolos Congress and to Guadalupe Quiambao. He studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila and later at the University of Santo Tomas where he earned his law degree in 1913. He was admitted to the bar the following year. He married Maria Urquico with whom he had a son, Antonio. When her wife died, he married Aurora Aquino with whom he had the following children — Maria Aurora (Maur),Benigno Simeon Jr. (Ninoy), Maria Gerarda (Ditas), Maria Guadalupe (Lupita), Agapito (Butz), Paul, and Maria Teresa (Tessie).

Political career

Benigno Aquino was first elected to the Philippine Legislature in 1919 representing the 2nd District of Tarlac. He was reelected to the same position in 1922 and 1925 before winning a seat in the Senate in 1928 representing the 3rd Senatorial District comprising the provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and his home-province of Tarlac. He became part of the Philippine Independence Mission in 1931, which negotiated the terms of obtaining Philippine independence from the United States. During the elections for the Philippine Commonwealth government in 1935 he ran again in his district in Tarlac and won. In 1937, he was appointed by Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Japanese occupation

Being among the more prominent Commonwealth officials left after the Commonwealth government went into exile in 1941, Aquino were among those recruited by the Japanese to form a government. Aquino became the director-general of KALIBAPI and one of the two assistant chairmen of the Preparatory Commission for Philippine Independence. When the Second Philippine Republic was inaugurated, he was elected Speaker of the National Assembly.

Arrest and collaboration charges

In December 1944, as the American forces continued their advance to liberate the Philippines from Japanese forces, the government of the Second Philippine Republic was moved to Baguio which included Aquino before they flew to Japan. Together with other officials they were arrested and imprisoned at the Sugamo Prison when the Japanese surrendered. On August 25, 1946, Aquino was flown back to the Philippines for his trial on treason charges by the People's Court, a few weeks later he was released on bail.

On December 20, 1947 he died of heart attack at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila while watching a boxing match.

See also

Second Philippine Republic



Prominent Filipinos

Filipino politicians

People from Tarlac

Speakers of the Philippine legislature

Aquino family

Filipino lawyers

Senators of the Philippines

Colegio de San Juan de Letran alumni

University of Santo Tomas alumni