Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III
(born February 8
), popularly known as Noynoy Aquino
or Benigno S. Aquino III
, is a Philippine
statesman. The only son of Benigno Aquino, Jr.
, a Senator
imprisoned (and later assassinated) for opposing the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos
and his wife Corazon Aquino
, who served as President from 1986 to 1992 following the overthrow of Marcos. Aquino was named after his father and his grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr.
, a one-time Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is also the brother of TV host and actress Kris Aquino
Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University
Wounded in 1987 coup attempt
Aquino was wounded during the 1987 failed coup
attempt against his mother and was almost killed by a grenade. Specifically, on August 28 1987
, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan
attacked the Malacañan Palace
. Noynoy was hit by 5 bullets (one is still embedded in his neck), and 3 of his 4 escorts were killed (the fourth was wounded) protecting him.
Aquino is a leading member of the Liberal Party
, one of the two "traditional" parties that dominated Filipino politics
before Martial Law was imposed in 1972. He currently holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party, 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
Aquino is associated with a faction of the Liberal Party which opposes the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whom he is on record as describing as "worse than Marcos," citing alleged human rights violations.
Tarlac Congressman (1998-2007)
He ran for Congress
as a representative for the Third District of Tarlac
Province in 1998 and won. He won reelection in 2001 and 2004. During his time in Congress, he served on numerous committees: the Public Order and Security, Transportation and Communications, Agriculture, Banks &and Financial Intermediaries, Peoples’ Participation, Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Appropriations, Natural Resources, and Trade and Industry committees (11th Congress), the Civil, Political and Human Rights, Good Government, Public Order and Security, Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy committees (12th Congress), and the Banks and Financial Intermediaries, Energy, Export Promotion, Public Order and Safety committees (13th Congress). He was also Deputy Speaker from 8 November 2004
to 21 February 2006
Election to the Senate (2007)
Barred by term limits from seeking a fourth term as the Representative for the second district of Tarlac
province, Aquino was elected to the Senate
in the May 14, 2007 midterm elections
under the banner of the Genuine Opposition
(GO), a coalition comprising a number of parties, including his own Liberal Party
, seeking curb attempts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
to amend the Constitution. In his political ads, he was endorsed by younger sister, TV host Kris Aquino, and mother, former President Corazon Aquino. Although a devout Roman Catholic, he was endorsed by one of the largest Protestant churches in the Philippines, the Jesus is Lord
movement, whose leader, Eddie Villanueva
, said that their endorsed candidates, including Aquino, had demonstrated God-fearing character, competence, integrity, courage, compassion for the poor, and patriotism, and lived a principled existence.
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 June 30
During the campaign, Aquino reached out to his former enemy, Senator Gregorio Honasan, supporting his application for bail. "I endorse Honasan's request for bail para parehas and laban. I was hit by bullets from Honasan's men in the neck and hips but that's past now. The principle of my father was, ' Respect the rights even of your enemies.' Ito ang nagpatingkad ng demokrasya. Genuine reconciliation is democracy in action," Aquino told Job Tabada of Cebu Daily News on 5 March 2007. He was referring to two bloody coup attempts against his mother in 1987 and 1989, in the first of which Aquino was seriously injured.
Still single, Aquino is rumored to have had past romantic relations with broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez
, Bernadette Sembrano and actress Diana Zubiri
. He has neither denied nor confirmed any reports of this kind. Kris Aquino even told Ms. International winner Precious Lara Quigaman personally that he likes that Filipina Beauty Queen in an episode of Boy & Kris where they make Ms. Quigaman's special recipe of vinegar sauce.