Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III (born February 8, 1960) is a Filipino politician who served as the 15th President of the Philippines from 2010 until 2016. Aquino is a fourth-generation politician and the chairman of the Liberal Party from 2010 to 2016.
Benigno Aquino III
|15th President of the Philippines|
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2016
|Vice President||Jejomar Binay|
|Preceded by||Gloria Macapagal Arroyo|
|Succeeded by||Rodrigo Duterte|
|Secretary of the Interior and Local Government|
June 30, 2010 – July 9, 2010
|Preceded by||Ronaldo Puno|
|Succeeded by||Jesse Robredo|
|Senator of the Philippines|
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2010
|Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines|
November 8, 2004 – February 21, 2006
|Preceded by||Raúl Gonzalez|
|Succeeded by||Simeón Datumanong|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Tarlac's 2nd District|
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
|Preceded by||José Yap|
|Succeeded by||José Yap|
Benigno Simeón Cojuangco Aquino III
February 8, 1960
|Parents||Benigno Aquino Jr.|
|Relatives||See Aquino family|
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University|
On September 9, 2009, shortly after the death of his mother, Aquino officially announced he would be a candidate in the 2010 presidential election. He was elected and on June 30, 2010 was sworn into office as the fifteenth President of the Philippines at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He ended his term on June 30, 2016, succeeded by Rodrigo Duterte.
Early life and educationEdit
Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III was born at 10:28 am on February 8, 1960 at Far Eastern University Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila. He is the third of the five children of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., who was then the Vice Governor of Tarlac province, and Corazon Cojuangco, daughter of a prominent Tarlac businessman. He has four sisters, namely: Maria Elena (Ballsy), Aurora Corazon (Pinky), Victoria Elisa (Viel), and Kristina Bernadette (Kris). He attended Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City for his elementary, high school, and college education. Aquino finished his Bachelor of Arts (major in economics) from Ateneo de Manila University in 1981, He was one of the students of former professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He joined his family in their exile in the United States shortly thereafter. He returned to the Philippines in 1983 shortly after the assassination of his father and held several positions working in the private sector. In September 1972, Aquino's father, who was then a senator and prominent opposition leader to President Ferdinand Marcos, was arrested for subversion. In August 1973, Aquino's father was brought before a military tribunal in Fort Bonifacio.
In 1980, after a series of heart attacks, Aquino's father was allowed to seek medical treatment in the United States, where Aquino's family began a period of self-exile. In 1981, shortly after graduation, Aquino joined his family in the United States.
In 1983, after three years in exile in the United States, Aquino's family returned to the Philippines, shortly after the assassination of his father on August 21, 1983. He had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, working as an assistant of the executive director of PBSP. He later joined Mondragon Industries Philippines, Inc. as an assistant Retail Sales Supervisor and assistant promotions manager for Nike Philippines, Inc.
From 1986 to 1992, during the presidency of his mother, Aquino joined the Intra-Strata Assurance Corporation, a company owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta Jr., as vice president.
On August 28, 1987, eighteen months into the presidency of Aquino's mother, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan staged an unsuccessful coup attempt, attempting to lay siege to Malacañang Palace. Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of Aquino's four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. He himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck.
From 1993 to 1998, he worked for Central Azucarera de Tarlac, the sugar refinery in the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita. He was employed as the executive assistant for administration from 1993 to 1996 and subsequently worked as manager for field services from 1996 to 1998.
In 1998, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac province. He was subsequently re-elected to the House in 2001 and 2004. In 2007, having been barred from running for re-election to the House due to term limits, he was elected to the Senate in the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
Aquino is a fourth-generation politician: his great-grandfather, Servillano "Mianong" Aquino, served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress; his paternal grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr., served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1943 to 1944; his maternal grandfather, Jose Cojuangco, was also a member of the House of Representatives; and his parents were Corazon Aquino, who served as the 11th President of the Philippines (1986–92), and Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. Aquino is a member of the Liberal Party, where he held various positions such as Secretary General and Vice President for Luzon.
House of Representatives (1998–2007)Edit
Aquino became Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on November 8, 2004, but relinquished the post on February 21, 2006, when Aquino joined his Liberal Party members in calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the height of the Hello Garci scandal.
Barred from running for re-election to the House of Representatives of the Philippines, to represent the 2nd district of Tarlac, due to term limits, Aquino was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 2007 Philippine midterm election on May 15, 2007, under the banner of the Genuine Opposition (GO), a coalition comprising a number of parties, including Aquino's own Liberal Party, seeking to curb attempts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to amend the 1986 Philippine Constitution. In Aquino's political ads, he was endorsed by his younger sister, TV host Kris Aquino, and his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino. Although a Roman Catholic, Aquino was endorsed by the pentecostal Jesus Is Lord Church, one of the largest Protestant churches in the Philippines. 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. Aquino assumed his new office on June 30, 2007.
During the campaign, Aquino reached out to his former enemy, Senator Gregorio Honasan, supporting his application for bail. Aquino told Job Tabada of Cebu Daily News, on March 5, 2007;
"I endorse Honasan's request for bail para parehas ang laban [to even out the playing field]. 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 [This is what defines democracy]. Genuine reconciliation is democracy in action."
Aquino was referring to an unsuccessful coup attempt staged by rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan on August 28, 1987, in which Aquino was seriously injured.
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The Budget Impoundment and Control Act (SB 3121), wherein "impoundment" refers to the power of the president to refuse the release of funds appropriated by the Congress of the Philippines, is another bill Aquino is proud of; he regretted, however, that such power has been used and abused by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a result of which abuse has been the significant emasculation of Congress' ability to check the president's authority. Aquino filed this bill so the president would have to pass through Congress every time the president decides to impound part of the budget.
Another significant Aquino contribution to the Philippines' corruption problem was Senate Bill 2035, which is the Preservation of Public Infrastructures bill, seeking to raise standards in the construction of all public infrastructures by penalizing contractors of defective infrastructures. The bill also requires the Bureau of Maintenance under the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct periodic inspections of public infrastructures.
Aquino also pushed for the passage of the Amending the Government Procurement Act (SB 2160), which applies to all government procurement activities regardless of source of funds whether local or foreign; only treaties or international/executive agreements entered into by the government prior to its enactment shall be exempt from coverage. The bill was filed in light of the Department of Justice declaration regarding the validity of the controversial NBN-ZTE scandal, wherein its international aspect, as well as the fact that it was an executive agreement, was cited as one reason for its exemption from the procurement process stipulated in Republic Act 9184.
Focusing further on accountability in government appropriations and spending, Aquino filed other reform-oriented bills, among which were Philippine National Police reform; an increase in penalties for corporations and work establishments not compliant with minimum wage; the banning of reappointment to the Judicial and Bar Council; the prevention of reappointment and bypassing of the Commission on Appointments; real property valuation based on international standards; and superior responsibility for senior military officers, who are ultimately responsible for their own subordinates. However, none of these bills were passed into law.
2010 presidential campaignEdit
On November 26, 2008, the Liberal Party elected Mar Roxas, president of the Liberal Party, as the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party for President of the Philippines in the then-upcoming 2010 presidential elections.
Following the death and funeral of Aquino's mother, former President Corazon Aquino, many people began calling on Aquino to run for President of the Philippines. This groundswell of support became known as the "Noynoy Phenomenon".
On August 27, 2009, Edgardo "Eddie" Roces, son of the late Chino Roces, former publisher and owner of The Manila Times, and a group of lawyers and activists formed the Noynoy Aquino for President Movement (NAPM), a nationwide campaign to collect a million signatures in order to persuade Aquino to run for president, reminiscent of Roces' father, who on October 15, 1985, launched the Cory Aquino for President Movement (CAPM), collecting more than one million signatures nationwide, asking Aquino's mother to run against Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 presidential snap elections.
In September 2009, the Liberal Party held numerous press conferences in relation to the 2010 elections at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, the site of the presidential inauguration of Aquino's mother in February 1986.
On September 1, 2009, at the Club Filipino, in a press conference, Senator Mar Roxas, president of the Liberal Party, announced his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race and expressed his support for Aquino, as the party standard-bearer instead. Aquino later stood side by side with Roxas, but did not make a public statement at the press conference. The next day, Aquino announced that he would be going on a "spiritual retreat" over the weekend to finalize his decision for the elections, visiting the Carmelite sisters in Zamboanga City. reminiscent of his mother's own soul-searching in 1985 before deciding to run for the elections the following year. He came back on September 9 to formally announce his candidacy. Almost two weeks later, Roxas pledged to run alongside Aquino as the Liberal Party standard-bearer for vice-president. The two men filed their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice-president on November 28, 2009.
Fake psychiatric reports on Aquino's mental health began circulating online during the 90-day election campaign period from February 9 – May 8, 2010, Aquino received information that the first such report came from the wife of Nacionalista Party supporter and former National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) president Guido Delgado, a move Aquino claims was made with "malicious intent". A second report came from an unidentified supporter of Senator Manny Villar, the Nacionalistas' leader and presidential candidate. Later presented by Delgado at a press conference, the psychiatric report was supposedly signed by Father Jaime C. Bulatao, S.J., PhD, a Jesuit priest, a professor of Psychology and a clinical psychologist at the Ateneo de Manila University, taken when Aquino was finishing his Bachelor's degree in economics at the university in 1979. It reportedly showed that Aquino suffered from depression and melancholia, the priest later denied writing the document at all. Another supposed psychiatric report that later surfaced claimed that Aquino suffered from major depressive disorder; the report's supposed author, Jesuit priest Father Carmelo A. Caluag II, denied writing any evaluations of Aquino. The university's psychology department later debunked the documents, with Aquino labelling them as another desperate effort by rivals to malign his reputation.
During the campaign, Senator Francis Escudero began endorsing Aquino as president and PDP-Laban standard-bearer Jejomar Binay, for Vice President, launching the Aquino-Binay campaign. However, this was done without the consent of the two candidates; Binay was former President Joseph Estrada's running mate for vice-president.
During the 2010 presidential election, held on May 10, 2010, in unofficial tallies, conducted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Aquino was the leading candidate in tallied votes for president, and in the official Congressional canvass, Aquino was the leading candidate in canvassed votes for president. Aquino was unofficially being referred to as "president-apparent" by the media.
On June 9, 2010, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, in Quezon City, the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino as the President-elect of the Philippines, following the 2010 election with 15,208,678 votes, while Jejomar Binay, the former mayor of Makati City, was proclaimed as the Vice President-elect of the Philippines with 14,645,574 votes, defeating runner-up for the vice presidency Mar Roxas, the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party for vice president.
|Presidential styles of|
Benigno S. Aquino III
|Reference style||His Excellency|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
|Alternative style||Mr. President|
The Presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III began at noon on June 30, 2010, when he became the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Since the start of his presidency, he has also been referred to in the media as PNoy.
The presidential transition began on June 9, 2010, when the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino the winner of the 2010 Philippine presidential elections held on May 10, 2010, proclaiming Aquino as the President-elect of the Philippines. The transition was in charge of the new presidential residence, cabinet appointments and cordial meetings between them and the outgoing administration.
The presidential residence of Aquino is Bahay Pangarap (English: House of Dreams), located inside of Malacañang Park, at the headquarters of the Presidential Security Group across the Pasig River from Malacañang Palace. Aquino is the first president to make Bahay Pangarap his official residence. Malacañang Park was intended as a recreational retreat by former President Manuel L. Quezon. The house was built and designed by architect Juan Arellano in the 1930s, and underwent a number of renovations. In 2008, the house was demolished and rebuilt in contemporary style by architect Conrad Onglao, a new swimming pool was built, replacing the Commonwealth-era swimming pool. The house originally had one bedroom, however, the house was renovated for Aquino to have four bedrooms, a guest room, a room for Aquino's household staff, and a room for Aquino's close-in security. The house was originally intended as a rest house, the venue for informal activities and social functions for the First Family by former President Manuel L. Quezon. Malacañang Park was refurbished through the efforts of First Lady Eva Macapagal, wife of former President Diosdado Macapagal, in the early 1960s. First Lady Macapagal renamed the rest house as Bahay Pangarap. During the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, the house was restored and became the club house of the Malacañang Golf Club. The house was used by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to welcome special guests. Aquino refused to live in Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines, or in Arlegui Mansion, the residence of former presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos, stating that the two residences are too big, and also stated that his small family residence at Times Street in Quezon City would be impractical, since it would be a security concern for his neighbors.
On June 29, 2010, Aquino officially named the members of his Cabinet, with Aquino himself as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, a position that Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay initially wanted; however, Aquino stated that the post was not being considered for him. He instead offered Binay various positions, such as head of a commission to investigate the outgoing Arroyo administration, the posts of Secretary of Agrarian Reform, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), but Binay refused. Aquino also announced the formation of a truth commission that will investigate various issues including corruption allegations against outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino named former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. to head the truth commission.
Traditionally, it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines who administers the oath of office to the incoming president and vice president, however, Aquino refused to allow Chief Justice Renato Corona to swear him into office, due to Aquino's opposition to the midnight appointment of Corona by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 12, 2010, two days after the 2010 elections and a month before Arroyo's term expired. Instead, Aquino formally requested Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Conchita Carpio-Morales, who opposed the midnight appointment of Corona, to swear him into office.
Aquino took the oath of office on June 30, 2010, at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. The oath of office was administered by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, who officially accepted Aquino's request to swear him into office, reminiscent of the decision of his mother, who in 1986, was sworn into the presidency by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee. After being sworn in as the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino delivered his inaugural address.
During the inaugural address, Aquino created the "no wang-wang" policy, strengthening the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 96. The term ‘wang-wang’ is street lingo for blaring sirens. Presidential Decree No. 96 was issued on January 13, 1973 by former President Ferdinand Marcos, regulating the use of sirens, bells, whistles, horns and other similar devices only to motor vehicles designated for the use of the president, vice president, senate president, House Speaker, chief justice, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and ambulances. However, despite having the privilege of using ‘wang-wang’, Aquino maintained he would set the example for his no ‘wang-wang’ policy, not to use ‘wang-wang’, even if it means being stuck in traffic and being late every now and then. Aquino also traded the official black presidential Mercedes Benz S-Guard limousine for his own white Toyota Land Cruiser 200. After the inaugural address, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority began to enforce Aquino's no ‘wang-wang’ policy, confiscating ‘wang-wang’ from public officials and private motorists who illegally used them.
On July 26, 2010, at the Batasang Pambansa, in Quezon City, Aquino delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). During Aquino's first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino announced his intention to reform the education system in the Philippines by shifting to K–12 education, a 12-year basic education cycle. K–12 education is used in the United States, Canada, and Australia. On July 29, 2015, Aquino delivered his final SONA address, where he discussed the country's economic improvements and the benefits of social service programs, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, during the course of his presidency.
Manila hostage crisisEdit
On August 23, 2010, in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, the site of Aquino's presidential inauguration, the Manila hostage crisis occurred. Aquino expressed concern over the matter and gave his condolences to the victims. Aquino defended the actions of the police at the scene, stating that the gunman had not shown any signs of wanting to kill the hostages. Aquino ordered a "thorough investigation" into the incident, and would wait until it is completed before deciding whether anyone should lose his or her job. Aquino declared that the media may have worsened the situation by giving the gunman "a bird's-eye view of the entire situation". Aquino also made reference to the Moscow theater hostage crisis, which, according to Aquino, resulted in "more severe" casualties despite Russia's "resources and sophistication". On August 24, 2010, Aquino signed Proclamation No. 23, declaring August 25, 2010, as a national day of mourning, instructing all public institutions nationwide and all Philippine embassies and consulates overseas to lower the Philippine flag at half-mast, in honor of the eight Hong Kong residents who died in the crisis. On August 25, 2010, at a press conference in Malacañang, Aquino apologized to those offended when he was caught on television apparently smiling while being interviewed at the crime scene hours after the Manila hostage crisis. Aquino said;
"My smile might have been misunderstood. I have several expressions. I smile when I'm happy, I smile when I'm faced with a very absurd situation...and if I offended certain people, I apologize to them. It's more of an expression maybe of exasperation rather than anything and again, I apologize if I offended certain people, who misunderstood (my) facial expression."
On September 3, 2010, Aquino took responsibility for the crisis. Aquino actually has direct supervision of the Philippine National Police, since Aquino had asked Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo to address other concerns, such as coming up with a comprehensive plan on delivering social services to and relocating informal settlers in coordination with the local governments.
Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)Edit
President Aquino's administration was criticised during and after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013 for the government's "slow" response to aid the victims. This criticism resulted in countries like Canada to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the typhoon through non-governmental organizations and not the Philippine government, wherein the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, Neil Reeder cited "the speed, because of the need to move quickly, and because we don’t, as a government, want to be involved in the details, nor do we think it’s efficient to have other governments involved."
Noynoying (pronounced noy-noy-YING or noy-NOY-ying) is a protest tactic in the form of a neologism that Aquino's critics have used to question his work ethic, alleging his inaction on the issues of disaster response and rising oil prices. A play on the term planking and Aquino's nickname, Noynoying involves posing in a lazy manner, such as sitting idly while resting his head on one hand, and doing nothing.
Aquino appointed the following to the Supreme Court of the Philippines:
- Maria Lourdes Sereno – August 13, 2010 (as Associate Justice); August 25, 2012 (as Chief Justice).
- Bienvenido L. Reyes – August 16, 2011
- Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe – September 16, 2011
- Mario Victor F. Leonen – November 21, 2012
- Francis H. Jardeleza – August 19, 2014
- Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa – January 22, 2016 (his last SC Justice appointee)
Following the turnover ceremonies to his successor Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang, Aquino returned to his parents' residence along Times Street, Quezon City. Since leaving office, Aquino remained silent on the Duterte administration and rarely made public appearances. However, in November 2016, Aquino attended a concert at Rizal Park and joined protests against the burial of Ferdinand Marcos. In February 2017, Aquino commemorated the 31st anniversary of the People Power Revolution by marching to the People Power Monument and joining the protests against the Ferdinand Marcos regime.
In July 2017, criminal charges were filed against Aquino for usurpation of authority under the Revised Penal Code and violating anti-graft and corruption laws. Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales cited the involvement of then suspended Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima in the 2015 Mamasapano police operation against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, where 44 Special Action Force members were killed. Under the Revised Penal Code, suspended public officials cannot perform their duties or interfere in government affairs. Aquino's former Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that Aquino plans to file a motion for reconsideration to appeal the charges.
In 2018 Aquino was indicted in a $1.35 billion criminal case involving a congressional approval to use state funds on major government projects.
Aquino has never married and has no children, making him the Philippines' first bachelor president. Aquino previously had a relationship with Shalani Soledad, a Valenzuela councilor and niece of former Senator Francisco Tatad. In November 2010, Aquino confirmed that he and Soledad had broken up. He had previously dated Korina Sanchez, Bernadette Sembrano, and Liz Uy. He was also in a relationship with Korean television host Grace Lee. Aquino has stated his preference for younger women because he wants to have children.
Aquino was also enthusiast of shooting, billiards and video games. Aquino does not drink alcoholic beverages, but is a smoker. Aquino also said that he is not keen on being a poster boy for anti-smoking campaigns. Upon winning the election, Aquino was phoned by U.S. President Barack Obama, who congratulated him and offered assistance to smoking cessation.
|Ancestors of Benigno Aquino III|
Honours and awardsEdit
These are the list of honours and awards made by President Aquino.
- Japan: Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum (June 2, 2015)
- Sovereign Military Order of Malta: Collar of the Knightly Order pro merito Melitensi (March 4, 2015)
- Indonesia: Star of the Republic of Indonesia, First Class (October 10, 2014)
- Kuwait: Collar of the Order of Mubarak the Great (March 23, 2012)
- Fordham University – Honorary doctoral degree in Economics
- Centro Escolar University – Honorary doctoral degree in Economics (April 11, 2012)
- Kasetsart University – Honorary doctoral degree in Economics
- University of the Philippines, Diliman – Honorary doctoral degree in Law
- Sophia University – Honorary doctoral degree in Law (December 13, 2014)
- Tarlac State University – Honorary doctoral degree in Humanities (May 14, 2015)
- Loyola Marymount University – Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree (February 17, 2016)
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Benigno Aquino III
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Benigno Aquino III.|
- Official website
- Official profile in the website of the Senate of the Philippines
- Inaugural Address of President Benigno Aquino III | June 30, 2010
- President Benigno Aquino III's First State of the Nation Address | July 26, 2010
- President Benigno Aquino III's Second State of the Nation Address | July 25, 2011
- President Aquino's speech before the United Nations General Assembly | September 24, 2010