Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, who rose to power on the legacy of his democracy icon parents, has died, multiple reports said Thursday. He was 61.
ANC Television broke the news on Twitter, citing a source from the Aquino family. The Manila Times and The Daily Tribune cited sources. Reportr staff confirmed his death, and was told to wait for an official announcement from the family.
Noynoy Aquino served as president from 2010 to 2016, during which he secured the Philippines' first investment grade ratings, initiated peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and challenged China's vast sea claims before a UN-backed court.
The bachelor former president is survived by his sisters Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris and their families.
"Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap," was Aquino's 2010 campaign slogan, which resonated with the electorate that has witnessed several corruption and vote fraud investigations against his predecessor, Gloria Arroyo.
"Kayo ang boss ko, kaya't hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo," he said in his inaugural speech.
"My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace, and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward," he said.
Aquino has largely kept a low profile since he relinquished power in 2016 to President Rodrigo Duterte, following a divisive campaign that resulted in being branded "dilawan" or one of his allies as a pejorative.
For the 2022 elections, Aquino's Liberal Party has sought to reclaim the yellow tag, eyeing Vice President Leni Robredo as standard bearer.
Aquino's mother, Cory Aquino, died of cancer in August 2009, one year before the 2010 elections. An outpouring of public sympathy thrust the then-senator to become the LP standard bearer, with Mar Roxas sliding down as his vice president. Roxas lost.
In honor of President Aquino, Summit Books is sharing Dream Big Books' Ninoy, Cory, And Noynoy written by Yvette Fernandez and illustrated by Abi Goy as a FREE ebook for the next two weeks. Download it here.