Human Interest

Former Philippines president Benigno Aquino dies at 61

Bangkok, Jun 24 (EFE).- Former Philippines president Benigno Aquino died in Manila on Thursday at the age of 61 after being hospitalized hours earlier.

Politicians, diplomats and personalities expressed condolences and praised the legacy that Aquino left, according to posts on social media.

“We will remember president Aquino fondly for his service to the country,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a video posted to Twitter.

Vice President Leni Robredo said in a tweet: “He tried to do what was right, even when it was not popular. He will be missed.”

“It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of former president Benigno Aquino III,” supreme court justice Marvic Leonen, who was appointed by Aquino in 2012, said in a statement. “I knew him to be a kind man, driven by his passion to serve our people… It was an honour to have served with him.”

The cause of death has not been announced, but the former president had been fighting various diseases since 2019 and had undergone months of dialysis and a recent heart operation, Rappler reported.

All flags in Manila we flying at half-mast Thursday.

Benigno Aquino III, popularly known as “Noynoy,” assumed the presidency of the country in June 2010, for a term of six years, to be the 15th president of the Philippines.

He came to power on the back of popular public support after the 2009 death of his mother, the country’s first president after the restoration of democracy in 1986.

His father and namesake was a senator and vocal opponent of strongman Ferdinand Marcos, and was assassinated in 1983 on the tarmac of Manila airport upon his return home from three years in political exile in the United States.

“My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all,” Aquino said at his inauguration speech in 2010.

The administration of the politician, who used Daang Matuwid (“straight and honest path”) to deal with the problems of the archipelago, fought against poverty and widespread corruption.

During his term, the Philippine economy improved notably and confrontations with China over the sovereignty of several islands and atolls located in the South China Sea stood out.

The Aquino administration took the territorial dispute The Hague, which in 2016, after the transfer of power to the current president, Rodrigo Duterte, ruled in favor of the Philippines. EFE

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