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Profile: Benigno Aquino III
Son of Philippine democracy icon campaigns for presidency.
Last Modified: 07 May 2010 00:58 GMT
Aquino has adopted the yellow campaign colours of the 1986 People Power uprising [Reuters]

Senator Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III never planned on running for the presidency. 

Awkward and shy, the chain-smoking son of two national icons of democracy was pushed into the race after his mother, former President Cory Aquino, passed away last August.

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Analysis: The Philippines decides

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The widow of assassinated opposition leader, Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr., Cory Aquino became president of the Philippines in 1986 after the country's historic People Power revolt toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

She is credited with restoring democracy to the Philippines - at least, symbolically. 

But her presidency was marred by several coup attempts, and history has judged that while popular she was not as effective a leader as was hoped. 

Nonetheless her death revived a longing for simpler times, and just like she had been, her son became the rallying point for those that demanded change.

So in September, a month after his mother's death, Noynoy announced that he would fulfil his "duty", do as the nation asked, and throw his hat in the ring.

Riding on a crest of nostalgia his campaign adopted the colour yellow, widely associated with the People Power revolt led by his mother almost a quarter of a century ago.

But as the campaign proper got under way, his early wide lead in opinion polls was cut by business titan Senator Manny Villar. 

As much as many said the election was Aquino's to lose, there are those that also remain sceptical of his abilities to lead.

His record in the senate is unimpressive, with critics labelling him a political lightweight, and he faces questions as to his landed family's involvement in agricultural reform irregularities. 

Aquino however has focused his campaign on his clean public image, vowing to restore democracy and crack down on corruption.

At the end of the day though, the fear remains that Noynoy may prove to be nothing more than yet another empty symbol unable to deliver on the promise of his parents’ legacy.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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