Profile: Benigno Aquino

Son of late president and slain opposition leader bids for Philippine presidency.

    Benigno Aquino will run for the Philippine presidency in elections to be held next year [Reuters]

    Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III is the son of former Philippine president Corazon Aquino, the leader of the country's 1986 "People Power" revolution who died last month.

    Aquino's father, also called Benigno, was a senator who opposed the rule of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

    He was assassinated when he returned from political exile in 1983, a killing that triggered the "People Power" revolt that overthrew Marcos and swept his widow, Corazon, to power.

    Born in Manila in 1960, Aquino graduated with a degree in economics from the Ateneo de Manila University and is a three-term member of the Philippine House of Representatives.

    He was congressman from 1998 to 2007 and was elected to the senate for a six-year term in 2007.

    He belongs to the Liberal party of the Philippines, and has been opposed to the policies Gloria Arroyo, the president, in recent years.

    Aquino is single but has been linked to a few television personalities and a politician 20 years his junior.

    He says he is a music and movie buff, and is a shooting and billiards enthusiast.

    He has four sisters, including popular television host and actress Kris Aquino.

    Influential family

    Aquino said he would be a leader for all sectors of society and not just the rich.

    "I will be there because of the people, I will stay there because of the people and hopefully I will be true to my word to serve the people," Aquino, 49, told a crowd of cheering supporters as he declared his presidential bid on September 9.

    "I want to make democracy work not just for the rich and the well-connected, but for everybody," he added.

    Nevertheless, his family belongs to one of the powerful clans that have dominated Philippine life for generations.

    Corazon Aquino was born into the Cojuangco family, which continues to play a major role in the country's economy.

    Her cousin, Eduardo Cojuangco, is majority owner of brewing giant San Miguel and, according to the latest Forbes rich list, the seventh wealthiest man in the Philippines.

    In 1987, during an attempted military coup when his mother was in office, Aquino was shot by soldiers at the Malacanang Palace in Manila.

    Three of his bodyguards were killed and he sustained five bullet wounds.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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