Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III dies aged 61

File photo of former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (AP)
6:18am, Thu 24 Jun 2021
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Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has died aged 61, a cousin and public officials said.

Bam Aquino, a former senator, said he was heartbroken by the death of his cousin: “He gave his all for the Filipino, he did not leave anything.”

Details of his death were not immediately made public by members of his family, who were seen rushing to a metropolitan Manila hospital in the morning.

But one of his former Cabinet officials, Rogelio Singson, said Mr Aquino had been undergoing dialysis and was preparing for a kidney transplant.

Philippines Obit Aquino (AP)

Condolences poured in from Philippine politicians, the Catholic church and others.

Mr Aquino, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, was the heir to a political legacy of a family that has been regarded as a bulwark against authoritarianism in the Philippines

His father, former senator Benigno Aquino Jr, was assassinated in 1983 while under military custody at the Manila international airport, which now bears his name.

His mother, Corazon Aquino, led the 1986 “people power” revolt that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The army-backed uprising became a harbinger of popular revolts against authoritarian regimes worldwide.

Although a scion of a wealthy land-owning political clan in the northern Philippines, Mr Aquino battled poverty and frowned over excesses by the country’s elite families and powerful politicians.

Born in 1960 as the third of five children, Mr Aquino never married and had no children. An economics graduate, he engaged in businesses before entering politics.

After his presidency, Mr Aquino stayed away from politics and the public eye.

He is survived by his four sisters.

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