Benigno Aquino Iii Bibliography Definition

This article is about the former Philippine president. For other people of the same name, see Benigno Aquino.

In this Philippine name, the middle name or maternal family name is Cojuangco and the surname or paternal family name is Aquino.

Benigno Aquino III
15thPresident of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2016
Vice PresidentJejomar Binay
Preceded byGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Succeeded byRodrigo Duterte
Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
In office
June 30, 2010 – July 9, 2010
Preceded byRonaldo Puno
Succeeded byJesse Robredo
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2010
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines
In office
November 8, 2004 – February 21, 2006
Preceded byRaúl Gonzalez
Succeeded bySimeón Datumanong
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Tarlac's 2nd district
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
Preceded byJosé Yap
Succeeded byJosé Yap
Personal details
BornBenigno Simeón Cojuangco Aquino III
(1960-02-08) February 8, 1960 (age 58)
Manila, Philippines
Political partyLiberal Party
ParentsBenigno Aquino Jr.
Corazon Aquino
Alma materAteneo de Manila University
WebsiteOfficial website

Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III[1][2][3][4] (born February 8, 1960) is a Filipino politician who served as the 15th President of the Philippines from 2010 until 2016.[4][6][7]

Aquino is a fourth-generation politician and is the chairman of the Liberal Party from 2010 to 2016.[8] Born in Manila, Aquino finished his Bachelor of Arts (major in economics) from Ateneo de Manila University in 1981 and joined his family in their exile in the United States shortly thereafter. He returned to the Philippines in 1983 shortly after the assassination of his father and held several positions working in the private sector. In 1998, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac province. He was subsequently re-elected to the House in 2001 and 2004.[4] In 2007, having been barred from running for re-election to the House due to term limits, he was elected to the Senate in the 14th Congress of the Philippines.[4]

On September 9, 2009, Aquino officially announced he would be a candidate in the 2010 presidential election and on June 30, 2010, at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila,[4][9] Aquino was sworn into office as the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and stepped down on June 30, 2016, succeeded by Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2013, Time named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.[10]

Early life and education

Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III was born at 10:28 am on February 8, 1960 at Far Eastern University Hospital in Sampaloc, Manila.[1] He is the third of the five children of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., who was then the Vice Governor of Tarlac province, and Corazon Cojuangco, daughter of a prominent Tarlac businessman. He has four sisters, namely: Maria Elena (Ballsy), Aurora Corazon (Pinky), Victoria Elisa (Viel), and Kristina Bernadette (Kris). He attended Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City for his elementary, high school, and college education.[11] He graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree in economics.[4][11] He was one of the students of former professor of economics at Ateneo de Manila University, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In September 1972, Aquino's father, who was then a senator and prominent opposition leader to President Ferdinand Marcos, was arrested for subversion. In August 1973, Aquino's father was brought before a military tribunal in Fort Bonifacio.[12] On August 25, 1973, Aquino's father wrote a letter to his son from Fort Bonifacio, giving advice to his son;

"The only advice I can give you: Live with honor and follow your conscience.

There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength.

Son, the ball is now in your hands."[12]

In 1980, after a series of heart attacks, Aquino's father was allowed to seek medical treatment in the United States, where Aquino's family began a period of self-exile. In 1981, shortly after graduation, Aquino joined his family in the United States.

In 1983, after three years in exile in the United States, Aquino's family returned to the Philippines, shortly after the assassination of his father on August 21, 1983.[11] He had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, working as an assistant of the executive director of PBSP.[11] He later joined Mondragon Industries Philippines, Inc. as an assistant Retail Sales Supervisor and assistant promotions manager for Nike Philippines, Inc.[11]

From 1986 to 1992, during the presidency of his mother, Aquino joined the Intra-Strata Assurance Corporation, a company owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta Jr., as vice president.[11]

On August 28, 1987, eighteen months into the presidency of Aquino's mother, rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan staged an unsuccessful coup attempt, attempting to lay siege to Malacañang Palace. Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of Aquino's four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. He himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck.[13]

From 1993 to 1998, he worked for Central Azucarera de Tarlac, the sugar refinery in the Cojuangco-owned Hacienda Luisita. He was employed as the executive assistant for administration from 1993 to 1996 and subsequently worked as manager for field services from 1996 to 1998.[11]

Congressional career

Aquino is a fourth-generation politician: his great-grandfather, Servillano "Mianong" Aquino, served as a delegate to the Malolos Congress; his paternal grandfather, Benigno Aquino, Sr., served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1943 to 1944; his maternal grandfather, Jose Cojuangco, was also a member of the House of Representatives; and his parents were Corazon Aquino, who served as the 11th President of the Philippines (1986–92), and Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. Aquino is a member of the Liberal Party,[14] where he held various positions such as Secretary General and Vice President for Luzon.

House of Representatives (1998–2007)

Aquino became Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on November 8, 2004, but relinquished the post on February 21, 2006, when Aquino joined the Liberal Party in calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the height of the Hello Garci scandal.[4][8]

Aquino was also Chairman of the Board of the Central Luzon Congressional Caucus.[8]

Senate (2007–10)

Barred from running for re-election to the House of Representatives of the Philippines, to represent the 2nd district of Tarlac, due to term limits, Aquino was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 2007 Philippine midterm election on May 15, 2007, under the banner of the Genuine Opposition (GO), a coalition comprising a number of parties, including Aquino's own Liberal Party, seeking to curb attempts by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to amend the 1986 Philippine Constitution. In Aquino's political ads, he was endorsed by his younger sister, TV host Kris Aquino, and his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino. Although a Roman Catholic, Aquino was endorsed by the pentecostalJesus Is Lord Church, one of the largest Protestant churches in the Philippines.[15][16][17] With more than 14.3 million votes, Aquino's tally was the sixth highest of the 37 candidates for the 12 vacant seats elected from the nation at large. Aquino assumed his new office on June 30, 2007.[4]

During the campaign, Aquino reached out to his former enemy, Senator Gregorio Honasan, supporting his application for bail. Aquino told Job Tabada of Cebu Daily News, on March 5, 2007;

"I endorse Honasan's request for bail para parehas ang laban [to even out the playing field]. I was hit by bullets from Honasan's men in the neck and hips but that's past now. The principle of my father was, 'Respect the rights even of your enemies.' Ito ang nagpatingkad ng demokrasya [This is what defines democracy]. Genuine reconciliation is democracy in action."[18]

Aquino was referring to an unsuccessful coup attempt staged by rebel soldiers led by Gregorio Honasan on August 28, 1987, in which Aquino was seriously injured.

Senate bills

The Budget Impoundment and Control Act (SB 3121), wherein "impoundment" refers to the power of the president to refuse the release of funds appropriated by the Congress of the Philippines, is another bill Aquino is proud of;[19] he regretted,[19] however, that such power has been used and abused by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a result of which abuse has been the significant emasculation of Congress' ability to check the president's authority. Aquino filed this bill so the president would have to pass through Congress every time the president decides to impound part of the budget.

Another significant Aquino contribution to the Philippines' corruption problem is Senate Bill 2035, which is the Preservation of Public Infrastructures bill, seeking to raise standards in the construction of all public infrastructures by penalizing contractors of defective infrastructures. The bill also requires the Bureau of Maintenance under the Department of Public Works and Highways to conduct periodic inspections of public infrastructures.

Aquino also pushed for the passage of the Amending the Government Procurement Act (SB 2160), which applies to all government procurement activities regardless of source of funds whether local or foreign; only treaties or international/executive agreements entered into by the government prior to its enactment shall be exempt from coverage. The bill was filed in light of the Department of Justice declaration regarding the validity of the controversial NBN-ZTE scandal, wherein its international aspect, as well as the fact that it was an executive agreement, was cited as one reason for its exemption from the procurement process stipulated in Republic Act 9184.

Focusing further on accountability in government appropriations and spending, Aquino filed other reform-oriented, well-thought-out types of bills, among which were for: Philippine National Police reform; an increase in penalties for corporations and work establishments not compliant with minimum wage; the banning of reappointment to the Judicial and Bar Council; the prevention of reappointment and bypassing of the Commission on Appointments; real property valuation based on international standards; and superior responsibility for senior military officers, who are ultimately responsible for their own subordinates. However, none of these bills were passed into law.

Main article: Philippine presidential election, 2010

See also: Benigno Aquino III presidential campaign, 2010

On November 26, 2008, the Liberal Party elected Mar Roxas, president of the Liberal Party, as the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party for President of the Philippines in the then-upcoming 2010 presidential elections.[20]

Following the death and funeral of Aquino's mother, former President Corazon Aquino, many people began calling on Aquino to run for President of the Philippines.[4] This groundswell of support became known as the "Noynoy Phenomenon".[21]

On August 27, 2009, Edgardo "Eddie" Roces, son of the late Chino Roces, former publisher and owner of The Manila Times, and a group of lawyers and activists formed the Noynoy Aquino for President Movement (NAPM), a nationwide campaign to collect a million signatures in order to persuade Aquino to run for president,[22] reminiscent of Roces' father, who on October 15, 1985, launched the Cory Aquino for President Movement (CAPM), collecting more than one million signatures nationwide, asking Aquino's mother to run against Ferdinand Marcos in the 1986 presidential snap elections.[23]

In September 2009, the Liberal Party held numerous press conferences in relation to the 2010 elections at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, the site of the presidential inauguration of Aquino's mother in February 1986.

On September 1, 2009, at the Club Filipino, in a press conference, Senator Mar Roxas, president of the Liberal Party, announced his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race and expressed his support for Aquino, as the party standard-bearer instead.[24] Aquino later stood side by side with Roxas, but did not make a public statement at the press conference.[14] The next day, Aquino announced that he would be going on a "spiritual retreat" over the weekend to finalize his decision for the elections, visiting the Carmelite sisters in Zamboanga City.[4] reminiscent of his mother's own soul-searching in 1985 before deciding to run for the elections the following year.[25] He came back on September 9 to formally announce his candidacy.[4][26] Almost two weeks later, Roxas pledged to run alongside Aquino as the Liberal Party standard-bearer for vice-president.[27][28] The two men filed their respective certificates of candidacy for president and vice-president on November 28, 2009.

Fake psychiatric reports on Aquino's mental health began circulating online during the 90-day election campaign period from February 9 – May 8, 2010,[29][30] Aquino received information that the first such report came from the wife of Nacionalista Party supporter and former National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) president Guido Delgado, a move Aquino claims was made with "malicious intent".[30] A second report came from an unidentified supporter of SenatorManny Villar, the Nacionalistas' leader and presidential candidate.[30][31] Later presented by Delgado at a press conference, the psychiatric report was supposedly signed by Father Jaime C. Bulatao, S.J., PhD, a Jesuit priest, a professor of Psychology and a clinical psychologist at the Ateneo de Manila University, taken when Aquino was finishing his Bachelor's degree in economics at the university in 1979. It reportedly showed that Aquino suffered from depression and melancholia,[31] the priest later denied writing the document at all.[30] Another supposed psychiatric report that later surfaced claimed that Aquino suffered from major depressive disorder; the report's supposed author, Jesuit priest Father Carmelo A. Caluag II, denied writing any evaluations of Aquino. The university's psychology department later debunked the documents, with Aquino labelling them as another desperate effort by rivals to malign his reputation.[30]

During the campaign,[29] Senator Francis Escudero began endorsing Aquino as president and PDP-Laban standard-bearer Jejomar Binay, for Vice President, launching the Aquino-Binay campaign.[32] However, this was done without the consent of the two candidates; Binay was former President Joseph Estrada's running mate for vice-president.

During the 2010 presidential election, held on May 10, 2010, in unofficial tallies, conducted by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV), Aquino was the leading candidate in tallied votes for president, and in the official Congressional canvass, Aquino was the leading candidate in canvassed votes for president.[33] Aquino was unofficially being referred to as "president-apparent" by the media.[34]

On June 9, 2010, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, in Quezon City, the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino as the President-elect of the Philippines,[4][6] following the 2010 election with 15,208,678 votes,[4][7] while Jejomar Binay, the former mayor of Makati City, was proclaimed as the Vice President-elect of the Philippines with 14,645,574 votes,[35] defeating runner-up for the vice presidency Mar Roxas, the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party for vice president.

Main article: Presidency of Benigno Aquino III

See also: List of presidential trips made by Benigno Aquino III and Noynoying

The Presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III began at noon on June 30, 2010, when he became the fifteenthPresident of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Since the start of his presidency, he has also been referred to in the media as PNoy.[36][37][38][39]

The presidential transition began on June 9, 2010, when the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino the winner of the 2010 Philippine presidential elections held on May 10, 2010, proclaiming Aquino as the President-elect of the Philippines.[6][7] The transition was in charge of the new presidential residence, cabinet appointments and cordial meetings between them and the outgoing administration.

The presidential residence of Aquino is Bahay Pangarap (English: House of Dreams),[40] located inside of Malacañang Park,[41] at the headquarters of the Presidential Security Group across the Pasig River from Malacañang Palace.[40][42] Aquino is the first president to make Bahay Pangarap his official residence.[36][43] Malacañang Park was intended as a recreational retreat by former President Manuel L. Quezon.[43] The house was built and designed by architect Juan Arellano in the 1930s,[43][40] and underwent a number of renovations.[40] In 2008, the house was demolished and rebuilt in contemporary style by architect Conrad Onglao,[43][40] a new swimming pool was built, replacing the Commonwealth-era swimming pool.[36][43] The house originally had one bedroom,[40] however, the house was renovated for Aquino to have four bedrooms,[36] a guest room, a room for Aquino's household staff, and a room for Aquino's close-in security.[41] The house was originally intended as a rest house, the venue for informal activities and social functions for the First Family by former President Manuel L. Quezon.[40] Malacañang Park was refurbished through the efforts of First Lady Eva Macapagal, wife of former President Diosdado Macapagal, in the early 1960s.[43] First Lady Macapagal renamed the rest house as Bahay Pangarap.[43] During the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, the house was restored and became the club house of the Malacañang Golf Club.[40] The house was used by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to welcome special guests.[40] Aquino refused to live in Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines, or in Arlegui Mansion, the residence of former presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos, stating that the two residences are too big,[40] and also stated that his small family residence at Times Street in Quezon City would be impractical, since it would be a security concern for his neighbors.[42]

On June 29, 2010, Aquino officially named the members of his Cabinet, with Aquino himself as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government,[44] a position that Vice President-electJejomar Binay initially wanted; however, Aquino stated that the post was not being considered for him.[45] He instead offered Binay various positions, such as head of a commission to investigate the outgoing Arroyo administration, the posts of Secretary of Agrarian Reform, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), but Binay refused.[46] Aquino also announced the formation of a truth commission that will investigate various issues including corruption allegations against outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino named former Chief JusticeHilario Davide, Jr. to head the truth commission.[47]

Traditionally, it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines who administers the oath of office to the incoming president and vice president, however, Aquino refused to allow Chief JusticeRenato Corona to swear him into office, due to Aquino's opposition to the midnight appointment of Corona by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 12, 2010, two days after the 2010 elections and a month before Arroyo's term expired.[48] Instead, Aquino formally requested Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the PhilippinesConchita Carpio-Morales, who opposed the midnight appointment of Corona,[49] to swear him into office.[50]

Aquino took the oath of office on June 30, 2010, at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila.[4][9] The oath of office was administered by Associate JusticeConchita Carpio-Morales, who officially accepted Aquino's request to swear him into office,[4][50] reminiscent of the decision of his mother, who in 1986, was sworn into the presidency by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee.[3] After being sworn in as the fifteenthPresident of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino delivered his inaugural address.

During the inaugural address, Aquino created the no ‘wang-wang’ policy, strengthening the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 96.[37][51] The term ‘wang-wang’ is street lingo for blaring sirens.[52] Presidential Decree No. 96 was issued on January 13, 1973 by former PresidentFerdinand Marcos, regulating the use of sirens, bells, whistles, horns and other similar devices only to motor vehicles designated for the use of the president, vice president, senate president, House Speaker, chief justice, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and ambulances.[37][51] However, despite having the privilege of using ‘wang-wang’, Aquino maintained he would set the example for his no ‘wang-wang’ policy, not to use ‘wang-wang’, even if it means being stuck in traffic and being late every now and then.[53][54] Aquino also traded the official black presidential Mercedes Benz S-Guard limousine for his own white Toyota Land Cruiser 200.[53] After the inaugural address, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority began to enforce Aquino's no ‘wang-wang’ policy, confiscating ‘wang-wang’ from public officials and private motorists who illegally used them.[51]

On July 26, 2010, at the Batasang Pambansa, in Quezon City, Aquino delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).[38][55] During Aquino's first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino announced his intention to reform the education system in the Philippines by shifting to K–12 education, a 12-year basic education cycle.[56] K–12 education is used in the United States, Canada, and Australia. On July 29, 2015, Aquino delivered his final SONA address, where he discussed the country's economic improvements and the benefits of social service programs, particularly the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, during the course of his presidency.[57]


Manila hostage crisis

On August 23, 2010, in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, the site of Aquino's presidential inauguration, the Manila hostage crisis occurred. Aquino expressed concern over the matter and gave his condolences to the victims. Aquino defended the actions of the police at the scene, stating that the gunman had not shown any signs of wanting to kill the hostages. Aquino ordered a "thorough investigation" into the incident, and would wait until it is completed before deciding whether anyone should lose his or her job.[58] Aquino declared that the media may have worsened the situation by giving the gunman "a bird's-eye view of the entire situation".[59] Aquino also made reference to the Moscow theater hostage crisis, which, according to Aquino, resulted in "more severe" casualties despite Russia's "resources and sophistication".[60] On August 24, 2010, Aquino signed Proclamation No. 23, declaring August 25, 2010, as a national day of mourning, instructing all public institutions nationwide and all Philippine embassies and consulates overseas to lower the Philippine flag at half-mast, in honor of the eight Hong Kong residents who died in the crisis.[61][62] On August 25, 2010, at a press conference in Malacañang, Aquino apologized to those offended when he was caught on television apparently smiling while being interviewed at the crime scene hours after the Manila hostage crisis.[63] Aquino said;

"My smile might have been misunderstood. I have several expressions. I smile when I'm happy, I smile when I'm faced with a very absurd situation...and if I offended certain people, I apologize to them. It's more of an expression maybe of exasperation rather than anything and again, I apologize if I offended certain people, who misunderstood (my) facial expression."[63]

On September 3, 2010, Aquino took responsibility for the crisis.[64] Aquino actually has direct supervision of the Philippine National Police, since Aquino had asked Secretary of the Interior and Local GovernmentJesse Robredo to address other concerns, such as coming up with a comprehensive plan on delivering social services to and relocating informal settlers in coordination with the local governments.[64]

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

President Aquino's administration was criticised during and after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013 for the government's "slow" response to aid the victims.[65] This criticism resulted in countries like Canada to provide humanitarian aid to the victims of the typhoon through non-governmental organizations and not the Philippine government, wherein the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, Neil Reeder cited "the speed, because of the need to move quickly, and because we don’t, as a government, want to be involved in the details, nor do we think it’s efficient to have other governments involved."[66]

Mamasapano massacre

President Aquino was hounded by accusations of evading responsibility for the death of 44 Special Action Force operatives in a failed operation which led to the so-called Mamasapano massacre.[67]


Main article: Noynoying

Noynoying (pronounced noy-noy-YING[68] or noy-NOY-ying[69]) is a protest gimmick in the form of a neologism that Aquino's critics have used to question his work ethic, alleging his inaction on the issues of disaster response and rising oil prices. A play on the term planking and Aquino's nickname, Noynoying involves posing in a lazy manner, such as sitting idly while resting his head on one hand, and doing nothing.


See also: Cabinet of the Philippines

Map of dignitaries who attend Aquino's inauguration.
2010 Philippine electoral vote results
Benigno Aquino III takes the oath of office as the 15th President of the Philippines before Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales at the Quirino Grandstand on June 30, 2010.
President Aquino meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, at the Malacañang Palace upon his state visit to Manila, 2014.
President Aquino with Japanese emperor Akihito and empress Michiko on January 27, 2016.

Benigno Aquino (1933-1983) of the Philippines was a leading opponent of the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos. His opposition ended in August 1983 when, after living in exile in the United States for three years, he returned to Manila and was gunned down at the airport. His death precipitated massive demonstrations against President Marcos.

"Nino" Aquino was born in 1933 in Tarlac Province, Luzon, to a prominent family. At age 22 he became the nation's youngest mayor in his hometown of Concepcion. Just six years later he became governor of Tarlac province. In 1967 Aquino once again made history when he became the youngest senator elected in the country's history. Meanwhile he married Corazon Cojoangco; they raised five children.

Aquino became famous for his oratorical gifts and his brilliant mind, as well as his immense ambition. He emerged as the leading candidate for the presidency in 1973 when President Marcos was scheduled to leave office after completing the maximum two terms as president. The Marcos government had already begun its campaign against Aquino, labeling him as a Communist sympathizer because of the contacts he had established with insurgency leaders in central Luzon.

Aquino's ambition to be president was dashed when President Marcos declared martial law and dissolved the constitution. Marcos took all power unto himself and jailed his political opponents, including Aquino. Aquino spent over seven years in prison and was found guilty of murder, subversion, and illegal possession of firearms. Aquino denied these charges as well as the legitimacy of his trial and conviction by a military tribunal. In 1980 he was allowed to go to the United States for a heart bypass operation, and he remained in exile as a research fellow at Harvard University until his ill-fated return in 1983.

Following the assassination, and after appointing his own investigative commission of cronies, President Marcos was pressured to appoint a five-person non-partisan investigative board led by Judge Corazon Agrava. Marcos and the military stated that the assassination was carried out by a lone gunman in the pay of the Communist Party. The alleged gunman, Rolando Galman, was shot at the airport immediately following the shooting of Aquino, so he could not be cross-examined. The military carried out its own investigation and reported, not surprisingly, that no military personnel were involved in the death.

The official commission's majority report found that Aquino was not slain by the alleged Communist hireling as claimed by Marcos and the military but was the victim of a "criminal conspiracy" led by the military and including Gen. Fabian Ver, the armed forces chief of staff, the highest ranking general of the country, and a close friend and cousin of President Marcos. Ver's indictment included complicity in attempting to cover up the crime.

The commission's findings were astonishing, although from the beginning most Filipinos doubted the official version of the assassination. Almost no one believed that military generals would order the execution of Aquino on their own initiative, although no proof was ever presented that directly implicated the president. It is true that Aquino posed a threat as a possible unifier of the dispersed opposition. He had been the president's principal adversary for decades.

Ironically, the democratic opposition to Marcos was strongest after it lost its most famous leader. In death Aquino became more powerful than ever. The assassin of Aquino could never have known how seriously the authority of President Marcos would be undermined by his act. As Marcos lost credibility, the economy of the Philippines deteriorated so that by 1985 the nation was in political and economic chaos. At the same time, the opposition used the assassination to its own advantage so that Marcos was forced to relent on many of his most onerous policies. The press began publishing critical commentary and the elections for the National Assembly resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of oppositionists elected.

In December 1985 the court exonerated General Ver and the others charged with Aquino's murder. Marcos promptly reinstated Ver to his former position. But popular unrest with Marcos' rule was growing steadily and within weeks would coalese around Aquino's widow, Corazon.

Further Reading on Benigno Aquino

A biography of the Aquino family written by Nick Joaquin is The Aquinos of Tarlac: An Essay on History as Three Generations (Manila, 1983). Other sources include Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen Thompson Hill, Aquino Assassinated: The Story and Analysis of the Assassination of Philippine Senator Benigno S. Aquino (1983) and National Library of Australia, Benigno Aquino: A Select Bibliography of Articles in Periodical Publications Held in the National Library of Australia (Canberra, 1983). For detailed analysis of the assassination, see the weekly issues of Asia Week and Far Eastern Economic Review beginning August 21, 1983.

Additional Biography Sources

Aquino, Benigno S., Testament from a prison cell, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines: Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation, 1984.

Benigno, Teodoro C., Ninoy, the heart and the soul, Manila: Office of the Press Secretary, Bureau of Communications Services, 1988.

Hill, Gerald N., Aquino assassination: the true story and analysis of the assassination of Philippine Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., Sonoma, Calif.: Hilltop Pub. Co., 1983.

Joaquin, Nick., Ninoy Aquino in the Senate: final chapters of The Aquinos of Tarlac: an essay on history as three generation, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila: Solar Pub. Corp., 1986.

Ninoy Aquino: the man, the legend, Metro Manila, Philippines: Cacho Hermanos, 1984.

Policarpio, Alfonso P., Ninoy: the willing martyr, Philippines: Isaiah Books, 1986.

White, Mel, Aquino, Dallas: Word Pub., 1989.

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