Former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, who served as the 15th chief executive of the Philippines, has passed away on Thursday (June 24). 

Aquino, who’s 61 years old, was hospitalized at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City before passing away early in the morning, sources say

His sister Kris Aquino was seen entering the medical facility during his stay, however, she did not give any comments. 

Aquino was elected President of the Philippines in 2010 and stayed in power until 2016. His inauguration into the post came after the death of his mother in 2009, Corazon Aquino, who served as the 11th President of the Philippines and a key figure that ended the dictator regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

His parents were the primary opposer of the Marcos administration, which led to the assassination of his father Benigno Aquino Jr. in 1983 – right after returning from political exile. 

Before serving as president, Aquino’s first foray into politics was through Tarlac, wherein he served as a lawmaker from 1998 to 2007. He was then elected as senator in 2007. 

During his term, Aquino faced multiple crises – one being the aftermath of 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,000 people. It was one of the deadliest typhoons to ever hit the Philippines and is considered one of the strongest ever recorded. 

Another, and probably the most-debated, is 2015’s Mamasapano clash, which killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP). 

The crew of policemen fought against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a mission that was meant to capture wanted Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli Abdhir. 

Before the end of his term, it was Aquino’s administration who brought China to the arbitral tribunal over its claims in the West Philippine Sea. The country won against Beijing in July 2016, a month after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the top post.

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