Former Philippine President passes away at 61
By Kevin Luarca
Former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III, passed away on June 24. Under his leadership, the Philippines sustained strong economic growth and underwent key structural reforms that strengthened the country's capabilities.
Former Philippine president Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, fondly known as "Noynoy", passed away today, 24 June 2021 at the age of 61.
The former president passed away peacefully in his sleep at 6:30 am due to renal failure as a result of his diabetes, according to his sister Pinky Aquino Abellada. He was rushed to the hospital but efforts to revive him failed, confirmed Manuel Roxas, former interior secretary and close friend of the late president.
Aquino was the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines. He was the son of the former president Corazon Cojuangco Aquino and former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., whose assasination partly resulted to the historic People Power Revolution in EDSA on February of 1986.
"Noynoy" served as the president from 2010 to 2016. Under his leadership the Phillipines sustained a strong economic growth, upgrading the country from high credit risk to investor grade. Over his six-year presidency, the country's GDP averaged 6.2% and peaked at 7.2% in 2013 making the Philippines the second fastest growing economy that year just behind China. Investors looked favourably at his administration's attempt to improve transparency and eliminate corruption in the government.
Key achievments under his presidency include the adoption of “K to 12” curriculum, aimed to upgrade the Philippine educational system to be on par with international standards, and prepare the average Filipino for employment by the time they graduate from senior high school.
His administration also grabbed international attention when he filed a case against the People's Republic of China at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 2013 concerning territorial disputes and maritime entitlements under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which both countries are signed. In 2016 the arbitral tribunal ruled in favour of the Philippines.
Aquino also revived peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rebel group in southern Philippines.
He also signed the National Greening Program which aspired to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares of land from 2011 to 2016.
He will be remembered fondly by family, friends, and his fellow countrymen for his contributions and achievements.
All of us at The Asian Banker are deeply saddened by the passing of the former Philippine president Benigno Aquino III. We send our deepest condolences to his family, the people and friends of the Philippines who mourn his passing.
Region: Southeast Asia
Guest: Noynoy Aquino