Source PhilStar
Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the fifteenth president of the Philippines, died on Thursday, June 24, sources confirmed. He was 61.

Aquino, the son of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino, died this morning. He was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City.

In a chance interview with reporters outside the hospital, lawyer Abigail Valte, Aquino’s representative and his former deputy spokesperson, refused to give details but said the family will issue an official statement later.

He took the oath of office to become the 15th president of the Philippines on June 30, 2010, succeeding Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He mounted his candidacy shortly after the death of his mother in 2009 as Liberal Party’s presidential candidate.

Aquino was born on Feb. 8, 1960, the only son of political leader and his namesake Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr. and Corazon Aquino, who was president after the EDSA Revolution toppled the Marcos dictatorship.

Sen. Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, the expected standard-bearer for the Liberal Party at the time, said he would make the "supreme sacrifice" and give way.

'Daang Matuwid'
He ran on a “Daang Matuwid” (straight and righteous path) platform, and vowed he would eradicate corruption, elevate the people living at the margins of society and instill transparency in governance.

In his inaugural address, Aquino announced his “no wang-wang” policy, which discouraged the use of emergency sirens vehicles on the road. The policy was seen as a sign that there would be no special treatment for politicians and officials during his presidency.

In the same speech, delivered in Filipino, Aquino uttered his famous lines: “Kayo ang boss ko.”

Throughout his presidency, Aquino had used Filipino in most of his public addresses.

An economist by education, Aquino launched ambitious infrastructure projects under Private-Public Partnerships. Under his term, the tourism department launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign to promote tourism and boost the economy.

It was during his term when the Philippines bagged its first investment grade rating, thanks to his fiscal management that tightened spending rules to curb corruption, reduced government debt and narrowed the budget deficit. But it was the same fiscal tightening that was blamed for chronic undespending during his time, which his critics said resulted in lost economic opportunities. Still, gross domestic product expanded at an average of 6.2% during Aquino's entire term, with growth even topping 7% for two years.

During his presidency, the Philippines brought China to the international court over dispute in the West Philippines. The arbitral tribunal handed down its historic ruling in July 2016, a month after Aquino’s term ended.

Aquino also secured a last-minute reprieve for trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso from the death row in Indonesia in 2016.

Two months from his presidency, Aquino faced an early crisis after a disgruntled former cop hijacked a tourist bus carrying tourists from Hong Kong where eight people died.

In January 2015, the state launched an Oplan Exodus to neutralize Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias "Marwan" and Filipino bomb maker Abdul Basit Usman, but the operation failed resulting in deaths of over 60 people, including 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Forces.

Under his administration, he introduced the Disbursement Acceleration Program, a stimulus package, designed to fast-track public spending and push economic growth, but this was ultimately struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

His administration also introduced the Priority Development Assistance Fund for lawmakers that allows congressional pork barrel or a lump sump appropriation in the national budget. But this was ultimately plagued with corruption controversies as several lawmakers funneled public money to line their pockets instead of launching projects to benefit the public.

Criticisms were also levelled on the government’s response to Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

While the Aquino administration later on bannered change as platform, this was the very same platform that his eventual predecessor and current President Rodrigo Duterte used in his campaign.

Aquino served the 11th to 13th Congress, from 1998-2007. He then ran and won as senator in the 2007 midterm elections, and served the upper house for three years before gunning for presidency.

At the Senate, he sat as chairman of the committee on local government and as vice chairman of the committee on justice and human rights.

Aquino is survived by his sisters, Kris Aquino, Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz and Pinky Aquino-Abellada.