Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III (born February 8, 1960) is a Senator of the Philippines and a candidate for President of the Philippines in the 2010 election, as the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party. He is the only son of former President Corazon Aquino and former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, he was seriously wounded by rebel soldiers in a failed coup attempt during his mother's presidency. In 1989, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac province in the 11th Congress of the Philippines. In 2007, he was elected to the Senate of the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
He is also the brother of TV host and actress Kris Aquino.
Early life and education
Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Cojuangco Aquino III was born on February 8, 1960. He is the third of the of five children of Benigno Aquino, Jr., who was then Vice Governor of Tarlac province, and Corazon Aquino. He has three sisters, Maria Elena ("Ballsy"), Aurora Corazon ("Pinky"), Victoria Eliza ("Viel"), and Kristina Bernadette ("Kris").
Aquino studied in Ateneo de Manila University for his elementary, high school, and college education, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After college, he joined his family in Boston in exile.
In 1983, shortly after the murder of his father, Noynoy had a short tenure as a member of the Philippine Business for Social Progress. From 1985 to 1986, he was retail sales supervisor and youth promotions assistant for Nike Philippines and later an assistant for advertising and promotion for Mondragon Philippines. In 1986, he joined Intra-Strata Assurance Corp. as vice-president of the family-owned corporation.
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 siege Malacañang Palace. Aquino was two blocks from the palace when he came under fire. Three of his four security escorts were killed, and the last was wounded protecting him. Aquino himself was hit by five bullets, one of which is still embedded in his neck.
From 1986 to 1993, Aquino was vice president and treasurer for Best Security Agency Corporation, a firm owned by his uncle Antolin Oreta. He went to work for the Central Azucarera de Tarlac in 1993, the sugar refinery owned by the Cojuangco clan. He started out as an executive assistant for administration, before becoming field services manager in 1996.
Aquino is a leading member of the Liberal Party. He currently holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Liberal Party, having assumed the post on 17 March 2006. He was previously Secretary General of the party (1999-2002), Vice-President of the Luzon Liberal Party (2002-2004), and Secretary General of the party (2004-16 March 2006).
Aquino is associated with a faction of the Liberal Party which opposes the government of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, citing alleged human rights violations.
House of Representatives
Aquino was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, representing the 2nd District of Tarlac. He won re-election in 2001 and 2004, and served until 2007. Aquino served on numerous committees as a member of Congress: the Public Order and Security, Transportation and Communications, Agriculture, Banks &and Financial Intermediaries, Peoples’ Participation, Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, Appropriations, Natural Resources, and Trade and Industry committees (11th Congress), the Civil, Political and Human Rights, Good Government, Public Order and Security, Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy committees (12th Congress), and the Banks and Financial Intermediaries, Energy, Export Promotion, Public Order and Safety committees (13th Congress). Aquino was also Deputy Speaker from November 8, 2004 to February 21, 2006.