Ninoy Aquino

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  • Topic: Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino
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Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr.
(Nov. 27, 1932-Aug. 21, 1983)

I. Background

Benigno Aquino of the Philippines was a leading opponent of the rule of President Ferdinand Marcos (1917–1989), who governed the Philippines from 1966 to 1986. Aquino's opposition ended in August 1983 when, after living in the United States for three years, he returned to the Philippine capital of Manila and was assassinated (killed) at the airport. Aquino's death touched off massive demonstrations against President Marcos.

Youthful accomplishments

Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino was born on November 27, 1932, in Tarlac Province, on the island of Luzon, to a prominent family. He was the grandson of a general and the son of a Philippine senator who was also a wealthy landowner. His ambition and energy stood out early when, at age seventeen, he was sent by the Manila Times newspaper to report on the Korean War (1950–53). The war was between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and was a war in which the United States and China eventually joined.

At age twenty-two Aquino became the Philippines' youngest mayor in his home-town of Concepcion. Just six years later he became governor of Tarlac province (a position similar to governing a state). In 1967 Aquino once again made history when he became the youngest senator ever elected in the Philippines. Meanwhile he married Corazon Cojoangco, with whom he eventually raised five children.

II. Highlight
A fallen leader

Aquino became famous for his gifts as a public speaker and for his brilliant mind, as well as his great ambition. He became the leading candidate for the presidency in 1973, when President Marcos was scheduled to leave office after completing the maximum two terms as president. Aquino's ambition to be president was never realized, however, because President Marcos declared martial law (a state of emergency in which military authorities are given temporary...
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