PROFILE: Benigno Simeon “NOYNOY” Cojuangco Aquino III
Date of Birth: February 8, 1960
Place of Birth: Manila
Provincial Address: Sitio Alto, Brg. Central, Tarlac City, Tarlac
Civil Status: Single, Currently in a relationship with Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad
Official Website: www.noynoy.ph
The son of two democracy icons, Aquino had no intention of running for President before the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, in August 2009. After Liberal Party standard bearer Sen. Manuel Roxas gave way, Aquino decided to carry the torch and he was declared the standard bearer presidential bet of the party.
On running for President after his mother’s death: “I had no ambitions to run in the 2010 elections but I responded to the people's clamor. I am but the face of what we believe is the overwhelming demand of our people to repudiate everything wrong in this administration.” Aquino quoted his father, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr, who wrote in a letter from prison: “Son, the ball is now in your hands.”
On his alleged mental disorder: Aquino denied reports that he underwent medication and psychotherapy sessions, as a “work of fiction.” He told ABS-CBN: “What they're doing is that they came up with this work of fiction, [and] I will respond [and] point out factual errors that are easily verifiable, thereby giving them the chance to, para bang may 'editing' of the work to make it sound more credible… So I'm in a position [where] there is a no-win situation, and the lack of attribution is already indicative of the fact that the person who made this fiction is aware that he is purporting fiction and is slanderous.”
[Editor's Note: Two alleged psychiatric reports, purportedly from the Ateneo De Manila University Psychology Department, were proven to be mere fabrications. ]
On Hacienda Luisita: In a press statement, Aquino committed to distribute 4,100 hectares of the family-owned land to 10,000 farmers in 10 years. The delay in the property transfer, according to Aquino, was because the family is “settling the huge debts incurred by Hacienda Luisita Inc so the farmer-tenants will not absorb it.”
- He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1981. He studied basic and secondary education in the same school.
1981–1983: Shortly after graduating from the Ateneo, Aquino joined his family in exile in Boston.
1983–1984, NGO: After his father Ninoy Aquino’s death, he served as a member of the philanthropic group Philippine Business for Social Progress.
1985-1986, CORPORATE WORK: He was assistant for advertising and promotion at Mondragon Philippines, and later retail sales supervisor at Nike Shoes.
1986-1993, MINOR FAMILY BUSINESS: He joined two family-owned corporations, Instra Strata Assurance Corp. (as vice president) and Best Security Agency Corp. (as vice president and treasurer).
1993–2008, MAJOR FAMILY BUSINESS: He was as Executive Assistant for Administration for Central Azucarera de Tarlac, a sugar refinery owned by the Cojuangco clan, his mother’s side of the family. In 1996, he became a Field Services Manager, a position he held until 2008.
1998–2007, LEGISLATIVE: At 38, he ran and won as representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac. In the same election year, two relatives—second cousin and Lakas-Kampi-CMD presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro and uncle, former education secretary Jesli Lapus—won as representatives in the other districts of Tarlac. Aquino was re-elected in the 2001 and 2004 elections.
2004: He became Deputy House Speaker until he was stripped of the position when he joined calls for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resign during the height of the “Hello Garci” scandal in 2005.
2007–Present, LEGISLATIVE: After serving three terms in the Lower House, Aquino joined the senatorial race in 2007. He placed 6th. In his first term, he chairs the committee on Local Government and is the vice chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights. He is also the oversight committee chair on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Organic Act.
- In his three terms as a representative of Tarlac, Aquino filed 21 bills. None was passed into law. As a Senator, he filed another 9 bills. None was enacted into law.
- Two bills have passed the Senate reading but remained pending in the lower house. These bills are: 1) Senate Bill No. 2978, which places parameters for the selection of local Philippine National Police (PNP) officers for local government units and, 2) Senate Bill No. 1710, a bill that bans the re-appointment of a member of the Judicial and Bar Council, the body that vets positions in the judiciary, after a full term.
- In his official website, Aquino explained that his lack of legislative achievement stems from a belief that the country already has too many good laws. What is needed, he said, is proper implementation.
- Former Chair, Pacific Asia Network
- Former Chair, Philippine Cooperative Center
- Former Chair, National Cooperative Movement
- Former National President, Philippine Jaycees
- Chair, August Twenty-One Movement
- Member, Philippine Business for Social Progress, 1983–1984
- Field Services Manager, Central Azucarera de Tarlac
–With additional research from Maria Althea Teves, Newsbreak
Sources: COMELEC Certificate of Candidacy, www.omb.gov.ph, www.noynoy.ph, Noynoy Aquino’s official Facebook page, and various news reports