MANILA (UPDATE) - Herminio Aquino, uncle of Filipino democracy icon Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr, has lost his battle to cancer, the party's secretary-general said Sunday.
Aquino, chairman of political party Aksyon Demokratiko, was 72, said party secretary-general Ernest Ramel Jr. He succumbed to cancer of the esophagus on Saturday, July 31.
"It is with deepest sorrow that we inform the public the passing of Aksyon Demokratiko's chairman, former Cong. Hermie Aquino. He was an inspiring servant leader, a great man and a true patriot. He will be missed in these difficult times in our nation," Ramel said in a statement.
Aquino, half-brother of Benigno Simeon Aquino Sr., ran as the vice president of former senator Raul Roco in the 2004 national elections.
Prior to his vice presidential bid, he served as deputy executive secretary and minister of the Ministry of Human Settlements from 1986 to 1987 under former President Cory Aquino.
He also represented Tarlac's 3rd District at the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1998, and served as Tarlac's vice governor from 1998 to 2001.
The death of Herminio comes just weeks after the passing of his grand-nephew, former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. Sunday also marks the 12th death anniversary of Cory, while Aug. 21 will be the 38th death anniversary of Ninoy.