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Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino dies at the age of 61 obituary News

According to several news reports and Al Jazeera sources, the former President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III died on Thursday after a long illness.

Aquino, 61, Served as the 15th President of the country From 2010 to 2016, he was succeeded by the current President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to ABS-CBN News, he was hospitalized early on Thursday.

However, according to news reports, he has undergone dialysis for at least five months and recently underwent a heart operation.

Jamela Alindoan, an Al Jazeera reporter from Manila, said that sources confirmed Aquino’s death.

Aquino’s family has not issued an official statement. But his former spokesman, Abigail Walter, told reporters in Manila that a statement will be issued later on Thursday.

Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, appointed by Aquino in 2012, said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to learn that former President Benigno Aquino III passed away this morning. .”

“I know he is a kind person, driven by his passion for serving the people. I see him with the title of dignity and integrity,” Leoning added, who also served as Aquino and Moro Liberation The peace negotiator of the Front.

Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Rock said that the country “thanks to the former president for his contribution and service to the country”.

The European Union Office in Manila said in a statement: “We mourn a friend who pushed to deepen our relationship.”

The German Embassy in Manila also issued a separate statement praising Aquino’s role in “strengthening” the relationship between the Philippines and Germany during his tenure.

The Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Manila, John Rowe, expressed condolences to Aquino’s family and added that his government “will always thank us for our partnership with the Philippines”.

Aquino (right) filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Arbitration to challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea, causing Beijing’s anger [File: Wally Santana/Reuters]

Against China

It was during the Aquino administration that Manila contended with China and filed a lawsuit with the Hague International Court of Arbitration over disputes over the South China Sea.

One month after Aquino’s retirement in 2016, the Philippines won this landmark case.

His six-year tenure saw The country’s economy grows steadily.

But he also faces controversy, including allegations of mismanagement after Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.

Although known as a personal integrity, his name was tarnished after being questioned by critics and opponents Release of reallocated public funds To his allies in Congress.

He also approved a controversial government action that resulted in the death of 44 commandos while hunting down a wanted Malaysian armed leader in southern Mindanao.

That incident undermined the peace agreement reached between Aquino and Muslim rebels during his tenure.

Aquino is also nicknamed Noynoy in the Philippines and is the only son of two democratic icons in the country.

His mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, came to power after the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown in 1986. During the failed military coup in 1989, he avoided assassination attempts by rogue soldiers while trying to protect his mother.

Aquino’s father and former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr of the same name were killed at Manila International Airport after returning from exile in 1983. The assassination was seen as the driving force for the popular uprising and Marcos’s step down three years later.

Before being elected president in 2010, Aquino served as a senator from 2007 to 2010, and from 1998 to 2007 as a member of Congress representing Tarak.

His mother died at the end of 2009, which caused Aquino to become president in the 2010 election.

After leaving office in 2016, Aquino has kept a low profile because Duterte’s allies continue to criticize him. Facing legal charges Related to the killing of commandos in 2015. He was also the target of online attacks by Duterte supporters.

Aries Arugay, professor of political science at the University of the Philippines, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Aquino’s death “is worth reminding that the Philippines needs to find the true north—democracy and human rights.”

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