(Reuters) - Philippine lawmakers proclaimed Benigno Aquino III as the country’s 15th president on Wednesday, with the opposition senator winning by the widest election margin since democracy was restored via a people power revolt in 1986.
Aquino, a 50-year-old bachelor and only son of the Philippines’ revered democracy leader Cory Aquino, won 15.2 million votes, or 42 percent, of 36.3 million votes cast for president, based on the official Congress tally.
Here are key facts about Aquino:
- Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III was born in Manila on February 8, 1960, to Corazon and Benigno Aquino Jr. His father, a senator who staunchly opposed the rule of strongman Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated when he returned home from political exile in 1983. The killing shocked the nation and helped propel Marcos out of office in the 1986 “People Power” revolution. His mother, who died in August 2009, ruled as president from 1986 until 1992.
- A graduate of economics from the Ateneo de Manila University, Aquino was a three-term member of the House of Representatives between 1998 and 2007, representing the sugar-growing Tarlac province north of Manila. He worked in the family business before launching his political career.
- In 2007, he ran and won a six-year term in the Senate, with help from his mother who campaigned actively for him. He belongs to the Liberal Party of the Philippines and has been an opponent of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo since 2005, when his mother and party colleagues called on Arroyo to step down due to allegations of poll fraud.
- In 1987, during an attempted military coup against his mother’s administration, Aquino was shot by rogue soldiers outside the presidential palace in Manila. Three of his bodyguards were killed and he sustained five bullet wounds. One bullet is still embedded in his neck.
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