Former Philippine president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, the reserved 61-year-old bachelor from one of Asia’s most famous political families, died Thursday, the country’s foreign minister and several officials said.
Aquino, who ruled the archipelago nation from 2010 to 2016, was the only son of the late former president Corazon Aquino and her assassinated husband, senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, both revered for leading the struggle to restore democracy in the archipelago nation.
Aquino was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Manila early Thursday, local media reported.
His family was expected to issue a statement.
“I’m out of Twitter from grief over the death of a sea-green incorruptible,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted.
He said Aquino was “brave under armed attack, wounded in crossfire, indifferent to power and its trappings, and ruled our country with a puzzling coldness but only because he hid his feelings so well it was thought he had none”.
Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, who was Aquino’s former peace adviser, expressed his “profound sadness” over the former leader’s death.
“I knew him to be a kind man, driven by his passion to serve our people, diligent in his duties, and with an avid and consuming curiosity about new knowledge and the world in general,” Leonen said.
Aquino, who was succeeded by President Rodrigo Duterte, waged an anti-corruption agenda during his term and ushered in key economic reforms.