Philippine democracy scion, ex-leader Benigno Aquino dies

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Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, the son of pro-democracy icons who helped topple dictator Ferdinand Marcos and had troublesome ties with China, died Thursday, a cousin and public officials said. He was 61.

Former Sen. Bam Aquino said he was heartbroken by the death of his cousin. “He gave his all for the Filipino, he did not leave anything,” he said.

Details of his death were not immediately made public by members of his family, who were seen rushing to a metropolitan Manila hospital in the morning. But one of his former Cabinet official, Rogelio Singson, said Aquino had been undergoing dialysis and was preparing for a kidney transplant.Condolences poured in from Philippine politicians, the Catholic church and others.

Aquino, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, was the heir to a political legacy of a family that has been regarded as a bulwark against authoritarianism in the Philippines.

His father, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated in 1983 while under military custody at the Manila international airport, which now bears his name. His mother, Corazon Aquino, led the 1986 “people power” revolt that ousted Marcos. The army-backed uprising became a harbinger of popular revolts against authoritarian regimes worldwide.

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