Former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III has died. Aged 61 at the time of his passing, he was the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016.
The only son of former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino, Aquino first entered politics as the congressional representative of the 2nd District of Tarlac, their family’s hometown. After three consecutive terms, he then served as senator from 2007 to 2010.
In 2010 election, he eyed to be the vice presidential candidate of former senator Manuel Roxas II; but following public clamor after the death of Cory Aquino in 2009, he was chosen to be the presidential candidate instead. His mother was elected president in 1986 after the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
Aquino was elected to the country’s top post at the age of 50.
Aquino had an indeterminable relationship with the LGBTQIA community in the Philippines.
Publicly, Aquino stated he had nothing against people no matter their SOGIESC so long they do others no harm.
In 2013, he even signed the “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013” into law. Among the acts criminalized by the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of the law included “gender-based bullying”, defined as “any act that humiliates or excludes a person on the basis of perceived or actual SOGI.”
However, Aquino also openly stated his apprehension on the legalization of marriage equality as it could eventually lead to the legalization of abortion.
He also opposed allowing LGBTQIA from adopting, as children adopted by married LGBTQIA couples may experience gender confusion.
At the time of Aquino’s delivery of his State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2015, Murphy Red, chairperson of Kapederasyon LGBT Sectoral Organization, stated that they were “under no illusion that Aquino will do anything… for the LGBTQIA Filipinos.”
Specifically, Red noted how Aquino’s administration – though packaged as “inclusive” – did not prioritize the passage of an anti-discrimination bill, or even the filing of an anti-hate crime law. Both could have helped deal with LGBTQIA-related hate crimes, such as the killing of transgender woman Jennifer Laude at the hands of American serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton.