Aquino turns 53: Some facts about the President

Just as Palace aides earlier noted, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III turned 53 without much official fanfare Friday.

Militant groups have given him a loud birthday greeting however, as they trooped to Mendiola Bridge near Malacañang.

Related story: Aquino to punish members backing opposition bets

Aquino is getting older but not wiser when it comes to running the country, they claimed, while urging him to junk the Visiting Forces Argeement with the U.S. and push for genuine agrarian reform.

But the government portal, the Official Gazette, also prepared something for the occassion.

In a post titled "Ten facts about President Benigno S. Aquino III," the website offered netizens a closer look at the life of the country's 15th president.

Aquino, who is the 5th leader of the Philippines' 5th Republic, is the first bachelor to ever take on the position.

He is also the only president who is the third of his name, as no other president was a "junior" or a "third."

Unknown to many, Aquino walks around with fragments of a bullet still lodged in his neck, reminders of a failed coup plot against his mother in August 1987, where he was shot five times.

Aquino is the namesake son of martial law martyr and former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

He was catapulted to the presidency by the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

Aquino declared his candidacy on Sept. 9, 2009 (09-09-09).

Among the country's 15 presidents, Aquino was only the 6th to be elected to a six-year term.

The others were Manuel Quezon in 1935, Aquino's mother Corazon in 1986, Fidel Ramos in 1992, Joseph Estrada in 1998 and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.

Aquino is also only the 10th Philippine senator to become president.

On June 30, 2010 he became the 7th senator to be inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand.

He is meanwhile the fourth president who was not sworn in by a chief justice.

The President preferred to be sworn by an associate justice, Conchita Carpio-Morales, instead of then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Aquino later on appointed Morales as Ombudsman, replacing Merceditas Gutierrez, who had been linked to Arroyo.

On the other hand, in May last year, and with an apparent administration push, Corona was impeached with an overwhelming Senate vote.

Aquino is also the first president to have graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University, but the second to be an Ateneo alumnus, after former President Joseph Estrada.

He is also the eight president to receive an honorary degree for New York's Jesuit university Fordham.

Related slideshow: President Aquino

Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks on October 23, 2012 in Wellington. Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed South China Sea waters, allegedly driving ... more 
Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks on October 23, 2012 in Wellington. Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed South China Sea waters, allegedly driving out one that had sheltered from rough seas less 
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AFP News
Sun, Jan 27, 2013 2:29 AM PHT

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