The 81st birth anniversary of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., democracy icon and father of current President Benigno Aquino III, will be commemorated this November 27, Wednesday.
The said day will be a special non-working public holiday in Tarlac by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 8151. It became law in 1995, during the time of then-President Fidel V. Ramos. Read the full text of RA 8151 in this link.
Although this is also referred to as “Ninoy Aquino Day,” this holiday is different from the one being marked nationwide every August 21, the day when the Marcos-era opposition leader was assassinated upon his return to the Philippines.
The province of Tarlac and the Cojuangco-Aquino clan will forever be intertwined in history. Ninoy’s grandfather Servillano was part of the Malolos Congress during the term of Emilio Aguinaldo, the country’s first president.
His father and namesake, Benigno Sr., was initially elected as one of Tarlac’s district representatives before eventually becoming the Speaker of the National Assembly during the Japanese period.
With politics in his pedigree, Ninoy himself became a public servant at an extremely young age. He was elected mayor of his home town at 22, Tarlac’s vice governor at 27, and governor at 29. In 1967, he went on to become the youngest person to be elected Senator at age 34.
Aquino’s record is not likely to be shattered anytime soon. Article VI, section III of the 1987 Constitution stipulates that only natural-born Filipinos who are 35 years old by Election Day are qualified to run for a Senate seat.