MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III's 6-year term in Malacañang is nearing its end.
Aquino's presidency officially began in 2010 after he won the May presidential elections that year. However, it was on this day in 2009 when his journey to Malacañang actually began.
Aquino announced on September 9 that he had decided to run for president. It was a decision encouraged by a public clamor for him to seek the presidency after the death of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino, in August 2009.
Rappler looks back at that time when Aquino announced his presidential candidacy for the 2010 elections:
1. Why announce his candidacy on September 9? This day coincides with the 40th day since the death of Cory Aquino. It was also supposed to be the day when Aquino's family planned to reveal to the public their decision. Most Filipinos consider the 40th day after a person's death as the end of a grieving period.
2. The announcement was made at the Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City – the same venue where Cory Aquino was sworn in as president at the culmination of the historic 1986 EDSA Revolution.
3. Club Filipino has also witnessed events that eventually led to Aquino's declaration. On September 1 (Tuesday), then senator Mar Roxas – already the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) at the time – declared in the same venue his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential elections to give way to Aquino.
4. Again in Club Filipino, Aquino announced in a press conference on September 2 (a Wednesday) that he would go on a spiritual retreat at the Carmelite Monastery in Zamboanga City to help him decide.
5. While yellow became the standard color theme of Aquino's candidacy, he didn't wear a yellow outfit that day. Since it was the the 40th day of their mother's death, Aquino, his sisters – Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, and Kris – and their family all wore black in the event.
File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP
6. Aquino was also accompanied by his then girlfriend, Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad, who was a reelectionist in the 2010 elections. The two eventually broke up a few months after Aquino became president. Soledad eventually married Pasig City Representative Roman Romulo in January 2012.
7. A Pep.ph report said Aquino delivered an 11-minute speech, which was accompanied by 11 rounds of applause from around 200 people inside Club Filipino.
8. What inspired him to finally run for president? He enumerated in his speech several encounters with various people who made him pursue his candidacy. But he claimed it was a conversation between his friend and a Customs employee that really pushed him to run:
"Tinanong po yung kasamahan natin, 'Tatakbo na ba si Noynoy?' Ang sagot po nung tumutulak sa 'king tumakbo, 'Tatakbo na nga!' Kaya sagot po nung taga-Customs sa kanya, 'Salamat.' Tinanong, 'Bakit ka nagpapasalamat?' 'Kasi ho, boss, puwede na ho kaming mangarap. Puwede na pong muling mangarap.'"
(A friend of mine was asked: 'Is Noynoy going to run?' He, who was pushing me to run, answered, "He will!' The person from Customs expressed gratitude, and so my friend asked, 'What are you thankful for?' 'Because now, we can finally dream. We can now dream again.)
9. Prior to Aquino's announcement, fund-raising campaigns were initiated by his supporters to encourage him to run. This became evident during the announcement when a can labeled "Piso para kay Noynoy (A peso for Noynoy) was passed around the venue to continue soliciting funds for his campaign.
File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP
10. Also present during the announcement were other LP members like then senator Francis Pangilinan, former senator Franklin Drilon, Quezon Representative Erin Tañada III, former Batanes representative Florencio “Butch” Abad and Nereus Acosta. It was also attended by non-politicians like singer-composer Jim Paredes and Black and White Movement's Leah Navarro. – Rappler.com