Pedro Cojuangco, President Benigno Aquino III’s uncle and the eldest brother of the late President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino, passed away on Wednesday, according to Malacañang. He was 84.
Cojuangco died at the Makati Medical Center of cardiac arrest secondary to multiple organ failure, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
He is survived by his wife, Rosario Cacho and children Melecio, Rosario, Fernando, John John, Martin and Ana. Another son, Luis Alfonso, died earlier.
As the Cojuangco patriarch, he was referred to as Don Pedro. He was an avid golfer and sportsman. He was also fond of baseball and the NBA games.
Prior to his death, Cojuangco was chair of the board and president of the Central Azucarera De Tarlac, a position he held since 1976.
He was also the chair and president of Jose Cojuangco and Sons Inc., Hacienda Luisita Inc., Tarlac Development Corp., Luisita Golf and Country Club Inc., and Liberty Insurance Corp.
Cojuangco was the former president and chief operating officer of the First United Bank (now United Coconut Planters Bank).
In January 2009, Cojuangco was in the news when he and his wife figured in an 11-car smashup in Los Angeles, California on New Year’s Eve.
Along with a daughter-in-law, he and his wife were injured in the accident, triggered by a runaway truck while cruising on a Los Angeles freeway. His injuries forced him to quit golf, according to family spokesperson Joey Romasanta.
Lacierda said Cojuangco’s wake will be held at the Cojuangco residence in Forbes Park.
He said President Aquino was expected to attend the wake. He added that the family was appealing to the media to give them some privacy.
Cojuangco will be buried on July 26 at the family mausoleum adjacent to the tombs of slain former Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr. and former President Cory Aquino at the Manila Memorial Park.