MANILA, Philippines—Going by the partial yet already substantial count of both the Comission on Elections and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, administration candidate Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV stands to become the fourth so-named senator in Philippine legislative history.
There were three other senators named Benigno Aquino—his grandfather Benigno Aquino, Sr., who served in the Eighth Legislature (1925-193); his Uncle Ninoy or Benigno Aquino, Jr., who served in the Sixth and Seventh congresses (1967-1973); and cousin President Aquino, who served in the 14th Congress (2007-2010).
“They’re an inspiration, they’re a guiding light. I hope I would be able to do the good things they have already done,” Bam Aquino told reporters at the Team Pnoy campaign headquarters in Makati City.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Bam Aquino was at seventh place in the unofficial count with 11.1 million votes.
His namesakes before him had their own way of doing things, said the young Aquino. He said he would also have his own way.
Wants spunk of Ninoy
Nonetheless, he said he wants to have the spunk that marked the Senate stint of his martyred uncle Ninoy Aquino.
“He was the youngest during his time [in the Senate]. He was also the most fearless. I hope I can be like that,” Bam Aquino said.
Ninoy Aquino was only 34 years old when he first won a seat in the Philippine Senate in 1967. He delivered scathing privileged speeches and quickly became the nemesis of then President Ferdinand Marcos.
It has yet to be seen how fearless Bam Aquino, 36, will be. He ran on the ticket backed by his cousin, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Aside from the three Benigno Aquinos before him, another uncle—Agapito or Butz—was elected to the Senate in the first post-Edsa Congress in 1988. This was after Corazon Aquino, the President’s mother and Bam’s aunt, stepped into the presidency after a “people power” revolt that ousted Marcos in 1986.
An advocate of promoting small businesses and a former National Youth Commission chair during the Arroyo administration, Bam Aquino vowed to push for legislation that will institutionalize loans for small and medium enterprises and those that will promote the welfare of the youth sector.