New Delhi: Former Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the son of pro-democracy icons who helped topple dictator Ferdinand Marcos and had troublesome ties with China, died on Thursday morning at the age of 61, reported media agencies. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque sent his condolences to the Aquino family, reports Xinhua news agency. Local media reported that Aquino was rushed to a hospital in the Quezon City suburb on Thursday morning, where he died of a heart failure.Also Read - Passenger Train With 243 On Board, Crashes Into Dump Truck In US's Missouri; 3 Killed, Multiple Injured

Aquino, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, was the heir to a political legacy of a family that has been regarded as a bulwark against authoritarianism in the Philippines. His father, former Sen Benigno Aquino Jr, was assassinated in 1983 while under military custody at the Manila international airport, which now bears his name. His mother, Corazon Aquino, led the 1986 people power revolt that ousted Marcos. The army-backed uprising became a harbinger of popular revolts against authoritarian regimes worldwide. Also Read - India Being Used As Potential 'Back Door' Into Europe For Russian Oil, Suggests Report

Noynoy: An incorruptible politician

Although a scion of a wealthy land-owning political clan in the northern Philippines, Aquino, who was fondly called Noynoy or Pinoy by many Filipinos and had an image as an incorruptible politician, battled poverty and frowned over excesses by the country’s elite families and powerful politicians. One of his first orders that lingered throughout his presidency was to ban the use of sirens in vehicles that carried VIPs through Manila’s notorious traffic jams. Also Read - US Navy's WWII Ship, ‘Deepest Shipwreck Ever Located’, Found Off Philippines

Fought Chinese territorial claims

Aquino, whose family went into exile in the US during Marcos’s rule, had turbulent ties with China as president. After China effectively seized a disputed shoal in 2012 following a tense standoff between Chinese and Philippine ships in the South China Sea, Aquino authorised the filing of a complaint before an international arbitration tribunal that questioned the validity of China’s sweeping claims in the strategic waterway on historical grounds. We do not wish to increase tensions with anyone, but we must let the world know that we are ready to protect what is ours, Aquino said in his State of the Nation Address to Congress in 2011.

Never married

Born in 1960 as the third of five children, Aquino never married and had no children. An economics graduate, Aquino engaged in businesses before entering politics.

(With inputs from agencies)