Former Philippine president SLOTXO Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, scion of the country's revered Aquino family, has died at the age of 61. While in power from 2010 to 2016, he famously took China to court over a long-running dispute involving the South China Sea, parts of which the Philippines claims as the West Philippine Sea. Aquino had been largely silent and out of the public eye after his presidency ended. On Thursday his sisters released a statement saying he had died peacefully in his sleep that morning due to kidney failure "secondary to diabetes". Blue-blooded parentage Aquino was the only son of his much-revered parents, the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr and former president Corazon Aquino. His nickname Noynoy was a tribute to his father's own moniker - Ninoy. Ninoy Aquino's dramatic assassination in 1983 electrified the country. He had been in exile in the United States, forced to flee the martial law of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Determined to bring democracy to his country he flew back to Manila - only to be killed upon landing. Tens of thousands of people joined the outpouring of grief, fuelling a pro-democracy movement that President Marcos responded to by calling a snap election in February 1986. Political ascent Growing up in the shadow of such admired parents, with four sisters - one of whom, Kris, is a prominent TV personality - Noynoy, himself a bachelor, was often known as the quiet Aquino. He earned a degree in economics from the elite Ateneo university in Manila before joining his family when they were in exile in Boston. Following his return to the Philippines in 1983, he worked in various businesses and was elected to Congress in 1988. In 2007 he won a seat in the Senate.