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Noynoy Aquino’s death leaves nation awash in deep grief

/ 05:22 PM June 24, 2021

FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—As news of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s passing spread on Thursday, government officials, local leaders and citizens expressed their deep sorrow at the loss of the former president and paid vibrant tributes to his life and achievements.

His death certificate, the Aquino family said, pronounced his death “at 6:30 a.m. due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.”

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“It is with profound grief that on behalf of our family, I am confirming that our brother Benigno ‘Noynoy’ S. Aquino III died peacefully in his sleep,” the family’s statement announced, as read by his sister, Pinky Aquino-Abellada.

The following are some responses to Aquino’s death from leaders and people across the country:

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Malacañang

“We commiserate and condole with the family and loved ones of former President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III as we extend our condolences on his untimely demise,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing on Thursday.

“We’re grateful for the former president for his contribution and services to the country and we ask our people to offer a prayer for the eternal repose of the former chief executive. Rest in peace, Mr. President,” he added.

From 2010 to 2016, Noynoy Aquino served as Philippine president.

Roque said the late president was once acclaimed for having an “anti-wangwang” policy and being a simple public servant on Aquino’s legacy.

READ: Palace extends condolences on ‘untimely demise’ of ex-President Noynoy Aquino

VP Leni Robredo

“Nakakadurog ng puso (This is so heartbreaking),” said Vice President Robredo on Twitter Thursday. “He was a loyal friend and a good president. He did what was right, even if it was not popular.”

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“He helped many people quietly and tirelessly. His absence will be felt. I sympathize with his family, ”she added.

READ: ‘He will be missed:’ Leni Robredo heartbroken over demise of Aquino

Senate

Senators on Thursday mourned former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, and called him a “good man” who served the country with “humility, honor, and integrity.”

Late former president Aquino RICHARD A. REYES/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

“No matter what political side you’re on when a former president passes away, the country mourns,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.

“His death diminishes us all,” added Sotto, who already ordered that the Philippine flag in the Senate be flown at half-mast.

Risa Hontiveros, a senator from the opposition, remembered Aquino as a “good man” and regarded him as “one of the best things to happen to the country since pagkatapos ng [after the] 1986 People Power Revolution.”

“Nung mga taon na presidente natin si PNoy, ang dami nating mabuting nagawa, tayong mga Pilipino.
He’s a good man at ang dami nating mabuting nagawa during his watch, maraming na-repair na democratic institution,” she said in an online interview with reporters.

Similarly, Senator Panfilo Lacson called the death of Aquino “heartbreaking.”

“So sad to hear that at a relatively young age of 61, he had passed on to the Great Beyond.
It was not fair for him to be unappreciated for our country’s leadership.

He served his country very well with humility, honor, and integrity,” Lacson said in a message.

“Even as President, he always managed to promptly respond to my messages, no matter how casual and trivial.

It was indeed a privilege to have served with him – both in the Senate and the Executive Department, but more than that, to be his friend,” he added.

Meanwhile, senators who served in the House of Representatives with Aquino also mourned the passing of the former president.

“I will always treasure the memories of our long years together as freshmen legislators and members of a tiny opposition,” Senator Imee Marcos said.

READ: Senators grieve ‘heartbreaking’ death of ex-president Noynoy Aquino

House of Representatives

To mark Aquino’s passing, the Philippine flags are flying half-mast at the House of Representatives, where he was a three-term representative of the district of Tarlac.

“We are saddened to learn of the passing of former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III. The entire House of Representatives would like to extend its heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time,” Velasco said in a statement.

“The nation mourns with you and celebrates the life of a man who dedicated his service to the country as a three-term Representative of the Second District of Tarlac in Congress, Senator, and President of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said Aquino was a “man of integrity” and “a Filipino leader who made it his primary mission to institutionalize good governance reforms.”

“I join the nation in mourning the passing of former President Noynoy Aquino. The news of his death was a shock to all of us,” Romualdez said.

“We extend our condolences to his family and loved ones. May you find peace in knowing that he is now back to the loving embrace of our Father. Rest now former President Aquino,” he added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

“He wasn’t fond of me but I could not bring myself not to admire him,” said in a tweet.

“I’m out of Twitter from grief over the death of a sea-green incorruptible, brave under armed attack, wounded in crossfire, indifferent to power and its trappings, and ruled our country with a puzzling coldness but only because he hid his feelings so well it was thought he had none,” Locsin said in a tweet.

READ: Locsin grieves passing of ‘incorruptible’ ex-president Noynoy Aquino

Retired SC Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales

Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III “was an example of decency and earned us international respect,” retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales said.

Carpio-Morales was the only dissenting Supreme Court justice when the High Court allowed then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to appoint the next chief justice, despite a constitutional ban on midnight appointments.

Aquino personally chose her to administer his oath of office as president of the Philippines in 2010.

“It was a great honor to have served as Ombudsman when he was our President and honesty, integrity and the rule of law guided our government,” she said in a statement.

“He was brave. He went after powerful people who did wrong. But he was fair and allowed justice to prevail even to his discredit. He was an example of decency and earned us international respect,” Carpio-Morales said.

Arroyo and Estrada

Former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada paid tribute to Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, known as PNoy.

According to Macapagal-Arroyo, along with Aquino’s own contributions, he will also be remembered as part of the family of Aquinos that “has contributed three important people to the history of our nation.”

“My family and I join the Filipino people in prayers and sympathy on the passing of former President Benigno Aquino III,” Macapagal-Arroyo said in a statement.

“Aside from his own achievements, he will be remembered as part of the Aquino family that has contributed three important people to the history of our nation, Senator Ninoy Aquino and our 11th and 15th presidents, Cory and Noynoy Aquino,” she added.

In addition, Estrada expressed his sorrow over Aquino’s death and prayed for the family.

“My sincere condolences to the Aquino family. Sa pagkakataong ito, ang aking tanging dasal ay bigyan kayo ng Diyos ng lakas ng loob. Paalam, PNoy!” Estrada said.

Aquino died at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. He served as the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016.

Estrada was the 13th president of the country, followed by Macapagal-Arroyo and Aquino.

Aquino’s hometown

Upon his death, the hometown of the former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III paid tribute to the “Son of Tarlac.”

To honor the late president, the Filipino flag was lowered to half-staff in Concepcion.

Concepcion Mayor Andres Lacson expressed his town’s unity with the Aquino family in mourning.

“Bilang tubo ng ating bayan, tunay ngang ikinararangal nating lahat ang buhay ng dating pangulo, sampu ng kanyang mga magulang, na tumayo laban sa diktadurya. Bilang pagkilala sa mahusay niyang paglilingkod sa bansa, ipinag-utos ng ating Alkalde Andy David Lacson ang ‘half mast of Philippine flag’, tanda ng pagdadalamhati ng buong bayan,” the Concepcion municipal government posted on social media.

Manila

The flags throughout Manila are flown at half-staff to mark the passing of  Aquino, Mayor Isko Moreno said Thursday as he mourned the former president’s death who “inspired us with his unexpected humility.”

Moreno said Aquino “championed good governance reforms that promoted efficiency and reduced opportunities for corruption.”

“The Philippines was cited as the fastest-growing economy in Asia during his administration,” Moreno said in a statement.

“PNoy was a pragmatic man who did the best with the cards that life had dealt him. He inspired us with his unexpected humility. May his legacy continue to lead others to the right path,” he added.

READ: Senators grieve ‘heartbreaking’ death of ex-president Noynoy Aquino

Olongapo, Subic

The Philippine flag was flown at half staff in front of the city hall in honor of Aquino.

Philippine flag is flown at half-staff in front of Olongapo City hall

The Philippine flag is flown at half-staff in front of Olongapo City hall as its officials and residents mourned the death of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. (Contributed)

Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr. expressed his condolences for the passing of Aquino.

Paulino said Aquino’s legacy “will never be forgotten by the Filipino people.”

The Philippine flag was also lowered to half-staff at the city’s Rizal Triangle.

In nearby Subic Bay Freeport, the Philippine flag in front of the administration building of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) was also lowered to half-staff to pay tribute to Aquino.

Pampanga

Prominent figures in Pampanga province paid tribute to Aquino. Former Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio described Aquino as a “statesman, a leader and a visionary who made us prouder as a nation in our global community.”

READ: Late President Noynoy Aquino a ‘statesman, visionary,’ says ex-Pampanga gov

Albay flags at half-staff in honor of Aquino

As a sign of mourning on the passing on Thursday of Aquino, the Albay provincial government ordered that the Philippine Flag be flown at half-staff in all government offices and public places in the entire province.

Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara issued Executive Order No. 21 on Thursday, directing all public government offices in the province to display their respective Philippine flags at half-staff as a sign of mourning.

READ: Albay Capitol, offices fly flags at half-staff in honor of Noynoy Aquino

Netizens mourn

“RIP PNoy” trends on Twitter as Filipinos pour their hearts out in mourning the passing of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. Filipinos expressed through social media their sentiments for the late former president.

PoPCom: Aquino staunch advocate of reproductive health

Former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III defended the cause of Filipino families by championing reproductive health (RH) in the country, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) said Thursday. Undersecretary for Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III made the remark as PopCom mourned the passing of the former president.

To recall, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law was passed during the Aquino administration in 2012.

“Former president Aquino III made it clear during his tenure that RH was a priority of his administration, despite opposition from some sectors,” Perez said in a statement.

READ: PoPCom: Noynoy Aquino was staunch advocate of reproductive health

Sorsogon

Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Thursday ordered all Philippine flags in Sorsogon province be flown at half-mast to mourn the death of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

“[F]ormer President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III has passed away today and it is fitting and proper to afford him respect by ordering all National Flags in the Province of Sorsogon to be flown at half-mast,” Escudero said in an executive order.

Under the order, Philippine flags in all buildings and areas displayed in the province should be flown at half-staff for 10 days.

READ: Escudero: Fly PH flags at half-mast across Sorsogon for 10 days to mourn Noynoy’s death

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