Visayas leaders mourn death of Pnoy
CEBU CITY––Philippine flags in various parts of the Visayas were lowered at half-staff as expressions of condolences poured in to mourn the passing of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Local officials, including his allies and those who shifted to the ruling party after the 2016 presidential elections, remembered him as a “good” and “principled” leader, who poured projects in their provinces.
“We would like to express our sincerest appreciation for all his assistance to the province of Eastern Samar, from infrastructures to social services. He really cared for our people,” said Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone.
Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. lauded Aquino for his implementation of extensive infrastructure projects that completed the connectivity of the province with road projects.
His father and namesake, former Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor, called Aquino “one of the country’s patriotic and incorruptible public officials.”
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, who met the former president while studying at the Ateneo De Manila University, said the country had lost a leader who gave the Filipinos a robust economy during his term.
“Thank you for your service to the Filipino people. Please pray for our country and our people,” he said.
Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez also condoled with Aquino’s family.
“This is a sad day for our nation. He served our nation and dedicated many years to public service. He will be remembered and missed,” he said.
In Bohol, some people posted photos of Aquino who slept overnight in a tent in Loon town days after the Oct. 15, 2013 earthquake that killed 222 people.
Bohol Vice Gov. Rene Relampagos said Bohol owed much of its rebuilding success to Aquino and his administration after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake brought the province to its knees in 2013.
“He saw firsthand the damage and suffering that we endured and the Aquino administration labored intensely towards getting Bohol back on its feet. Many years have passed and Bohol is relishing the vast development that we have collaborated and worked hard for,” Relampagos said.
Leah Sumampong, a staff member of Bohol 1st district Rep. Edgar Chatto, changed her profile photo to a yellow ribbon, a symbol of the Aquino legacy.
“His administration heavily supported Bohol’s recovery from the earthquake, from immediate relief to long-term rehabilitation, in addition to assistance in many other aspects of development that the national government extended for Bohol’s growth during his time. Eternal rest grant upon you, PNoy,” Sumampong said.
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson expressed gratitude for all the contributions of Aquino to the country and the people.
“PNoy has been known for his restrained demeanor that translated into his brand of leadership, and this is his legacy,” he said.
“We acknowledge the accomplishments of his presidency and administration, particularly the advancement of our economy, the change in the perception of other countries with regard to corruption, and the fight for our sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea. Also, the Negros Island will remember the opportunity he gave us to be one region,” he added./reports from Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Joey Gabieta, Leo Udtohan, Carla Gomez, and Nestle Semilla
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