Former President Benigno Aquino III, who served from 2010 to 2016, died Thursday (June 24) at the age of 61 after being hospitalized at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City.
His untimely death has brought together leaders from across the broad spectrum of Philippine politics. Lawmakers and officials alike paid their respects to the only son of two much-revered democracy icons—Martial Law martyr Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and his widow, former President Corazon Aquino.
In this time of mourning, they set aside their differences to send out prayers and condolences to the grieving Cojuangco-Aquino family. Here are what some of them had to say.
Vice President Leni Robredo
“Nakakadurog ng puso ang balitang wala na si PNoy [former President Noynoy Aquino]. Mabuti siyang kaibigan at tapat na Pangulo. (The news that PNoy is gone is heartbreaking. He is a good friend and a loyal President.) He tried to do what was right, even when it was not popular. Tahimik at walang pagod siyang nagtrabaho para makatulong sa marami. (He worked quietly and tirelessly to help many.) He will be missed. Nakikiramay ako sa kanyang pamilya. (I sympathize with his family.)”
Presidential Sokesperson Harry Roque
“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.”
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay
“Noynoy and I may have had political differences during the last few years of his term, but that will not diminish the many years of friendship between our families. My deepest condolences to the family. Godspeed, Pareng Noy (Godspeed, my buddy Noy).”
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III
“His death diminishes us all. Sincerest condolences from the Senate and my family to the family of President Benigno C. Aquino III.”
Sen. Imee Marcos
“My heartfelt condolences to the family of former President Benigno C. Aquino III, a "classmate" in Congress from 1998 to 2007. I will always treasure the memories of our long years together as freshmen legislators and members of a tiny opposition. For beyond politics and much public acrimony, I knew Noynoy as a kind and simple soul. He will be deeply missed.”
Sen. Manny Pacquiao
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Former President Benigno Aquino III. His love for the country was manifested in his term of service where he championed the 'Daang Matuwid' and the 'Kayo ang Boss Ko.'"
Sen. Dick Gordon
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden passing of my former colleague in the Senate, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, this morning. He can now peacefully rest in the arms of our Creator.
President Aquino and I may not have agreed on some issues, but we both have the same dream of making our country great and believe that as a nation, we should assert and defend our sovereignty over what is rightfully ours.”
Sen. Koko Pimentel
“I and my entire family are saddened by the passing of former President Noynoy Aquino. He was a friend to all of us. He served our country to the best of his ability by pursuing the vision he had for our country. Thank you Pnoy for your service to our beloved country.”
Sen. Nancy Binay
“Taos-puso akong nakikiramay sa Pamilyang Aquino sa pagpanaw ng dating Pangulong Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III. Maraming salamat sa iyong serbisyo sa bayan bilang Kinatawan ng Tarlac, Senador, at Pangulo ng Pilipinas. (I sincerely extend my condolences to the Aquino Family on the passing of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III. Thank you for your service to the people as the Representative of Tarlac, Senator, and President of the Philippines.)”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson
"Hearing the news of PNoy's passing is heartbreaking. He served his country very well with humility, honor and integrity. It was a privilege to have served with him, both in the Senate and the Executive Department, but more than that, to be his friend."
City of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno
"I offer my condolences to the family of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III. My heart goes out to you in your time of sorrow. As the leader of our nation, we knew him as "PNoy." He 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. 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."
Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero
“I was truly saddened to learn the passing of my long-time friend, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, whose presidency from 2010 to 2016 has been admired by many here and abroad for his deep commitment to democracy, human rights and curbing corruption.
His understanding of the connection of poverty and corruption resonated well during administration and influenced policies toward empowering the poor while holding public officials accountable for their misdeeds.”
Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr.
“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; it was the way he and his siblings were raised by a great woman—their mother and of our restored democracy (without her none in power yesterday and today would be).”
Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen
“It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III. I knew him to be a kind man, driven by his passion to serve our people, diligent in his duties, and with an avid and consuming curiosity about new knowledge and the world in general. I have learned a lot from him. I saw him carry his title with dignity and integrity. It was an honor to have served with him. He will be missed.”
Atty. Chel Diokno
“Salamat at paalam, PNoy. (Thank you and farewell, PNoy.) I remember how you stayed for more than an hour at Mom’s wake, reminiscing about our dads’ imprisonment. How, in private moments, you would often talk about our parents, and their detention in Laur. You left us too soon.
You served our country well, uplifted the lives of many Filipinos, and gave us a reason to dream of a better future. Rest In Peace and enjoy heavenly bliss, which you richly deserve.”
Former Sen. Bam Aquino
“Nadurog ang puso ko sa paglisan ni PNoy sa atin. Sa mga susunod na oras, maraming sasabihin tungkol sa kanya-iba totoo, iba hindi. Pero ito ang masasabi ko - lahat ibinigay niya para sa Pilipino. Wala syang itinira. Ipagdasal natin na mahanap niya ang kapayapaan kasama ng ating Panginoon. Mahal ka namin, PNoy. Maraming salamat at paalam.”
“My heart was broken when PNoy left us. In the next few hours, a lot will be said about him — some true, others not. But this is what I can say - he gave everything for the Filipino. He left nothing. Let us pray that he will find peace with our Lord. We love you, PNoy. Thank you very much and goodbye.”
Former President Benigno Aquino III died Thursday at the age of 61 after being hospitalized at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. His family has yet to release an official statement.
Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.
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