MANILA, Philippines—Lawmakers and other government officials from across the political spectrum paid tribute to former president Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III who died Thursday at age 61.
Senators sent their respective condolences to the Aquino family. They looked back at the accomplishments of the former chief executive during his term and described him as a “profile of courage, a man of convictions.”
In a tweet, Vice President Leni Robredo praised Aquino for his hard work and dedication.
Former Vice President Jejomar Binay sent his condolences to Aquino’s family.
“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,” he said.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said, “No matter what political side you’re on, when a former president passes away, the country mourns.”
Senator Ralph Recto lauded Aquino for his style of work, preferring “silent, solid work over flamboyance.”
“He did not treat his office as theatre, where he was obliged to make grand gestures to incite his base or distract them from his mistakes,” Recto said in a statement.
Senator Bong Go said he is with the nation in prayers for the eternal repose of Aquino’s soul and for the strength of his family in grief.
“May the late president’s siblings and relatives find comfort in the thought that we are thankful to him for having dedicated his life in the service of the country and our people,” he said.
For Senator Panfilo Lacson, Aquino’s passing is “heartbreaking” and added that “it was a privilege to serve with him.” Lacson also said the former president “did not deserve to be unappreciated.”
“He served his country very well with humility, honor and integrity. Even as President, he always managed to promptly respond to my messages, no matter how casual and trivial,” he said.
Being one of Aquino’s “classmates” in Congress from 1998 to 2008, Senator Imee Marcos said she will treasure the memories she had with the former president while they were freshmen legislators.
“For beyond politics and much public acrimony, I knew Noynoy the kind and simple soul. He will be deeply missed,” she said.
Senator Risa Hontiveros called Aquino as a “dear friend and a brother.” She remembered how he dedicated his life “to the ideals of democracy and the well-being of Filipinos.” She also send her deepest condolences to the Aquino family.
“He was a champion for clean and honest governance, which was key to sustaining the remarkable economic growth under his watch,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine flag at the Senate building in Pasay City, as well as in other areas including Manila and Davao City, are at half-mast to honor the former president.
Several local government officials and government department heads also paid tribute to the life and works of Aquino.
“The City Government of Davao is one with the nation in praying for the eternal repose of the soul of former President Benigno Aquino III. The Philippine flag in the entire Davao City shall be flown at half-mast until his burial,” Davao Mayor Sara Duterte said in a statement.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso hopes that Aquino’s legacy continue to lead others to the right path.
“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,” he said.
The United States (US) Embassy also offer their deepest condolences to the former president’s family/
Aquino died peacefully in his sleep. His death certificate pronounced his death at 6:30 a.m. “due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.” AAC