Former President Noynoy Aquino dies at 61

Maris Federez   •   June 24, 2021   •   1988

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III passed away on Thursday morning. He was 61.

Initial reports said Aquino was brought to Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City at dawn on Thursday.

Aquino, the only son of the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr and former president Corazon Aquino, served as the 15th president of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016 following the death of his mother in August 2009.

A fourth-generation politician, Aquino also served as a senator from 2007 to 2010 and a member of the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007.

He was the chairman of the Liberal Party from 2010 to 2016.

Aquino became Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives on November 8, 2004. He, however, relinquished the post on February 21, 2006, when he joined his Liberal Party members in calling for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the height of the “Hello, Garci” scandal.

Aquino was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 2007 Philippine midterm election under the banner of the Genuine Opposition (GO) that sought to curb attempts by the Arroyo Administration to amend the 1986 Philippine Constitution.

The Budget Impoundment and Control Act (SB 3121), the Preservation of Public Infrastructures bill (SB 2035), and the bill Amending the Government Procurement Act (SB 2160) were among the bills filed and passed under Aquino’s name. —/mbmf

PNoy laid to rest at Manila Memorial Park

Maris Federez   •   June 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III on Saturday afternoon was laid to rest beside his parents, democracy icons former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino, in solemn rites, attended by family and friends.

At 1:43 p.m., Noynoy’s youngest sibling Kris Aquino placed his urn inside the tomb.

The patriotic song “Bayan Ko” was performed as his tomb was being sealed.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of mourners carrying yellow ribbons and Aquino’s pictures lined the funeral route in sending off the former President as it passed through C5 and SLEX from Ateneo de Manila to the Manila Memorial Park.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) also honored Aquino with a water salute, forming a water arch, as the funeral convoy exited the Ateneo grounds to Katipunan Avenue and along Dr. A. Santos Avenue before entering the Manila Memorial.

The funeral convoy lasted around 1 hour and 15 minutes from Quezon City to Parañaque City.

Upon the convoy’s arrival to the Manila Memorial Park, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) gave the former commander in chief full military honors.

The former president’s urn was welcomed by AFP chief of staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana and Philippine National Police chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar.

Part of the arrival honors is the playing of the national anthem and a 21-gun salute.

The honor guards then brought the urn to a funeral carriage adorned with yellow flowers.

A funeral march, participated by PNoy’s family, friends, and high-ranking AFP officials, was then given in honor of the former chief executive.

A Philippine Air Force helicopter dropped yellow flowers before the funeral march started and the BFP offered another water salute during the procession.

Before the inurnment, the Philippine flag was held by the honor guards on top of Aquino’s urn as AFP officials gave their final salutes.

Another 21-gun salute followed, after which, the Philippine flag was folded. Gen. Sobejana, in turn, then presented to Aquino’s sister Ballsy Aquino-Cruz. —/mbmf

Duterte declares period of national mourning for PNoy

Maris Federez   •   June 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang confirmed Thursday that President Rodrigo Duterte has proclaimed a period of national mourning for the late former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed today Proclamation No. 1169, declaring June 24, 2021 to July 3, 2021 as a Period of National Mourning over the passing of former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement released on Thursday night.

Duterte also ordered that all national flags be flown at half-mast in all government entities here and abroad during the said period.

“In this regard, the national flag shall be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on all government buildings and installations throughout the Philippines and abroad for a period of ten (10) days,” Roque said.

“Let us continue to pray and pay respects to the former President who gave his best to serve our nation and our people,” he added.

Aquino family releases statement on PNoy’s death; cites renal disease as cause of death

Maris Federez   •   June 24, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Aquino family on Thursday afternoon (June 24) released their statement on the death of former President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Read by the former president’s sister, Pinky Aquino-Abellada who was accompanied by her three other sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Viel Aquino-Dee, and Kris Aquino, the family thanked the public for its support to their brother from the very start of his political career.

“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. His death certificate pronounced his death at 6:30am due to Renal Disease secondary to diabetes,” Pinky said.

“No words can express how broken our hearts are and how long it will take for us to accept the reality that he is gone,” she continued.

Looking back, Pinky read how her brother took on the challenges of being the country’s leader.

“Kagaya ng serbisyong binigay niya sa bayan – hindi maingay, trabahong galing sa puso – dahil alam niya kayo ang boss niya. Kaya nga nakilala siya bilang si PNoy dahil ayaw niyang maramdaman na dapat siyang bigyan ng kakaibang pansin. Hangarin niyang hindi mapahiya sa inyo dahil sa paghikayat na mahirap man pero tama na sundin ang daang matuwid. Nagawa niya ang lahat ng yon,” the statement said.

Pinky continued that much as they persuaded their brother to speak up and fight those who spread malicious issues, she said that PNoy will just say that he can still sleep at night.

“Masakit para sa amin na tahimik niyang tinanggap ang mga batikos. Natatak sa aming magkakapatid na noong sinabihan naming siyang magsalita at labanan ang mga maling haka-haka, simple ang sinagot niya – kaya pa niyang matulog sa gabi,” Pinky read.

The former presidential sister also recounted how her brother faced the investigation and accusations thrown at him at the Sandiganbayan and the Senate in 2017 and in Congress in 2018.

“Because when you enter public service, when you serve with honesty and dignity, and you know you have committed no crime against the people, hindi ka matatakot magsabi ng totoo,” Pinky read on.

The Aquino family also mentioned how the former chief executive kept his life private after his presidency ended.

“Bago pa man ang pandemic, labas-masok na siya sa ospital. Nais naming magpasalamat sa lahat ng mga duktor, at sa buong medical team na nag-alaga sa kapatid namin. Naramdaman naming bilang mga kapatid niya, na they did everything to make him comfortable. They became passionate friends who gave him true respect by valuing and protecting his privacy,” the statement said.

Aside from thanking the medical team who took care of the former president during his health ordeal, the family also expressed their gratitude to the Filipino people who supported him in his political career.

“And sa 15.2 million Filipinos na nagtiwala sa kanya nung 2010 at binigay ang pinakamalaking karangalan na pwedeng maipagkaloob sa kahit na sinong Pilipino – habang buhay naming tatanawin na utang na loob yung naibigay ninyo sa aming kapatid. Maraming salamat,” the Aquino family said. —/mbmf


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