THE City Government of Bacolod and Provincial Government of Negros Occidental mourned Friday, June 24, 2021, the passing of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
“Today (June 24), the people of the City of Bacolod and, for that matter, the whole country, woke up to the sad news of the unexpected demise of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III,” Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in a statement Thursday.
“President Noynoy, while many of us are still trying to understand and accept the reality of this information, we would like to express that, inasmuch as the Lord has seen fit to take you away, you leave behind your selfless dedication to public service for and in behalf of the Filipino people. Thank you,” he said.
He added: “As we convey our last respects to you, I have ordered that all Philippine flags in the City of Bacolod be at half-mast by virtue of Executive Order (EO) No. 33 series of 2021.”
Leonardia has issued EO No. 33 to give honor and recognition to the Aquino for his "significant contributions" and direct the observance of a half-mast flag in mourning his death.
Leonardia said Aquino was an economist by training and a public official by profession, and the only son of democracy icons former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino.
Aquino first entered politics as a congressional representative of the Second District of Tarlac in 1998 and won for three consecutive terms. He became deputy speaker of the House of Representatives on November 8, 2004.
He was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in 2007 and served for one term. He served as the 15th President of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. During his term as president, he delivered a strong and stable economy.
Leonardia said the demise of former President Noynoy Aquino on June 24, 2021 is a great loss to the nation.
“We lost a statesman, gentleman and a visionary, but we are grateful for the legacy he left, an indelible mark of honesty, integrity and honor, and that the City of Bacolod shall forever be thankful to him for his service to the Filipino people,” he said.
In honor and recognition of Aquino, Leonardia added that all public buildings and places where it is displayed with the City of Bacolod, shall present their flag at half-mast for ten days or from June 24 to July 3, 2021.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson also paid his respects Aquino.
In a message, Lacson thanked the former president for his contributions to the people Negros Occidental, as well as the country.
Lacson said they acknowledge the accomplishments made by Aquino's administration, particularly the advancement of the country's 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.
"The Negros Island will remember the opportunity he gave us to be one region," Lacson said.
Lacson also said Aquino was known for his restrained demeanor that translated into his brand of leadership and it is his legacy.
Aquino passed away Thursday morning at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. According to sources close to the former president, Aquino had been undergoing dialysis since 2019 and had also undergone heart operation.
House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano on the death of PNoy said, "We are one with the nation in mourning the death of the 15th President of the Republic Benigno Simeon Aquino III."
"A true statesman who chose to retire in peace after a long career in public service from the House of Representatives and the Senate and, ultimately, the presidency. He will be remembered for his good leadership and incorruptible character. One who had served the country with his whole heart and left public office with dignity," Paduano said.
"The entire Filipino nation will be grateful for the worthy contribution of PNoy and his family, including 11th President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino, to the history of our country," Paduano added.
Third District Representative Jose Francisco Benitez said, "My family joins the whole nation in mourning the untimely passing of former President Benigno 'Noynoy' S. Aquino III. We honor the former President for his long service to the nation and dedication to the cause of democracy. Like his parents, PNoy never wavered in his trust and confidence in the agency and power of the Filipino people to reimagine, transform and strengthen our national community. PNoy reminded us that the Filipino is worth fighting for - that despite political divisions, the welfare of the Filipino is always the basis of the broadest unity.
"My family extends our sincerest sympathies to the Aquino family, as we pray for their strength through this difficult time and the eternal repose of the former President," he said.