Former President Benigno S. Aquino III can be “happy now” and reunite with parents, Ninoy and Cory, following his death Thursday morning, the family announced.
The former President, who served as the country’s 15th President from 2010 to 2016, died “peacefully in his sleep” due to renal failure as a result of diabetes, according to the four Aquino sisters.
“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 6:30 a.m. due to renal disease secondary to diabetes,” Pinky Aquino-Abellada said, reading the family statement.
“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. Mission accomplished Noy, be happy now with Dad and Mom,” she said.
The family issued the statement from Heritage Park hours after news about Aquino’s passing broke Thursday morning and triggered an outpouring of grief and tributes from friends and supporters.
In the statement, Abellada admitted that her brother, a private man, was actually in and out of the hospital even before the pandemic. They extended their gratitude to Aquino’s friends, doctors and nurses, as well as household staff, for looking after him.
The family also said it was painful for them to see Aquino kept silent in the face of criticisms hurled against him following his six-year presidency. They advised Aquino to fight the allegations but he just responded that he could still sleep at night, according to Abellada.
She said Aquino faced investigations and allegations before the Sandiganbayan in November 2017, Senate in December 2017, and Congress in February 2018.
“Because when you enter public service, when you serve with honesty and dignity, and you know you have committed no crimes against the people, hindi ka matatakot magsabi ng totoo (you will not be afraid to tell the truth),” she said.
The former leader earlier faced a complaint over his role on the bungled Mamasapano operation as well as dragged into the Dengvaxia controversy.
Earlier, Malacanang has offered condolences to the family of Aquino and lauded the former leader’s service to the nation.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who was endorsed by Aquino in the 2016 polls, found Aquino’s death heartbreaking. “It has been my greatest honor to have worked with him, even only for a while. It was a blessing to be his friend,” she said.