Aquino tributes pour in from around the world

Published June 24, 2021, 9:56 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The death of former President Benigno S. Aquino III has sparked an outpouring of grief and tribute from the members of the international community Thursday.

President Benigno S. Aquino III (File photo/Malacañang)

After news broke out about his passing, representatives from the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, European Union, France, and Australia shared condolence messages on social media. The foreign envoys also recognized Aquino’s contribution to enhancing the Philippines’ relations with their respective countries.

Aquino, who led the country from 2010 to 2016 on a “Daang Matuwid” platform, died on Thursday at the age of 61. The government has declared a 10-day period of national mourning starting June 24. Philippine flags are flown at half-staff in Aquino’s honor during this period.

“On behalf of the United Nations, I extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Aquino’s family and friends,” UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez. “We join the Filipino people in honoring his contribution and services to the country.”

The US Embassy in Manila expressed sadness over Aquino’s death and expressed appreciation for the PH-US partnership.

“On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I offer our deepest condolences to former President Benigno Aquino III’s family and loved ones at this heartbreaking time. We are saddened by President Aquino’s passing and will always be thankful for our partnership,” US Chargé d’Affaires John Law tweeted.

British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce also said he was “extremely sad” by the death of Aquino. “My deepest condolences to his loved ones and to the people of the Philippines,” he tweeted.

The embassy of France also offered deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Filipino people as well as the family and friends of Aquino. In a social media post, it said Aquino left “a legacy of leadership and reform founded on democratic values, economic prosperity, and honesty.”

“Bilateral relations and the friendship between our two countries reached new heights during the presidency of former President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III. We offer deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, and to the entire Filipino nation,” the embassy tweeted.

The European Union likewise sent sympathies over Aquino’s death, remembering the former leader as a “friend” of the regional bloc.

“The EU Delegation and family in Manila express their condolences to the Aquino family and the whole nation on the passing of former President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III. Fond memories of his visit to Brussels in 2014. We mourn a friend who pushed for deepening of our relations,” the EU delegation in the Philippines tweeted.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson also took to Twitter to post a message of condolence following Aquino’s passing.

“We offer our condolences to the family of former President Benigno S. Aquino III and to the Filipino people. While the Philippines mourns his loss, we remember fondly his State Visit to Australia in 2012 and the legacy of partnership and bayanihan we shared,” he said.