Duterte offers gov't assistance to Aquino family

Published June 24, 2021, 8:18 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Grateful for the service of his predecessor to the Filipino nation, President Duterte has promised to provide assistance to the family of the late President Benigno S. Aquino III.

A file photo shows President Benigno S. Aquino III delivering a State of the Nation Address on July 2015 (Malacañang)

The President made the assurance to the Aquino family shortly after offering anew his heartfelt condolences over the passing of the former leader.

Aquino, the country’s 15th president, died early Thursday due to a renal disease secondary to diabetes, according to his family. He was 61. The funeral of the late President will reportedly be held this Saturday at the Manila Memorial Park.

“It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of Former President Benigno S. Aquino III this morning. We thank the former President for his service to our country. I hope that my fellow Filipinos will be inspired by his legacy,” Duterte said at the start of his speech during a ceremonial signing of several laws at the Palace Thursday.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Aquino family. Be assured of the government’s assistance in this period of mourning and, above all, please accept the love and the prayers of a grateful nation,” he added.

In the assembly attended by several lawmakers and other officials, the President asked for a moment of silence to honor Aquino’s memory and pray for the eternal repose of his soul.

After reading a prepared statement, Duterte admitted that he could hardly find the “right words” when he talks to a grieving family.

Duterte instead tries to offer comfort the family by reading a cherished Bible passage about a time for everything. He recognized that people should not take life for granted since “we cannot last forever.”

“Ecclesiastes 3. And the long and short of the message there is there is always a time for everything in this planet,” he said.

“So whatever it is we will always have our appointed time. So sometimes we just take for granted life, but in times like these lalo na kilalang presidente (a famous president), we always put on notice of our mortality in this world that also we cannot last forever,” he said.