South Korea expresses condolences to family of former President Aquino

Published June 25, 2021, 8:23 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The South Korean government expressed its condolences to the family of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, who passed away on June 24 at age 61.

In a statement, the Korean Embassy in the Philippines said, “The government of the Republic of Korea conveys its deepest condolences to the bereaved family of former President Benigno S. Aquino III and the people of the Philippines.”

President Benigno Aquino III at a state dinner in South Korea on Oct. 17, 2013 (Malacañang Photo Bureau)

“With his great affection for Korea, he has immensely contributed to the special friendship that our two countries enjoy today. His accomplishments and dedication will remain in the hearts of the peoples of the Philippines and Korea for a long time. May he rest in eternal peace,” the embassy added.

Aquino served as the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016. His mother, Corazon Aquino, became the 11th president of the Philippines and served from 1986 to 1992.

In October 2013, Aquino went to South Korea for a two-day state visit. During a state dinner on Oct. 17, he said, “In the 1950’s, my country was still rising from the rubble of the Second World War. One million Filipinos—we are told— were lost out of a total population of twelve million.”

“We are taught that Manila was second only to Warsaw in terms of destruction. And yet, when the call from our Korean friends came, my countrymen were among the first contingents to answer. Though we had little to give, we were determined to help however we could,” he said.

He added, “These continue to define our friendship, and the Korean people have in turn responded in the name of these values that we share. We are working for the joint development and progress of our respective peoples. The Philippines in particular enjoys many tangible signs of how mutually beneficial our relationship is.”

His sister, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, said on June 24 that he “died peacefully in his sleep. His death certificate pronounced his death at 6:30 a.m. due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.”

“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 said.

Aquino was cremated and his urn was brought to the Church of the Gesù for a one-day public viewing Friday. His burial will be held Saturday at the Manila Memorial Park in Sucat, Parañaque