THE House of Representatives on Tuesday immediately suspended the session until three in the afternoon this Wednesday in honor of the passing of former President Benigno Simeon S. “Noynoy” Aquino III who died on June 24, 2021 while Congress was in recess.
Deputy Speaker and Deputy Majority Leader Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc of Pampanga said the House under Speaker Lord Allan Velasco-Majority Leader and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin G. Romualdez leadership decided to hold an open-close session this Tuesday as a show of respect to late President Aquino who was a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th Congress as congressman of Tarlac.
“Dear colleagues, in deference to the passing of former President Benigno Simeon S. Aquino III who is also a member of the House of Representatives during the 11th, 12th and 13th Congress, session is suspended until 3 o’clock in the afternoon tomorrow, July 28, 2021,” Bondoc, who presided over the session.
At 4:30 a.m. of June 24, 2021, Aquino died at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City due to renal failure.
Aquino was in office from 2010 to 2016 as the Philippines’ 15th president.
He was the only son of democracy icons former president Corazon Aquino and ex-Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, both revered for leading the struggle to restore democracy in the Philippines.
Immediately after his passing, House leaders led by Romualdez expressed their profound condolences to the family of former President Aquino.
“I join the nation in mourning the passing of former President Noynoy Aquino. The news of his death was a shock to all of us. We all grieve for losing him so early — a man of integrity, a Filipino leader who made it his primary mission to institutionalize good governance reforms,” Romualdez said.
“We extend our condolences to his family and loved ones. May you find peace in knowing that he is now back to the loving embrace of our Father. Rest now former President Aquino. Paalam,” Romualdez added.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said “My family and I join the Filipino people in prayers and sympathy on the passing of former President Benigno Aquino III.”
“Aside from his own achievements, he will be remembered as part of the Aquino family that has contributed three important people to the history our nation, Senator Ninoy Aquino and our 11th and 15th presidents, Cory and Noynoy Aquino,” Arroyo, a former Speaker.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, Jr. said “former President ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s passing was a big loss not only to his family and friends, but also to our country as a whole.”
“He was very successful in his fight against corruption, transparency, public accountability and keeping democracy alive. My family joins our fellow Filipinos with thoughts of comfort and extending our sincere sympathies to the Aquino family during this very painful time,” Barzaga, chairman of the House committee on natural resources, said.
Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said “my heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family of President Noynoy Aquino.”
“As a colleague in the 11th congress and as a friend, President Noy and I have shared fond memories. While our lives are enmeshed in politics and there may have been differences at certain periods of time, we have remained good friends throughout the years. He is too young to die and today is a day of mourning. May he rest in peace,” said Defensor.
Deputy Speaker and Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman mourned the passing of former President Aquino whom he described as for his steadfast advocacy against corruption.
“Labis naming ikinalulungkot ang pagpanaw ni dating Pangulong PNoy.
Hindi lang tayo nawalan ng isang haligi ng ating bansa, nawalan din tayo ng matapat at mabuting kaibigan. Isa si PNoy sa matagal ko nang nakasama sa ating pakikibaka sa buhay at pulitika. Matagal kaming nagkasama sa Kamara bago siya naluklok bilang senador. At kahit na nung naging Pangulo siya noong 2010, hindi nagbago ang kanyang personalidad: simple, walang ere, magaan kasama, laging nandiyan ‘pag kailangan mo, at laging handang tumulong sayo. Barkada, ika nga,” Hataman said.
“Tunay na makabayan, may puso para sa bayan, tapat na panunungkulan, hindi matatawaran. Ito ang mga katangiang hinangaan ko kay Pangulong PNoy. Tinrato mong ‘Boss’ ang mga Pilipino! Ito rin ang mga katangiang kanyang ipinamalas sa kanyang mga opisyal na kapasidad. Paalam, kapatid kong PNoy! Saludo ako sayo! Sa iyong paglisan, baon mo ang aming paggalang, paghanga at pagkilala. Hinding hindi ka naming malilimutan!” Hataman added.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin expressed his “grief over the death of a sea-green incorruptible”.
Locsin said Aquino was “brave under armed attack, wounded in crossfire, indifferent to power and its trappings, and ruled our country with a puzzling coldness but only because he hid his feelings so well it was thought he had none”.