THE SENATE joined the nation in mourning the passing of former President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino yesterday at the age of 61.
Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III said: “His death diminishes us all. Sincerest condolences from the Senate and my family to the family of President Benigno C. Aquino III.”
“No matter what political side you’re on, when a former president passes away, the country mourns,” he added.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto described Aquino as a profile of courage, a man of convictions.
“When politics clashed with the principles he held dear, he would choose the latter, even at the expense of friendships and alliances a leader must maintain in order to govern,” Recto stressed.
“He did not treat his office as a theatre, where he was obliged to make grand gestures to incite his base or distract them from his mistakes. He preferred silent, solid work over flamboyance. He took care of his country during his watch,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, meanwhile recognized and respected how committed Aquino was as a public servant.
“Through his time as Congressman, as Senator, and eventually as President, he was able to balance the weight of being an Aquino—carrying all the history of the name, and all the expectations that came with it—while also carving a path for himself,” Zubiri said.
“We have lost a dedicated leader. I am shocked and saddened by his passing, and I send my prayers and condolences to his family in this difficult time,” he added.
Senator Joel Villanueva remembered the aspirations of Aquino for the Filipino Youth.
“If I was Tesdaman, he was the TESDA Godfather. He believed in the great talents of our youth, waiting to be unlocked if given good training, right breaks, and inspiring success stories. By ordering that they be trained, he invested in their dreams,” said Villanueva.
“PNoy spent his post-presidency in the ways he wanted it to be: a simple man, plain Citizen Noy, a compassionate tito, never missing the perks and the powers he once wielded,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a Liberal Partymate of Aquino stressed that he has lost a dear friend and the nation has lost a gentleman who served his country well – with all honesty and sincerity and with the purest of intentions.
“I am thankful for the opportunity of having worked with PNoy during his Presidency. He meant well and wanted the best for the country and for all of us. We have lost an honest man,” Drilon said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said hearing the news of PNoy’s passing is heartbreaking.
“So sad to hear that at a relatively young age of 61, he had passed on to the Great Beyond. As our country’s leader, he did not deserve to be unappreciated. He served his country very well with humility, honor and integrity. Even as President, he always managed to promptly respond to my messages, no matter how casual and trivial. It was indeed a privilege to have served with him – both in the Senate and the Executive Department, but more than that, to be his friend,” Lacson said.
Senator Sonny Angara meanwhile remembered how PNoy introduced widespread reforms and espoused a strong anti-corruption policy during his presidency.
“Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong’ ‘Walang tongpats’ ‘Kayo ang boss ko. These are just some of the quotes of PNoy that are forever etched in the hearts and minds of every Filipino and aptly captures his stance against the abuse of power by the people in power,” Angara said.
Senator Imee Marcos, for her part, said : “I will always treasure the memories of our long years together as freshmen legislators and members of a tiny opposition. Beyond politics and much public acrimony, I knew Noynoy the kind and simple soul. He will be deeply missed.”
At the same time, Senator Grace Poe remembered how Aquino helped her in entering public service.
“Sa nagbukas ng pinto ng serbisyo publiko para sa atin, maraming salamat sa iyong legasiya ng pagsisilbi nang buong katapatan at dedikasyon. Ipinakita sa atin ni PNoy ang kahalagahan ng mabuting kalooban sa isang pinuno: walang pag-iimbot sa kapwa, malinis ang intensyon, at walang pagkagahaman sa kapangyarihan. Pinapahalagahan namin ang iyong matapat na paglilingkod, PNoy,” Poe said.
Senator Lito Lapid said: “Naging makahulugan ang kanyang pamumuno sa panahong kailangan ng bansa ng isang lider na matuwid at tunay na umalalay sa atin sa tamang daan. Naging makabuluhan din ang aming samahan bilang Senador noong ikalabing-apat na Kongreso at ang karanasang makadaupang palad ang isang kapita-pitagang pinuno ay lubos kong ipinagpapasalamat.”