By Azer Parrocha
MOURNING. One of the flags inside the Malacañan Palace grounds is lowered to half-mast to mourn the death of former President Benigno Aquino III on June 24, 2021. President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 24 to July 3 as a Period of National Mourning in honor of his predecessor. (Presidential photo by Toto Lozano)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 24 to July 3 as a Period of National Mourning over the passing of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1169 declaring a 10-day mourning period following the death of Aquino on Thursday morning.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed today Proclamation No. 1169, declaring June 24, 2021 to July 3, 2021 as a Period of National Mourning over the passing of former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III,” Roque said in a statement on Thursday night.
Under the Period of National Mourning, Roque said the national flag will be flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on all government buildings and installations throughout the Philippines and abroad for a period of 10 days.
He also encouraged the public to pay tribute to the former president for his contributions to the country.
“Let us continue to pray and pay respects to the former President who gave his best to serve our nation and our people,” he said.
In a speech at Malacañan Palace, Duterte said he was saddened by the passing of his predecessor.
“It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of the former president Benigno S Aquino III this morning,” he said.
Duterte thanked him for his service to the country and expressed hope that Filipinos would be “inspired” by his legacy.
He assured Noynoy’s family that the national government will provide assistance apart from “love and prayers.”
Duterte, in an official statement, also urged the public to set differences aside and offered prayers for the repose of the former president’s soul.
“Let us all take this opportunity to unite in prayer and set aside our differences as we pay respects to a leader who has given his best to serve the Filipino people,” he said.
Prior to the proclamation, national flags in several areas in the country were lowered to honor the former president.
At the Malacañan Palace, national flags were lowered at around 1 pm.
The Aquino family said the remains of the former president have been cremated at the Heritage Park in Taguig.
A mass will be held at the Ateneo de Manila University on Friday while his burial will be on Saturday at the Manila Memorial Park, beside his parents – former president Cory Aquino and former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
The former President was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.
He is the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016. Prior to assuming the presidency, he served as a senator from 2007 to 2010 and as a Congress representative of Tarlac 2nd District from 1998 to 2007. (PNA)