BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Bacolod City and Negros Occidental officials honored and thanked former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for his “selfless dedication to public service”.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Negrenses will remember Aquino for giving the opportunity for Negros Island to be one region.
“The people of Negros Occidental honored and thanked former President PNoy for his contribution to the country and to its people. We acknowledge the accomplishments of his Presidency and administration, particularly the advancement of our economy, the change on the perception of other countries with regard to corruption, and the fight for our sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea,” Lacson said in a statement.
The Negros Island will also remember the opportunity that PNoy gave for us to be one region, he added.
The Negros Island Region was a short-lived administrative region, as it existed from May 29, 2015 to August 9, 2017 only.
More than a year after he was elected into office, President Rodrigo Duterte abolished the NIR August 2017 that was created in 2015 during the term of PNoy.
Lacson described PNoy as being known for his restrained demeanor that translated into his brand of leadership, adding that this is his legacy.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said the people of the City of Bacolod and, for that matter, the whole country, woke up to the sad news of the unexpected demise of Aquino.
“President Noynoy, while many of us are still trying to understand and accept the reality of this information, we would like to express that, inasmuch as the Lord has seen fit to take you away, you leave behind your selfless dedication to public service for and in behalf of the Filipino people. Thank you,” Leonardia said in a statement.
In a statement read by PNoy’s sister, Pinky Aquino-Abellada, the family said the cause of death was renal disease secondary to diabetes.
Abellada said that her brother died peacefully in his sleep at 6:30 a.m. yesterday.
Noynoy, the only son of slain senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon Aquino, served as the country’s 15th president from 2010 to 2016.
Women’s advocate lawyer, Andrea Si, on her social media account, described the term of PNoy as “decent, transparent, humane, and democratic”.
Benigno Aquino III was a reluctant presidential candidate, who stepped up when duty called, Si said, adding that “I have no doubt that no matter what mistakes he may have made, he did his best for the country and was never motivated by self-interest or by a lust for power”.
“Your passing reminds us of how much we have lost and how we must give our all if we are to save our country’s soul,” Si said.
House Minority Leader Joseph Stephen Paduano said PNoy was a true statesman, who chose to retire in peace, after a long career in public service, from the House of Representative and Senate, and ultimately, the presidency.
He will be remembered for his good leadership and incorruptible character. One who had served the country with his whole heart and left the public office with dignity, Paduano also said.
The Moises Padilla municipal government also issued a statement extending its condolences to the family of PNoy.
“We are grateful for his service to the country,” Mayor Ella Celestina Yulo-Garcia said.
Philippine Flags were also flown on half-mast in front of the Capitol and the Bacolod Government Center in honor of PNoy.
Leonardia issued Executive Order No. 33 ordering to fly the Flag at half-mast in all public buildings and places where it is displayed within the City of Bacolod, for 10 days, or from June 24 to July 3, to mourn the death of and in honor and recognition of PNoy.*