Duterte declares 'period of national mourning' over Aquino's death


Posted at Jun 24 2021 09:51 PM

Duterte declares 'period of national mourning' over Aquino's death 1
In this handout photo taken on June 30, 2016 and released by the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) incoming President Rodrigo Duterte (L) shakes hands with outgoing President Benigno Aquino prior to a departure ceremony for Aquino at the Malacanang Palace in Manila. PCOO/AFP/FILE

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 24 to July 3, 2021 as a "period of national mourning" in the Philippines over former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's death.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that under Proclamation No. 1169, which Duterte signed, the Philippine flag will be flown at half-mast "from sunrise to sunset at all government buildings and installations" during that period.

"Let us continue to pray and pay respects to the former President who gave his best to serve our nation and our people," Roque said in a statement.

Aquino, Duterte's predecessor, died on Thursday morning due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. He was 61.

Aquino had been undergoing dialysis 3 times a week in preparation for a kidney transplant before his death, according to a friend of their family. 

"PNoy", as he was fondly called, served as the country's Chief Executive from 2010 to 2016. 

Aquino tapped into popular sentiment for his parents and democracy icons, former President Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino Jr., and pledged "Daang Matuwid," a clean governance following a nearly 10-year rule of Arroyo, whose administration was tainted with graft allegations.

An economics graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, he steered the country towards consistent and stable growth during his 6-year tenure. The Philippines' Gross Domestic Product averaged 6.25 percent annually, the highest since the 1970s.

It was under the Aquino administration when the Philippines brought China to the arbitral tribunal over its vast claims in the West Philippine Sea. Manila's victory against Beijing was announced in July 2016 after Duterte assumed power. 

Duterte, who has pursued friendly ties with China, has called the ruling a mere piece of paper.

After stepping down in 2016, he was largely silent and out of public eye despite repeated criticisms from the incumbent President.

The country's only bachelor president is survived by his siblings Kris Aquino, Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, and Pinky Aquino-Abellada.


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