MANILA — Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday paid tribute to her successor Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, her former student turn political nemesis whose term oversaw her nearly 4-year detention over corruption charges.
"My family and I join the Filipino people in prayers and sympathy on the passing of former President Benigno Aquino III," Arroyo said in a statement.
"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," she added.
Aquino was one of Arroyo's former students at the Ateneo de Manila University.
In 2012, Arroyo published a scathing paper titled "It's the economy, student," where she lambasted the fiscal policies of her successor.
Before his election to the presidency in 2010, the two already had a tense relationship following Cory's decision to withdraw her support from former ally and then-sitting President Arroyo.
Aquino himself voted in favor of Arroyo’s unsuccessful impeachment cases throughout her term.
During Aquino's term, he promised to hold Arroyo accountable for alleged corruption, which eventually led to her detention in 2011 on plunder charges.
The charges were dismissed by the Supreme Court when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016.
While Aquino retired from national politics, Arroyo became House Speaker in 2018.