Scions of Martial Law opposition leaders mourn Noynoy Aquino's death

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 24 2021 12:21 PM | Updated as of Jun 24 2021 06:48 PM

Scions of Martial Law opposition leaders mourn Noynoy Aquino's death 1
Liberal Party (LP) chairman President Benigno S. Aquino III receives a warm welcome from the locals as he delivers his speech during the Meeting with Local Leaders and the Community at the Calbayog City Sports Center in Barangay Capoocan, Calbayog City, Samar on April 18, 2016. Joseph Vidal, Malacañang Photo Bureau

MANILA - Scions of opposition leaders during the Marcos dictatorial rule mourned the death of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Thursday.

Aquino, the Philippines' 15th president, was the only son of former president Corazon Aquino and senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino III, who was assassinated upon his return to the country in 1983 following political exile.

The country's leader from 2010 until 2016 had served the country "well" and left it "too soon," said human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, son of former senator Jose Diokno who was among those arrested shortly after former President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law in the 1970s.

"Salamat at paalam, PNoy. I remember how you stayed for more than an hour at Mom’s wake, reminiscing about our dads’ imprisonment. How, in private moments, you would often talk about our parents, and their detention in Laur. You left us too soon," Diokno said in a statement.

"You served our country well, uplifted the lives of many Filipinos, and gave us a reason to dream of a better future. Rest In Peace and enjoy heavenly bliss, which you richly deserve."

Former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III, son of former Sen. Wigberto Tañada who also opposed the Marcos dictatorship, expressed his condolences to the Aquino family.

Tañada and Aquino, 3 years his senior, served alongside each other in the House of Representatives. Aquino was on his last term, while Tañada was on his first term, the former lawmaker said.

"Nakikiramay po ako sa buong pamilya ng buong Aquino clan. Ang pamilyang Tañada at ang Aquino forever will be intertwined mula pa sa aking lolo at sa lolo ni PNoy (President Aquino)...Mahaba-haba rin ang pagkakakilala namin sa isa’t isa," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(My condolences to the Aquino clan. The Tañada and Aquino family will forever be intertwined, from my grandfather to his grandfather...We have known each other for a long time.)

Sen. Imee Marcos, daughter of the late dictator, extended her condolences to the Aquino family on the death of Aquino, her "'classmate' in Congress from 1998 to 2007."

"I will always treasure the memories of our long years together as freshmen legislators and members of a tiny opposition. For beyond politics and much public acrimony, I knew Noynoy the kind & simple soul. He will be deeply missed," she said in a statement.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, former spokesman of the Liberal Party, said Aquino had lost weight but looked fine when they last met before the strict lockdown this year.

He said he last spoke with Aquino on June 15, when the former president greeted him a happy birthday.

"Nung huli kaming nagkita, okay naman po, although pumayat siya. Pero di naman po...alarming nung mga panahon na yun," he said.

(When we last saw each other he seemed okay, although he lost weight. But it was not...alarming at the time.)

It was under Aquino's "sound" economic policies that the Philippines prospered, Erice said.

The Aquino family has yet to issue an official statement regarding the passing of the former president.

- with report from Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News