MANILA - Pope Francis has paid tribute to late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, who passed away last week due to renal disease.
In a statement sent to Malacañang, the Holy Father condoled with the Philippines over Aquino's death, saying he was saddened after learning of Aquino's death.
"Recalling the late president's service to the nation, I commend his soul into the hands of the all-merciful God. Upon his family and all who mourn his passing, I invoke abundant consolation and peace in the Lord," the leader of 1.2 billion Catholics said.
In 2015, Pope Francis paid a 5-day visit to the Catholic-majority Philippines when Aquino, also known as "PNoy", was the sitting president.
Aquino presented the Pope a sculpture of Mary, Undoer of Knots, to commemorate his visit to the Philippines. The Roman Pontiff gave PNoy a facsimile of a Nautical Map attributed to Bartolome Oliva, which is part of the Vatican Library collection.
The 15th President of the Philippines, Aquino was the only son of democracy icons Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino.
The country's only bachelor president is survived by his siblings Kris Aquino, Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, and Pinky Aquino-Abellada.