MANILA (UPDATE) - Former president Benigno Aquino III missed rites commemorating his father's death anniversary because he is sick, his sister Kris Aquino said Wednesday.
Speaking at the Manila Memorial Park, the actress-host, the former President's youngest sibling, said she could not say publicly what was ailing her brother.
“He is sick. He's not okay. I'm not at liberty to say what's wrong with him because that's up to him," the younger Aquino said of her 59-year-old brother.
During his time as president, Aquino was known to have been a chain smoker and dealt with rumors about the state of his health.
In 2015, at the height of investigation into the death of 44 state troopers in the Mamasapano encounter, Aquino was rumored to have collapsed. Malacañang, however, denied this.
Implying an omen, Kris Aquino shared that she got nervous Tuesday night as the bracelet she was wearing broke.
"But kinabahan ako kagabi because I was wearing a bracelet, I was not moving, sumabog 'yung bracelet (I got nervous last night because I was wearing a bracelet, I was not moving, the bracelet broke)," she told an intimate gathering of family, friends and supporters.
She cited how the last three years since the end of her brother's term has not been easy.
"So, um, these 3 years have been tough on him. I'm sure dad will forgive me if I make this about Noy. Hindi dapat kinu-crucify ang naging mabuting tao (Someone who has been good should not be crucified)," she said.
Aquino is facing several cases, including an indictment for usurpation of legislative powers over the implementation of the Disbursement Acceleration Program, an economic stimulus program during his time.
The former president is also facing criminal charges over the use of controversial dengue vaccine Dengvaxia for a national immunization program started just before he left office. This followed warnings of risks that the drug poses and allegations that children had died because of it.
He was also initially charged for his role in the botched Mamasapano anti-terror raid but charges were withdrawn in June this year.
The Aquino family gathered at the final resting place of their late father Benigno Aquino Jr. to mark 36 years since he was assassinated at the Manila airport since renamed after him.