MANILA - Malacañang on Sunday mourned the death of tycoon John Gokongwei Jr., hailing the businessman as a "visionary and pillar of the Philippine economy."
Gokongwei, whose eponymous conglomerate controls the country's largest airline, died peacefully on Friday at age 93.
"Our people recognize Mr. Gokongwei's amazing journey as a self-made industrialist, respected business leader, and generous philantropist," Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
"A grateful nation respects the man for the indelible legacy he made in the fields of business, entrepreneurship and philantropy."
Malacañang said Gokongwei left a "legacy" to the Filipino nation, citing his words, “Never stop learning."
The billionaire gave the advice in 2018, when he received a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater University of San Carlos in Cebu.
"Mr. Gokongwei was an exceptional and ideal Filipino. He exemplifies the traits that should endow us: industrious, disciplined, indefatigable, creative, generous, always hungry for knowledge, grateful and never forgetting his origins, and most of all, a loving person to his family and his country," Panelo said.