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Sisters to PNoy: Be happy now with Dad and Mom

Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's sisters bid him goodbye on Thursday, saying he did well and may now rest smiling with their esteemed parents.

Pinky Aquino-Abellada read the statement in which the family thanked the Filipinos who voted Aquino to his seats in the House of Representatives, and the Senate, and to the presidency.

“Mission accomplished ka, Noy. Be happy now with Dad and Mom,” Pinky said, reading the family’s statement.

“We love you and we are so blessed to have had the privilege to have had you as our brother. We’ll miss you forever,” she added.

Aquino is the only son of Martial Law martyr former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. and icon of democracy former President Corazon Aquino.

Pinky said Aquino died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. She said he died peacefully in his sleep at 6:30 a.m.

The sisters recalled how painful it was for them to witness how Aquino, a very private person, chose to remain silent despite the accusations and criticisms thrown against him after his term as president.

“Natatak sa aming mga magkakapatid na noong sinabihan namin siyang magsalita at labanan ang mga maling haka-haka, simple ang sinagot niya - kaya pa niyang matulog sa gabi,” Pinky said.

[We remembered that we told him that he should speak against the allegations thrown to him, he just simply responded that he could still sleep at night.]

Pinky said Aquino bravely faced all the allegations against him in Sandiganbayan, at the Senate and even at the House of Representatives.

It was in November 2017 when the Office of the Ombudsman filed criminal complaint against Aquino over the Mamasapano encounter before the Sandiganbayan.

He also attended a Senate inquiry over the Dengvaxia mess in December of the same year.

In 2018, he was also present at the inquiry of the House of Representatives over the dengue vaccine.

“Because when you enter public service, when you serve with honesty and dignity, and you know you have committed no crimes against the people, hindi ka matatakot magsabi ng totoo,” the sisters said.

Nation in mourning

Filipinos from all walks of life grieved the passing of Aquino.

Vice President Leni Robredo said Aquino's demise was "heartbreaking."  She said the former leader always tried his best to do what is right without fanfare.

“He tried to do what was right, even when it was not popular. Tahimik at walang pagod siyang nagtrabaho para makatulong sa marami,” she said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, “We are grateful for his contribution and services to the country. We ask the people to offer a prayer for the eternal repose of the soul of former Chief Executive. Rest in peace, Mr. President."

The Commission on Human Rights said the former president's words - Kayo ang Boss Ko - will be a "continuing reminder that our government must, above all, be of service to the people."

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. hailed Aquino's brand of public service as he sent his condolences to the sisters of the former state leader.

"I’m out of Twitter from grief over the death of a sea-green incorruptible, brave under armed attack, wounded in crossfire, indifferent to power and its trappings," said Locsin, who once served as press secretary and speechwriter of Aquino's mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

"I beg his sisters to allow me the honor to share their grief. He wasn’t fond of me but I could not bring myself not to admire him."

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP)—which counts over a thousand chief officials of local firms as members— joined the country in mourning.

"In creating his place in history, each leader can only hope he leaves something better than what he found. The Philippines which President Aquino left behind was indeed a better place," it said in a statement released via mobile message.

The MAP noted the economic improvements under the Aquino administration, citing the impressive growth, credit rating upgrades, and increase in foreign direct investments.

Daang Matuwid continues

The Liberal Party  (LP)mourned the death of its chairman emeritus and vowed that his  “Daang Matuwid”— an advocacy  for good governance— will continue despite his passing.

“Magpapahinga na si PNoy sa kaniyang biyahe, pero tuloy pa rin, palagi, ang Daang Matuwid,” the opposition party said in a statement. 

The LP said Aquino “had the integrity that cannot be questioned, he had foresight and will, he never stole, and his actions are aligned with his words.”

Noynoy’s remains were transported to Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City. —NB, GMA News