Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was laid to rest Saturday afternoon, two days after he died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.
Yellow flowers were dropped by an Air Force chopper, raining down on the funeral carriage carrying his urn.
Full military honors were given, including a 21-gun salute, as Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Cirilito Sobejana and Philippine National Police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar welcomed the arrival of Aquino’s remains at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City.
Aquino’s youngest sister, Kris, put his urn inside the tomb beside those of their parents, democracy icons former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino, after which the song “The Impossible Dream” was played live.
“Eulogies have been written, spoken, and shared, but the best eulogy tribute we can pay to our President Noy is to bring back, recover, preserve, safeguard, and never again to compromise our dignity as a people and the decency of our leaders as servants not bosses,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas in his homily during the necrological service ahead of the inurnment.
Vice President Leni Robredo said history will judge Aquino kindly. “The past five years has been painful for us because we saw, first hand, how wrongful accusations and disinformation were spewed to diminish his legacy. A lot of people were made to believe them but facts and numbers don’t lie,” she said in a Facebook post.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Saturday filed a resolution expressing the Upper Chamber’s profound sympathy and sincere condolences, describing Aquino as a “true-blue Atenean who had lived his life with honesty, integrity, and simplicity so that others may simply live.”
The 61-year-old Aquino, the country’s 15th president, died in his sleep Thursday morning.
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Aquino “left nothing for himself” and “gave everything” for the nation and the public that he served as chief executive from 2010 to 2016.
Ballsy Cruz thanked all the people who loved her brother, whom she said continued what their parents could not finish.
“To the man we were so blessed to have as our brother, we will forever be proud of you,” she said. “Now the middle child is gone. We will never be complete again.” With Theriz Silvano