House lawmakers recall key reforms under Aquino administration
A flag at the Batasang Pambansa complex flies at half-mast following the death of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, who had served as Tarlac representative from 1998 to 2007.
House of Representatives/Release

House lawmakers recall key reforms under Aquino administration

Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - June 24, 2021 - 1:57pm

MANILA, Philippines — Condolences poured in from House lawmakers following the death of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, with a handful of them remembering some key reforms introduced during his administration.

“We all grieve for losing him so early,” House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez (Leyte, 1st District) said. “A man of integrity, a Filipino leader who made it his primary mission to institutionalize good governance reforms.”

Rep. Elpidio Barzaga (Cavite, 4th District) called Aquino’s death a “big loss … to our country as a whole,” and remembered his “very successful” fight against corruption, for transparency, for public accountability and for democracy.

Rep. Edcel Lagman (Albay, 1st District) recalled how Aquino set aside partisanship when he approved four measures he authored, including the controversial reproductive health law and reparations for victims of human rights abuses during the Marcos’ martial rule, despite being in the opposition.

Rep. Joey Salceda (Albay, 2nd District) recalled how Aquino championed disaster risk reduction and management, particularly in Albay where the former president initiated Project NOAH.

Salceda also remembered Aquino for “modern and responsive” governance, as he institutionalized the bottom-up budgeting system.

He also credited Aquino for starting the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program that “continues to help lift millions out of abject poverty.”

For Rep. Rowena Niña Taduran (ACT-CIS party-list), Aquino was the president who brought China to court, prosecuted the people allegedly behind the pork barrel scam and fought to save the life overseas Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso who was on death row in Indonesia over drug trafficking charges.

Aquino had served as Tarlac representative from 1998 to 2007.

Sources confirmed Thursday morning that Aquino had died at the age of 61. He was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City.

In a chance interview with reporters outside the hospital, lawyer Abigail Valte, Aquino’s representative and his former deputy spokesperson, refused to give details but said the family will issue an official statement later.

Aquino is survived by his sisters, Kris Aquino, Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz and Pinky Aquino-Abellada.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 27, 2021 - 2:10pm

Former President Noynoy Aquino was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City, where journalists are currently gathering following reports of his hospitalization. (File photo by Philstar.com/AJ Bolando)

June 27, 2021 - 2:10pm

Friends and supporters should now make the achievements and good work of the late President Noynoy Aquino known, says Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo, Aquino's Liberal Party colleague, says that telling truths about Aquino at every chance they get, now that he is gone, is an obligation.

"That what we failed to do, we could have exerted more effort to show that—not that we have to announce all his accomplishments—but to correct falsehoods about him," Robredo says on her weekly radio show on dzXL.

June 26, 2021 - 1:48pm

Former President Benigno Aquino III is laid to rest beside his parents, democracy icons Benigno Aquino Jr. and Cory Aquino, at the Manila Memorial Park.

June 26, 2021 - 1:41pm

The AFP chief presents the flag to the Aquino family.

June 26, 2021 - 1:31pm

The Aquino family blesses the urn containing the ashes of the former president.

June 26, 2021 - 1:24pm

The urn which contains the ashes of former President Aquino arrives in front of the tomb where the late president will be laid to rest next to his parents.

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