Judiciary, justices join mourning for Aquino
A supporter pays respects to former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III during the public viewing of his urn at the Church of Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City on June 25, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Judiciary, justices join mourning for Aquino

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - June 25, 2021 - 5:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — The entire Judiciary, through Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, mourned the sudden passing of former President Benigno Aquino III.

“The Supreme Court and the entire judiciary, join the nation in mourning the death of former President Benigno Aquino III. We offer our deep condolences and prayers to his family and loved ones,” Gesmundo said in a statement on Friday.

Aquino passed away in his sleep early Thursday morning. His sisters announced that he died of renal disease secondary to diabetes. They added that he had been going in and out of the hospital even before the pandemic, but had chosen to make details about his health private.

Gesmundo added: “We will remember him as the president who did his best to serve the Filipinos tirelessly with dedication.”

The chief justice said he has also ordered that the Philippine flag be flown at half-mast in all courthouses in the country to honor Aquino.

Unyielding integrity, immense respect for the Law

Senior Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe meanwhile recalled that her only personal interaction with the late president was her interview prior to her appointment as a magistrate of the high court.

“[T]hat singular encounter speaks volumes of his character as a man of dignified humility, intellectual competence, patriotic zeal and most of all, unyielding integrity,” she said.

“True enough, these traits were not mere impressions but actual qualities epitomized by PNoy as he led this country during his term as president,” Bernabe added.

Aquino appointed Bernabe to the high court in 2011.

Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Aquino’s former chief presidential legal counsel and justice chief, remembered the late president for 'his immense respect for the Law.'

Caguioa was among those who visited Heritage Park in Taguig City, where the president’s remains were brought for cremation.

He continued:  "This is why he always said that if we really believed in democracy, then we have to be patient with democracy—to stand by democracy amidst all the noise and dissent it invites and engenders. That was his integrity—to stand by democracy and uphold the law that guarantees freedom."

Caguioa added that he felt honored to have worked with Aquino, whom he referred to as a friend, in such a quest.

“He was simply the best of us. The best of all of us. Decent and respectful, always mindful of others. He exemplified Lux in Domino (Light in the Lord). And all that he did was Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God),” he added, referencing the mottoes of the Society of Jesus and the Ateneo de Manila University.

The Aquino sisters announced that there will be a one-day public viewing of Aquino's urn at the Church of the Gesu at the ADMU campus in Quezon City on Friday.

Per his family, the former president's remains will be laid to rest at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque on June 26. It will be beside his parents Ninoy and Cory, who were known democracy icons.

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