KUWAIT CITY, June 24, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Thursday expressed, in a cable, his condolences to the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte over the death of former president Benigno Aquino. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah also expressed his condolences to President Duterte. His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah also sent his condolences to President Duterte.
Aquino III, the son of pro-democracy icons who helped topple dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a defender of good governance who took China’s sweeping territorial claims to an international court, died at 61. Aquino’s family told a news conference that he died in his sleep early Thursday due to “renal failure secondary to diabetes.” A former Cabinet official, Rogelio Singson, said Aquino had been undergoing dialysis and was preparing for a kidney transplant. “Mission accomplished Noy, be happy now with Dad and Mom,” said Pinky Aquino-Abellada, a sister of the late president, using his nickname and struggling to hold back her tears. Condolences poured in from politicians led by President Rodrigo Duterte and others, including the dominant Catholic Church and Sen. Imee Marcos, a daughter of the late dictator. Philippine flags were lowered at half-staff on government buildings.
“We are saddened by President Aquino’s passing and will always be thankful for our partnership,” U.S. Embassy Charge d’ Affaires John Law said in a statement. “For beyond politics and much public acrimony, I knew Noynoy as a kind and simple soul. He will be deeply missed,” Marcos said in a statement, using Aquino’s nickname. Aquino, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, was the heir of a family that has been regarded as a bulwark against authoritarianism in the Philippines. His father, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated in 1983 while under military custody at the Manila international airport, which now bears his name. His mother, Corazon Aquino, led the 1986 “people power” revolt that ousted Marcos. The army-backed uprising became a harbinger of popular revolts against authoritarian regimes worldwide. A scion of a wealthy land-owning political clan in the northern Philippines, Aquino, who was fondly called Noynoy or Pnoy by many Filipinos, built an image of an incorruptible politician who battled poverty and frowned over excesses by the country’s elites, including powerful politicians.
One of his first orders that lingered throughout his presidency was to ban the use of sirens in vehicles that carried VIPs through Manila’s notorious traffic jams. Aquino, whose family went into exile in the U.S. during Marcos’s rule, had turbulent ties with China as president. After China seized a disputed shoal in 2012 following a tense standoff in the South China Sea, Aquino authorized the filing of a complaint before an international arbitration tribunal that questioned the validity of China’s sweeping claims in the strategic waterway Beijing claims virtually the entire South China Sea on historical grounds.