Pope Francis saddened by PNoy’s death, condoles with Filipinos

June 30, 2021 - 9:26 AM
Pope Francis met former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III during his arrival at the Villamor Airbase in Manila on Jan. 15, 2015. (Philstar.com/File)

Pope Francis offered his condolences to Filipinos on the death of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

“Saddened to learn the death of former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the People of the Philippines,” the Pope said in a statement addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte and shared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

“Recalling the late president’s service to the nation, I commend his soul into the hands of the all-merciful God. Upon his family and all who mourn his passing, I invoke abundant consolation and peace in the Lord,” he added.

Aquino passed away on June 24 due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. He was 61.

READ: Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino dies of renal failure at 61

He was laid to rest on Saturday at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City beside his parents, former president Corazon “Cory” Aquino and former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

READ: Former President Aquino laid to rest beside parents

During his five-day visit to the Philippines in January 2015, Pope Francis first met Aquino during the arrival ceremony at the Villamor Airbase in Manila.

On Jan. 16, 2015, the Pope paid a courtesy call to the late ex-president at Malacañang, where he gave Aquino a Nautical Atlas from the Vatican Library collection.

In return, PNoy gave Francis a wooden sculpture of Mary, Undoer of Knots, and commemorative coins to commemorate his papal visit to the country.

The Pontiff last met Aquino in person for a private meeting at the Vatican in December the same year.