Late former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III had always looked after Vice President Leni Robredo and her children.
Robredo recalled this in a lengthy tribute to Aquino following his passing on Thursday morning, June 24.
Aquino was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City where he also passed away. He was 61 years old.
The vice president narrated that she first had the chance to know Aquino after her late husband Jesse Robredo’s plane went missing.
“He flew to Masbate at dawn to personally supervise the search and rescue operations. He flew to Naga to see me and the children to explain to us how the search was progressing and flew back to Masbate in the morning of Aug 21, his Dad’s Death Anniversary, when Jesse’s body was found,” Robredo wrote.
“He brought Jesse home to us in Naga and I remember telling him I wanted to see my husband for the last time before the embalming begins,” she added.
Aquino also initially informed her about the condition of Jesse’s body in the embalming room, according to Robredo. However, she insisted to see him and Aquino accompanied her there.
“Since then, he has always looked after me and the children. He would always ask how each of the three is doing. Even after he stepped down, he would send over food that he thinks the girls would enjoy,” Robredo said.
Robredo then recalled that she first saw Aquino work as president when she was the representative of Camarines Sur’s Third District.
The vice president described Aquino as “diligent, was always prepared, asks the most difficult questions, but was always open to divergent views.”
“I saw what Jesse meant when he said he was incorruptible, righteous and decent. I also saw how unaffected by [the] power he was. He remained very simple. It has been my greatest honor to have worked with him, even only for a while. It was a blessing to be his friend. Rest well, Sir,” she said.
Robredo also expressed condolences to his family on Twitter.
“He tried to do what was right, even when it was not popular. Tahimik at walang pagod siyang nagtrabaho para makatulong sa marami. He will be missed. Nakikiramay ako sa kanyang pamilya,” she wrote.
Nakakadurog ng puso ang balitang wala na si PNoy. Mabuti siyang kaibigan at tapat na Pangulo. He tried to do what was right, even when it was not popular. Tahimik at walang pagod siyang nagtrabaho para makatulong sa marami. He will be missed. Nakikiramay ako sa kanyang pamilya. pic.twitter.com/mqzrPKA6dr
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) June 24, 2021
Aika and Tricia Robredo, two of her daughters, also shared separate messages of grief in their accounts.
“’Kayo ang boss ko.’ Maraming salamat po, Sir. Isa pong malaking karangalan ang maging bahagi ng iyong laban,” Aika said.
“It’s been an honor. Rest easy, sir,” Tricia wrote, accompanied by her and her siblings photo with Aquino.
It’s been an honor. Rest easy, sir. pic.twitter.com/CTpQd3TM1s
— Tricia Robredo (@jpgrobredo) June 24, 2021
The phrase “RIP PNoy,” “PNoy” and other related keywords dominated conversations on Twitter Philippines following reports of Aquino’s passing.