SECURITY FOR PNOY. Police officers use rattan sticks to secure the premises of the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City where former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was brought Thursday morning (June 24, 2021). An official statement of the family read by Pinky Aquino Abelada, one of the four surviving sisters, said the 61-year-old former leader died of renal failure as a result of diabetes. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald P. Alfiler)

MANILA – A party-list lawmaker called for a period of national mourning for former president Benigno Simeon 'Noynoy' Aquino III who passed away at the age of 61 due to renal failure as a result of diabetes on Thursday morning.

Senior Citizens Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes said expressions of sincere condolences and grief for Aquino's death should be shared at this time of national loss.

"I ask for a period of national mourning. Let us be a Filipino nation first at this time of loss of a former president," Ordanes said on Thursday.

Ordanes extended his condolences to Aquino's family and loved ones.

"Ipinagdarasal ko po sila sa malungkot na yugtong ito para sa kanila at para na rin sa buong bansa (I pray for them during this dark chapter in their lives and also for the whole nation),” he said.

ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo said this time of national mourning is an opportunity for everyone, especially those in public service, to realize that "our works take time to reach full fruition".

"While there are immediate gains from some political, economic, and social outputs of governance, there are policies, programs, and projects that take many years to come to full harvests repeating over some years," Tulfo said.

She said the achievements of the Aquino administration will take years to fully realize, noting that some previous programs were continued, while some began only to gain momentum in the current administration.

"This situation is quite the same here in Congress where it usually takes two to three years for bills to cross the finish line to enactment into law either by signature of whoever the president is or by lapse of the prescribed period for presidential action. Some laws passed in his term are in their initial phases of implementation now and some bills which began in that time becoming laws or getting there only now," she said.

Tulfo said this grief for a former chief executive "transcends political partisanship".

"I need not enumerate the achievements of the Aquino administration and also need not compare them with the Duterte administration at this time of the country’s mourning. Let historians’ years from now dwell on that," she said.

Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera said this is not the time for public rancor or debate about how he did as president, but a time for "being Filipinos condoling with fellow Filipinos".

"His untimely passing saddens us whatever our political persuasions and leanings maybe," Herrera said. "Fact is, he was President of our Republic. That is a matter of history. History will also consider how he served Filipinos and how he lived life."

She noted that Aquino presided over the orderly transition to the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said Aquino's administration is defined by strong economic policies that empowered Filipinos from all walks of life and are now helping the country "weather the adverse impact" of the coronavirus pandemic.

Garin highlighted that Aquino's brand of governance fostered transparency, inclusivity, and progress.

"We look back at the efforts of his administration with profound gratitude. He will be sorely missed," she said.

Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda expressed gratitude for the service that he rendered as a public servant and his contributions for the betterment of the Filipino people.

“Apart from working with former President Noynoy in the Senate during the 14th Congress, I was also a Senator when he led the country in 2010. He was always supportive of my advocacies, especially on initiatives related to public health, inclusive and resilient growth, good governance, poverty alleviation, women empowerment and children’s rights,” she said.

She said vital pieces of legislation were enacted during his presidency, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Rare Disease Act, Green Jobs Act, Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act, Sugar Cane Industry Development Act, Go Negosyo Act, PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens, among many others.

“I once again offer my condolences and special prayers to the Aquino family. Former President Noynoy will always be remembered for his firm leadership, hard work and integrity. But more than these attributes, I will remember him as a kind and thoughtful childhood friend. Rest in peace, President Noynoy,” Legarda said. (PNA)