The death of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should serve as a wake-up call for Filipinos to choose leaders that would bring back dignity and decency in the government, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.

“The best eulogy tribute we can pay to our dear President Noy is to bring back, recover, preserve, safeguard and never again to compromise our dignity as a people and the decency of our leaders as servants, not bosses,” Villegas said during the funeral Mass held at the Church of Gesú at Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City on Saturday, June 26.

“His mortal remains are now ashes but his integrity and decency must resurrect through us and in the leaders we choose,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 24, 2021 to July 3, 2021 a period of national mourning in the country.

During the mourning period, and in accordance with the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, flags at all government buildings and installations in the country and abroad should be flown at half-mast.

Villegas said: “The flags at half-mast are not only for the dead president but for the dying decent governance. Tayo ang boss niya. He lived by it. We are grateful for it.”

“We who are left behind — sighing, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears — must still toil under the heat of the sun. We still have to endure mediocrity, violence, vulgarity and treachery,” he added.

Aquino “died as he lived”: simple and without fanfare, Villegas said.

“He endured and carried the cross of his health problems with courageous dignity and uncomplaining fortitude — hidden from the limelight and known only to God. Death for him came like a thief in the night,” the archbishop added.

The late president died on June 25 due to renal disease secondary to diabetes, according to his family.

Aquino’s ashes were placed next to the tombs of his parents, democracy icons Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and Corazon “Cory” Aquino.


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