Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has died after a prolonged illness, according to several news reports and later confirmed by his family.
News reports say Aquino had been undergoing dialysis for at least five months and had recently undergone heart surgery. According to ABS-CBN News, he was hospitalised earlier in the day on Thursday.
Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan, reporting from the capital Manila, says sources have confirmed Aquino’s death on Thursday.
In a statement on Thursday afternoon, the Aquino family said the former president died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes at 6:30am Manila time on (2230 GMT June 23).
The family also thanked the supporters of Aquino as well as those who worked in his household during his final days.
“No words can express how broken our hearts re and how long it will take for us to accept the reality that he is gone.”
“It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III,” Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen, who was appointed by Aquino in 2012, said in a statement.
“I knew him to be a kind man, driven by his passion to serve our people. I saw him carry his title with dignity and integrity,” added Leonen, who had also served as Aquino’s peace negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, said the nation is “grateful for the former President for his contribution and services to the country.” Here