President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 24, 2021 to July 3, 2021 a period of national mourning in the Philippines following the death of his predecessor, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1169 on June 24, which stated that it was “fitting to devote a period of national mourning to pay tribute to a respected leader who left a lasting legacy to the Filipino people.”

The proclamation also declared that Philippine flags on all government buildings and installations in the country and abroad should be flown at half-mast, in accordance with the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines.

Aquino died on Thursday, 6:30 a.m., due to renal disease secondary to diabetes at the age of 61.

During the ceremonial signing of bills at Malacañang Thursday night, Duterte expressed his condolences to the Aquino family.

“It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III this morning. We thank the former president for his service to our country. I hope that my fellow Filipinos will be inspired by his legacy,” he said.

“I offer my heartfelt condolences to the Aquino family. Be assured of the government’s assistance in this period of mourning and, above all, please accept the love and the prayers of a grateful nation…May he rest in peace,” he added.

Aquino’s remains were cremated and will be buried on June 26 beside his parents, democracy icons Corazon “Cory” Aquino and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., at Manila Memorial Park. John Ezekiel J. Hirro