Philippine politicians on Thursday grieved over the death of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, a Liberal Party icon, as news of his death broke out on Thursday.

President Rodrigo Duterte said his predecessor was a true servant of the Filipino people.

“I join the nation in mourning the passing of former President Aquino,” Duterte said.

“Let us all take this opportunity to unite in prayer and set aside our differences as we pay respects to a leader who has given his best to serve the Filipino people,” Duterte added.

Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, titular head of the Liberal Party, recalled the words of her late husband, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who described Noynoy as “incorruptible, righteous and decent.”

“When I was in Congress, I saw, first hand, how he worked as president…He was diligent, was always prepared, asked 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 power he was. He remained very simple,” the vice president said.

“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 added.

The Liberal Party said that it would continue living up to Noynoy’s “daang matuwid” (straight path) slogan.

“Magpapahinga na si PNoy sa kaniyang biyahe, pero tuloy pa rin, palagi, ang Daang Matuwid,” it said in a statement.

Aquino’s predecessor, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, also mourned the passing of her successor.

“My family and I join the Filipino people in prayers and sympathy on the passing of former President Benigno Aquino III,” Arroyo said.

“Aside from his own achievements, he will be remembered as part of the Aquino family that has contributed three important people to the history of our nation, Senator Ninoy Aquino and our 11th and 15th presidents, Cory and Noynoy Aquino,” she added.

The Supreme Court of the Philippines ordered all flags in courthouses nationwide to be flown at half-mast beginning Thursday following Aquino’s death.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III also mourned Aquino’s death, saying: “No matter what political side you’re on, when a former president passes away, the country mourns.”

The Senate flag was also at half-mast on Thursday.

Members of Duterte’s Cabinet also grieved the passing of Noynoy Aquino.

“I’m out of Twitter from grief over the death of a sea-green incorruptible, brave under armed attack, wounded in crossfire, indifferent to power and its trappings, and ruled our country with a puzzling coldness but only because he hid his feelings so well it was thought he had none; it was the way he and his siblings were raised by a great woman—their mother and of our restored democracy,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who wrote speeches for Noynoy’s mother President Corazon Aquino, said in a tweet.

“I beg his sisters to allow me the honor to share their grief. He wasn’t fond of me but I could not bring myself not to admire him,” he added.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque said during his virtual presser: “We are grateful for the former president for his contribution and services to the country, and we ask our people to offer a prayer for the eternal repose of the former chief executive. Rest in peace, Mr. President!”

Aquino served in the House of Representatives from 1998 to 2007 in three stints as representative of Tarlac’s second district and became deputy House speaker from 2004 to 2006.

He became a senator from 2007 to 2010 before being the 15th president of the Republic.

He died at the age of 61 on Thursday, 6:30 a.m., due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. John Ezekiel J. Hirro