June 24, 2021, 08.16 PM

He said the former president was "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."

Supreme Court justice Marvic Leonen, who was Aquino's former peace adviser, also issued a statement.

"It is with profound sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of former Pres. Benigno Aquino," he said. "It was an honor to have served with him. He will be missed."

Flags were put at half-staff at the Senate building in Manila.

Who was Aquino?

Popularly called "Noynoy," Aquino was the only son of the late former president Corazon Aquino and her assassinated husband, senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino — both hailed for leading the struggle to restore democracy in the archipelago nation.

"Ninoy" Aquino was shot dead by military personnel at Manila airport in 1983 as he returned from exile in the US to lead the democracy movement against dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The assassination fueled the Philippines’ non-violent "People Power" movement that overthrew Marcos.

Also read: Philippine Authorities Arrest Indonesian Militant in Foiled Bomb Plot

Corazon spearheaded the revolution and succeeded Marcos as president in 1986.

In 1987, rebel soldiers attacked the presidential palace in a failed coup attempt against her. Benigno Aquino was struck with five bullets.

Aquino came to power with broad public support after the death of his mother in 2009. He ran on an anti-corruption platform and ushered in economic reforms in his term.

Aquino was also known for filing a landmark arbitration case against China over the disputed South China Sea.

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