President Benigno Aquino III during his oath taking before Supreme Court Associated Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales as the Philippines' 15th President during inaugural ceremony Wednesday June 30, 2010 in Manila, Philippines.

 By Claire Morales True

QUEZON CITY – Former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III passed away on Thursday, June 24, at the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. He was 61.

Reports said Aquino, who was a chain smoker, had been undergoing blood transfusion or  dialysis and was hospitalized Thursday. He was also suffering from lung cancer and diabetes, the reports added but this has not been confirmed.

It was learned Aquino was rushed to the hospital from their house in Times St., Quezon City at 4 a.m. but was declared dead on arrival.

Malacanang and the nation readily mourned Aquino’s passing. Presidential chief legal adviser Salvador Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., former Senator Mar Roxas and Supreme Court Associate  Justice Marvic Leon were among the first to express their grief about the untimely demise of Aquino.

His youngest sister Kris Aquino was seen early morning at the hospital and has remained there as of press time.

His former Cabinet members Jose Rene Almendras and Roxas and Sen. Francis Pangilinan also rushed to the hospital.

“It’s a said day,” said former congressman Erin Tanada and other leaders.

Aquino was the son of the late President Corazon Aquino and the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

Aquino had served as Tarlac vice governor, congressman and senator before he was elected president.