By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images

Malacañang on Thursday expressed its condolences to the family of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III and paid tribute to his service for the country.

Aquino, who was fondly known as “PNoy” and for initiating the “Daang Matuwid” anti-corruption campaign, passed away "peacefully in his sleep" at 6:30 in the morning due to renal disease secondary to diabetes.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque started his regular briefing by asking for a moment of silence for Aquino’s “untimely demise.”

“We commiserate and condole with the family and loved ones of former President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III as we extended our condolences on his untimely demise,” he said.

“We are grateful for the former President for his contribution and services to the country. We ask our people to offer a prayer for the eternal repose of the former chief executive. Rest in peace, Mr. President,” he added.

Moreover, Roque said it depends on the late president’s family if he will be buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. The family has yet to release an official announcement on the funeral arrangements.

The Palace official has also called on the bashers of the Aquino family to set aside differences and pay respect instead.

"Let us respect this practice because it (death of a loved one) happens to all Filipinos and we know how painful that experience is," he added.

Born on February 8, 1960 by late democracy icons Corazon “Cory” Aquino and Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., ‘Noynoy’ Aquino served as 2nd district representative of Tarlac from 1998 to 2006, senator from 2007-2009, and president from 2010 to 2016.