TV host and actress Kris Aquino said Thursday night that she was able to make amends with her brother, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, before he passed away morning of June 24 due to renal disease, secondary to diabetes. He was 61.
Holding back her tears, Kris faced reporters at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City to announce the funeral plans for the late President. She also took the opportunity to thank those who sent their condolences on behalf of the family.
After the announcement, Kris turned emotional and shared that she was able to reconcile with her brother before he died.
“The only thing I can say, and this is the only thing I will say. God blessed me because we made our peace, May 18. But that is private. But I am so grateful na binigay ‘yun sa akin,” said Kris, who did not elaborate on the matter.
“Nagpapasalamat ako na napatawad ako at minahal ako. And till the end, ang itinuring sa akin ay ako ‘yung kanyang bunso,” she added.
Kris is the youngest of five siblings and Noynoy, the middle child, was her only brother. (Because PNoy was single during his presidency, his sisters Ballsy Cruz, Viel Dee, Pinky Abellada and Kris took turns in assuming duties of a first lady.)
“Pinangako ko sa kanya, gagawin ko ang lahat just to be even one percent of what he is as a man and as a Filipino,” she concluded.
The children of democracy icons—Senator Ninoy Aquino and President Cory Aquino—Kris and Noynoy had their tampuhan and falling out, though the reason behind it was not revealed.
In a post on social media in July 2018, Kris revealed that she and her brother were not in good terms for three months and she admitted that it was her fault.
She said she made the bold move to reach out to Noynoy after her eldest son Josh was hospitalized. Kris said their rift affected Josh the most, who is known to be close to his Tito Noy, the “only constant male figure in his life” since he was a child.
In her post, which was accompanied by a photo of Noynoy visiting Josh in the hospital, she said, “My brother and I have had a complicated relationship, siguro po kasi only son and middle child siya, bunso ako. Siguro rin kasi aminadong opposites talaga kami—tahimik siya, pribado, iniisip mabuti ang bawat galaw. Alam niyo na kung ano ako.”
No matter what their differences are, Kris said family always comes first.
She also took the opportunity to publicly thank her brother, saying, “Thank you for loving Josh enough to be here when he really needed you.” Noynoy is known to be a doting uncle to Josh, who was living with him in their family compound in Tarlac early this year.
Kris had also stood up to Noynoy’s detractors and bashers, especially after his presidency.
In August 2019, Noynoy was a no-show at the commemoration of the 36th death anniversary of their father at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City. After the ceremonies, Kris addressed their friends, supporters and relatives and said, “I want you to know the truth, with me you get the truth. He’s not okay. I’m not at liberty to say what’s wrong with him because that’s up to him.”
Kris said the past three years had been tough on the former President, who after his term in 2016 faced indictments for issues regarding the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the tragic Mamasapano operations in 2015, and a criminal complaint against him and others over the Dengvaxia vaccine.
“The very fact na wala siya dito today, he’s not okay, and maybe now he needs you. And he would never tell you na hindi siya okay because lahat ng bira, lahat ng bato, lahat ng mga kasinungalingan, lahat yan, dinidibdib lang niya ng tahimik lang.”
“But you are getting a sister na hindi tahimik. So sasabihin ko sa kanilang lahat, kung hindi niyo siya titigilan, ako ang makakaharap ninyo,” Kris warned.
It was also during this event when Kris asked for prayers for Noynoy. “Please include him in your prayers because he needs strength. I want a brother who will stay healthy, who would be alive.”
Banner photos from @krisaquino on Instagram and by Miguel de Guzman/The Philippine STAR