MAKATI CITY, Dec. 10 (PIA)--President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday signed in the book of condolence for the late South African leader Nelson Mandela who passed on peacefully on December 5.
At the South African Embassy in Makati, Aquino offered a prayer and wrote the following words: "May your life truly well lived continue to shine as the exemplar for all who strive to make this a better world."
The President who arrived with Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario also apologized to South African Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Agnes Nyamande-Pitso for not being able to attend Mandela's memorial.
Vice President Jejomar Binay left Monday to represent Aquino in Mandela's memorial because the President will be attending the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo later this week.
In a statement on Friday, Aquino recalled Nelson Mandela as the father of modern South Africa, an exemplar of conscientious resistance to racism, and exponent of reconciliation founded on justice.
Aquino also recalled his encounter with Mandela, saying the South African leader was a "beacon of hope for all humanity."
The President expressed fond memories of South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, whose death Thursday evening (Friday, PHL time) saddened the world.
It is through Mandela that the world cast its eyes on South Africa and took notice of the severe and organized repression of the black South Africans. (RJB/SDL/PIA-NCR)