Former Philippine president, Benigno Aquino, on Thursday died  due to renal disease, secondary to diabetes, his family said.

“It is with profound grief that on behalf of our family, I am confirming that our brother, Benigno ‘Noynoy’ S. Aquino III, died peacefully in his sleep,’’ said Aurora Corazon Abellada, one of his four sisters.

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“No words can express how broken our hearts are and how long it will take for us to accept the reality that he is gone,’’ she added.

The family thanked the millions of Filipinos who voted for the 61-year-old Aquino as a member of Congress, a senator and eventually as president of the Philippines. (dpa/NAN)