Bumuhos ang pakikiramay at pakikidalamhati ng buong mundo sa pagpanaw ng 1993 Nobel Peace Prize awardee at unang democratic South African President na si Nelson Mandela.
Pumanaw noong December 5 si Mandela, 95, sanhi ng kumplikasyon sa baga.
Kabilang sa mga nagpaabot ng mensahe ng kanyang paghanga sa anti-apartheid at liberation leader ay si President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
Ayon sa Pangulo, hindi lang daw ang bansang South Africa ang pinagbubuklod ni Mandela kundi ang buong mundo—hindi lamang sa pagdadalamhati, kundi sa respeto at pagpupugay sa kanyang buhay na may pagpapakumbaba at dignidad.
Napagtagumpayan rin daw ng kauna-unahang Black President ng South Africa na mapagkaisa ang kanyang mga nasasakupan sa pamamagitan ng makataong pamamaraan para sa isang tama at wastong lipunan.
Sa huli, sinabi rin ng Pangulo na kung sakaling buhay pa ang kanyang inang si dating Pangulong Corazon "Cory" Aquino, natitiyak daw niyang labis nitong dadamdamin ang pagpanaw ni Mandela.
Parehong simbolo ng demokrasya sina Mandela at Cory, na nagpabagsak sa rehimeng Marcos noong 1986 sa pamamagitan ng EDSA People Power revolution.
Taong 1997, dumalaw sa bansa ang noo’y Presidente ng South Africa na si Mandela at nagpugay ito kay Pangulong Cory dahil sa paglaban nito sa diktadurya.
Narito ang buong mensahe ng Pangulong Aquino:
“On behalf of the entire Filipino people, I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Mandela, the people of South Africa, and all men and women of peace and goodwill who mourn the passing of a truly great man.
“For today, as Nelson Mandela united his people in the spirit of compassion and inclusiveness, so too does he unite the rest of the world—not only in grief and mourning, but also in respect and admiration for a life lived with strength, courage, humility, and dignity.
"His memory will serve as a durable guide to humanity as we seek to bequeath to future generations a world better than we found it.
“Nelson Mandela was the father of modern South Africa, an exemplar of conscientious resistance to racism, and exponent of reconciliation founded on justice. The life he lived makes us cognizant of those who have suffered persecution, yet refused to allow it to plunge their lives into bitterness or vengeance.
“Whether in the isolation of his prison cell or in subsequently renouncing violence and making possible the abolition of apartheid and the creation of a truly pluralistic South Africa, Nelson Mandela sought to unite his people on the basis of humane aspirations for a just society. He achieved closure through justice, banishing recrimination and hate.
“Above all, he acted out of the desire to uplift his fellow men and women by empowering the aggrieved to rise above hardship—guiding his nation through the crucible of suffering to forge ordinary men and women into peacemakers, freedom fighters, and even statesmen.
"By transcending the wounds of the past, he helped establish a prosperous, inclusive present.
“His unflagging optimism that the world could be a place where prejudice gives way to harmony will therefore continue to serve as a beacon of hope for all humanity.
“On a more personal note, I recall with gratitude and humility the kind words he told me during his visit to the Philippines when I was still a representative. He told me then, ’You chose your parents well.’
“My mother admired him. Like all of us, she would have been deeply saddened by his passing.
"I also understand what the global outpouring of support and sympathy might mean to his family and all South Africans, especially after a long-drawn illness such as the one that he went through.
“We must now all take comfort from the fact that a great man is now at peace, with the Filipino people and all humanity heirs to his example and vision.”