WITH the death of Noynoy Aquino, the country has lost one of the great Filipino leaders in contemporary history.
I dare say that Noynoy Aquino belonged to a rare breed of heroic family whom events had thrust to the center stage of history.
His father, the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino, was instrumental in the downfall of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos when he offered his life at the airport tarmac on that historic moment of Aug. 21, 1983. Ninoy’s martyrdom emboldened a timid and frightened people and set off nationwide protests that culminated in the ouster of Marcos in February 1986.
Noynoy’s mother, the late President Cory Aquino, inspired a weary people tired of the cupidities of the graft-ridden Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Her death in August 2009 encouraged her son Noynoy to successfully seek the presidency in 2010.
Noynoy’s passing has left a lasting void in the political landscape. We miss his incorruptibility, his decency, and his passion to serve his people. We continue to enjoy his educational and social programs like the 4Ps, the K-12 and others.
Noynoy made the country an emerging tiger economy from being a Sick Man of Asia. He left at least a trillion pesos to the Duterte administration.
The various infrastructures have left their mark like the modernization of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the Panglao International Airport, the highways connecting Metro Manila to Central Luzon, the skyways in Metro Manila that have mitigated the inconvenience of thousands of daily commuters.
But the lasting legacy left by former President Noynoy Aquino was our victory at the Hague in 2016, which upheld our national sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea (WPS). It is tragic to note that while the US, the EU countries and other self-respecting nations hail the Hague verdict as a landmark decision, the Duterte regime has shamelessly squandered it by allowing China to intrude into the WPS.
I have been privileged to work for Noynoy’s election in 2010 and I am proud to have served under his government, even for a brief period. I salute his decency, his principles and his deathless love for his country.
Can the nation produce another incorruptible and patriotic President like Noynoy?