President Noy: You are my Boss

Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, or better known as “Noynoy”

Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, better known as “Noynoy”

By Alin Ferrer-Garganera
Media practitioner, radio anchor/ broadcaster

MANILA: Words are not enough to describe my sadness this when I heard the death of PNOY.

I believe many Filipinos share this grief. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino, or better known as “Noynoy”, the 15th President of the Philippines, passed away on June 24, 2021 at the age of 61. As President, he took the nickname “PNoy”, short for “President Noy”, and also a play of words to the colloquial term for Filipinos, which is “Pinoy”.

Tributes have poured in for him, from politicians he worked with, to those who served under him in Malacañang in his Cabinet.  Philippine leaders today from Congress, the Senate and senior administration officials have sent their condolences and their own stories. Even the world of showbiz sympathizes with this latest loss of the Aquino family.

The news coverage here quickly recalled PNoy’s achievements. The only son of national heroes Ninoy and Cory Aquino, his personality has been described as aloof and unconcerned, but he has done everything to answer the call of history. He was the District Representative for Tarlac Province in Congress, became a Senator, and was pushed by destiny to become President in 2010, a few months after her mother, Cory passed away.

It is important to recognize his accomplishments as President. The Philippine economy performed so well during his time, that we got the first-ever investment rating, and our title of “sick man of Asia” was removed. Corruption had been significantly reduced and he imprisoned some prominent politicians that were involved in financial scandals.

During his stint, the Philippines graduated from IMF loans, became a middle-income country, and at one point, even contributed to the IMF funds.

A significant accomplishment would be the arbitral ruling from the Hague, when the Aquino government sued the Chinese government on the sovereignty issue of the West Philippine Sea, where UNCLOS was invoked and the Chinese claim on the nine-dash line was invalidated.

But perhaps his most important legacy is his faithful and humble service. Whether people admit it or not, during PNoy’s time, we were proud to be a Filipino. He made us proud of his achievements, of what he said at the international level and how he carried himself and their family name.  What I really appreciate the most is that he often speaks Filipino in his speeches.

He will be remembered by his promise during his first Inaugural Speech in 2010, when he declared to all Filipinos that “You are my boss!”, indicating that his Presidency will be in the service of the Filipinos.

PNoy also faced many controversies during his Presidency – the Luneta siege, Typhoon Yolanda, and the SAF44 Massacre in Minadanao. But it’s important to remember that no one is perfect, and especially heads of states or Presidents, they also make mistakes or have shortcomings as well.

In his last State of the Nation Address in 2015, he summed up his performance and the legacy of their family.  He said that he lived by his parents’ motto – his father said that the Filipinos were worth dying for, and his mother said that the Filipinos are worth living for.  To this he added, “the Filipinos are worth fighting for”.

As a tradition, state funerals were not requested by the Aquino family.  Some writers have pointed out that despite the political pedigree of Ninoy (a former Senator), Cory (a former President) and Noynoy (also a former President), their family has shunned the formal and pompous state funerals.  Without asking and without any formal pronouncement from the national government, all government offices throughout the country put the Philippine flag at half-mast from the morning of Thursday, June 24.

If there were no pandemic and COVID quarantine rules in Metro Manila, there would surely be millions braving the streets and would have turned EDSA into a yellow sea of supporters for the funeral.

I’m sure, Cory and Ninoy are embracing Noynoy now in heaven, and they are saying, “you have been a good son, you have done well and made us proud!”

The Philippines owe a lot to the Aquino family.  History will judge them fondly and kindly for the legacy of democracy that they brought, defended and fulfilled, for the Filipinos.

Rest in peace, PNoy. Thank you so much for your loyal service to us ordinary citizens, your bosses. #

Search in Site