Often, politics is a divisive topic among people regardless of our country of origin. Filipinos, however, remain sensitive to death and despair. We still find time to show respect and grief even if there are irreconcilable differences between us. A perfect example is the death of the 15th President of our republic. Somehow, this event in the middle of the pandemic created a reminder, though cliché, that life is too short to quarrel over petty differences. We can truly feel the shock and awe of many Filipinos even with those who occasionally disagreed with the policies of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III or as we fondly referred to as PNoy.
Malacañang Took the Lead
To be fair, President Rodrigo Duterte did not shy away from extending his condolences to the former chief executive. It’s not a secret that the two leaders clashed in the past. Nevertheless, President Duterte chose the high road this time to commemorate the life and legacy of his predecessor. In fact, in a speech that he delivered in Malacañang, President Duterte offered a moment of silence for the eternal repose of PNoy.
The Opposition’s Condolences
The former party colleagues of PNoy from the Liberal Party were left in shock in the sudden death of their leader. Their entire party shared the common sentiment in the groundbreaking event that could soon shape the discourse on how we view PNoy. In addition, Vice President Leni Robredo expressed her agony over the death of the person to whom she refers to as a friend of her husband. In a Facebook post, she recalled the moments that shaped their friendship and bond.
President Biden’s Statement
As a long-time ally of the United States, we surely reciprocate the news of progresses and setbacks to one another. As reported by the Manila Times, American President Joseph “Joe” Biden “He was a valued friend and partner to the United States, and he will long be remembered for serving his country with integrity and selfless dedication,” and he went on with his generous and kind words lingered memories from the simultaneous leaderships of Presidents Barack Obama and Noynoy Aquino.
Several embassies and international organizations also extend their condolences to the Aquino family. This cemented the international contribution of our former chief executive that created an impact to the international community. Many lauded his leadership that made the Philippines a competitive country for foreign investors.
The PNoy Legacy
In the long run, when the pain of loss dissipates, the PNoy presidency will be viewed in the lens of a more objective observer. For now, we are sure that the reforms that he brought will continue to create a legacy not only for him but also with his family. Whether we like him or not, the policies that he brought to the table will continue to influence the Filipino people’s pursuit of being the best country that it could be.