Tragedy comes to mind when I remember Noynoy Aquino

If we are to believe the editors and writers of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” S. Aquino III was a “great and good leader”. Some of them are also saying he was a man of honor. The entire front page of the publication was full of fluff pieces about Aquino after his death was announced the day before. That comes as no surprise since the broadsheet owes its rise to another Aquino – Noynoy’s mother, the late former President Cory Aquino. The Inquirer quickly jumped from being a tabloid to a “respectable” newspaper after Cory was installed in Malacanang Palace after a coup d’état ousted former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

We all know that the Inquirer is obliged to write favorably about Noynoy. We all know the Inquirer is a partisan publication. We all know they have to take this opportunity – an Aquino dying – and capitalize on it for the 2022 Presidential elections. Members of the Opposition are so desperate to cling to a pattern of succession when an Aquino dies. To quote an Aquino supporter, “when Ninoy Aquino died, the Marcos regime ended. When Cory Aquino died, Arroyo’s nine-year regime ended. Now, PNoy has passed on…. every time an Aquino dies, dictatorship ends.”

This raises the question: Are members of the Opposition actually mourning or are they celebrating the passing of Noynoy? It is almost as if they had long been hoping that another Aquino would die before the 2022 Presidential elections.

SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us daily.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

No matter how many articles about Noynoy the Inquirer publishes, it won’t erase how some of us have come to know Noynoy during his term in office. A lot of people know that he was neither great nor good a leader. No, Noynoy wasn’t a man of honor to the families of those who died preventable deaths as a result of his government’s incompetence.

A lot of people have ditched the old saying “do not speak ill of the dead” after news of Noynoy’s death first broke. It was hard not to be reminded of his callousness when he was in power. In fact, the first thing that came to mind after Noynoy’s death was announced was what he said when a reporter asked him if he was going to attend the wake of the slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in 2014. He said, “In general, I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know. I’m not comfortable in trying to condole with people who don’t know me.”

That’s not something someone who has empathy would say in front of the media. Granted, the President does not have to attend everyone’s funeral, but he could have been more circumspect in his response. Noynoy’s most famous rebuttal “Buhay ka pa naman, diba?” to a victim of looters in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda is forever etched in people’s brains especially since he said it at the height of the disaster – when the corpses of those who died from the tragedy were still lying on the roads. Unfortunately, we came to know that Noynoy did not use filters when he was still in power. It was a sign that he lacked compassion.

Mass burial of dead left by Typhoon Yolanda

Noynoy will be remembered by many for killing the so-called “Aquino legacy”. Because of his dismal, bordering on criminal, performance at the helm for six years, the people decided they have had enough of the lies mainstream media have been spewing about the Aquinos being “heroes”. Even after his death, the people who have woken up to the realization that they were duped for decades by the Aquinos are not apologizing for highlighting Noynoy’s indiscretions during his term. The people are not holding back in reminding Aquino supporters of the preventable tragedies that occurred while he was in office. It is hard to be kind to a man who was insensitive and callous to people outside of his clique. Noynoy was very cruel to the late former Supreme Court Justice Renato Corona who he persecuted even before he was sworn into office in 2010 citing that Corona was former President Gloria Arroyo’s “midnight appointee”.

Noynoy was relentless in his attacks and humiliation of the former magistrate in public particularly during official events. To the general public, Noynoy’s antagonistic behavior was baffling. According to columnist Carmen Pedrosa in a 2018 column, Corona was “Chief Justice when the Supreme Court penned the ‘final’ decision on Hacienda Luisita. To this day despite that ‘final’ decision nothing has been done to implement it. The Corona court’s unanimous, final and executory decision ruled that the 4,916-hectare Hacienda Luisita be distributed among some 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries.”

The lynching of the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona is part of Aquino’s dark legacy.

It is fair to say that Noynoy had an axe to grind against Corona. And that axe was also grinded against former President Arroyo since the Aquinos felt betrayed after she approved the decision to break up the Aquino-Cojuangco clan’s crown jewels. Arroyo was eventually humiliated by Noynoy’s government when she was arrested and detained for almost the entire term of Noynoy’s presidency on trumped up charges. Her cases were eventually dismissed for lack of evidence. But she already spent years in detention for crimes she did not commit.

It is not only the Filipino people who associate Noynoy with the words tragedy and callousness. The people of Hong Kong will remember him as the “smiling president”. No, it wasn’t a smile that could melt one’s heart. It was a smile that broke the hearts of the families of eight Chinese tourists who died in the hands of a disgruntled police officer who held them hostage inside a bus in Manila in 2010. The tragedy happened just a few months into Noynoy’s presidency. Noynoy appeared to smile at a press conference following the incident and refused to apologize for his government’s bungling of the crisis. It was an ominous sign of more tragedies to come.

2010 HK Hostage Massacre: Philippine authorities defensive rather than resolute

While the Filipino people were still forgiving back in 2010 and attributed the Manila Hostage Crisis to Noynoy going through a honeymoon period, the people started waking up to the realization that Noynoy was incompetent after the 2013 Haiyan super typhoon tragedy. Not only did Noynoy demonstrate his arrogance as the disaster played out, he also showed that he was insensitive to the plight of the victims. His government was not prepared for the arrival of the typhoon and was defensive about being incapable of handling the rescue operation. Officially, there were over 6,000 fatalities but the unofficial tally was said to be over 10,000. Some of the deaths could have been prevented if only the government’s response was quicker. One could say that deaths during typhoons in the Philippines is unavoidable. But it was Noynoy’s dismissive attitude that made it worse.

I suppose the final nail in the coffin of Noynoy’s Presidency was when 44 members of Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) were massacred by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters in Mamasapano in Maguindanao. This was during a covert operation to arrest Malaysian bomb makers Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as “Marwan” who was in the lair of the Muslim rebel group. It was a tragedy that sealed Noynoy’s so-called “legacy”. He became a lame duck after that.

Noynoy’s biggest mistake was in hiding the truth from the Filipino people – that he bungled the operation because, one, he assigned a suspended police general, PNP Chief Alan Purisima, to lead the entire operation. Because he was doing it so secretly that even then Department of Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas wasn’t informed about it, things went pear-shaped quickly when communication with the military broke down. Then, two, 44 SAF officers were not rescued in time. The public was shocked after videos of the men being slaughtered were circulated on social media. Then the public had to wait for three days before Noynoy made a statement, which did not satisfy the public’s outrage.

The circumstances surrounding the dysfunctional command structure that led to the massacre of 44 SAF officers remains a mystery to this day.

The reason why there are people who highlight Noynoy’s shortfalls even at this time is because the Opposition have been known to take advantage of deaths to gain sympathy votes just like they did when Noynoy’s father Ninoy and his mother Cory died. They have put the Aquinos on a pedestal for far too long. Now and in the coming days, they will try so hard to elevate Noynoy to sainthood or a hero just like they did Ninoy and then Cory. That is so wrong on so many levels. They weren’t heroes and they weren’t saints. They were mostly after their own interests, which is mainly to keep Hacienda Luisita.

The remaining members of the Opposition are not looking out for the people’s interests either. Their only real agenda is to get back in power and they will use whatever means — including the death of an ally — to do it. Unfortunately for them, Noynoy did not leave any tangible or lasting legacy. His passing will not work towards putting any remaining Liberal Party member back in power. Besides, it’s too early to use his death in the next election anyway. They can’t even decide who will represent their party. The Opposition have no shame and won’t admit that they cannot win without using emotional blackmail.

The circumstances were different when Cory and Noynoy won after an Aquino died. Mainstream media still had the monopoly in spreading information then. The Opposition have Netizens to deal with now. We will not stop reminding the people of the atrocities they committed in the past. The Opposition do not even possess any moral ascendancy to tell Netizens to stop speaking ill of the dead because they have been speaking ill of Marcos almost 40 years after his death. They also wish for current President Rodrigo Duterte to die as soon as possible.

23 Replies to “Tragedy comes to mind when I remember Noynoy Aquino”

  1. Some middle-class people I know who are likely from “renowned” families really buy into the idea that PNoy was leading a renaissance of the Philippines before Duterte supposedly ruined it, and that PNoy was a “good person.” I doubt they entertain any notion that under such a “good” and “nerdy” facade, malice could still exist.

  2. I was in Ateneo college when Pnoy was elected which ironically he didn’t win the school mock elections, it was Gibo who won from the student body who also elected at my first real election. In fact, some old Ateneo professors mock him since he wasn’t a bright student as he got mediocre scores.

    I was skeptical at first because his slogan and platform “Kung walang korap, walang mahirap” was too vague and not a long term goal that can be done in 1 term but since he won, he had to prove me he is a capable leader.

    After the bungling hostage crisis, I knew we were going to have a rough 6 years.
    His 6 year tenure is by far the most bumbling and incompetent one. I was unlucky to have gone through MRT 3 madness that his corrupt buddies didnt care to maintain.

    While I never wish ill will on him, I have no respect to him and I will continue to say that because his term like from a Manila Standard article: Pres. Aquino destroyed the Philippine Government over Personal Agendas

    1. noynoy’s time was a long bull run for companies and investors but the gains have been wiped out in this administration.

      1. As a student of economics, your answer could be correct.

        However while the credit ratings and the economy was riding high in Pnoy’s term that doesnt translate well.

        1.) The companies and investors have good faith and more money could come in, the entrepreneurs and rich dynasties are the only ones could benefit that. How about the masses? Did they have increases in their wages, new opportunities to improve their standard of living?

        2.) The government actually spent the entire term underspending their budget. Remember the traffic snarls, public transportation fiascos, few new or developed infrastructures?

        and 3.) The “Build, Build, Build” phenomenon wouldnt exist if the economic gain didnt improve as that is used by the current goverment to INVEST in improving the country.

        While the current economy is rattled by the pandemic, it wasn’t destroyed or collapsed by incompetence, indecisive or even corruption.

      2. It was also during noynoy’s time when “Bigas hindi Bala” was the most heard cry of the poor people and Pagpag was their main staple.

        Seems only the rich became richer.

  3. Seems like you are hiding a deep personal grudge against Noynoy Aquino as your only focused are those bad decisions and mistakes he made in the past. With that, you look like a desperate hater against Aquinos and their allies . You are such a divisive and hateful writer. The way you criticize Noynoy as vindictive and antagonistic also suit yourself. Don’t deny that.

    So far, I don’t see any articles of you that highlight the major blunders of the administrations of Duterte, Arroyo and Marcos even just one or two of them since there were so many. That speaks volumes of you. In your years of blogging, I think what ultimately makes you happy in life is to see to it that Aquinos and their allies are out of politics and that no more opposition will criticize your favored politicians. Even how many incompetence and mismanagement your politicians had done in the past, you didn’t bother to criticize them compared to what you did to Aquino. As if only the mistakes of Aquino’s admin. matter. That said, you don’t care about the Philippines and the Filipino people in general, you only care about your beloved politicians and yourself. If other people who follow you are duped by your agenda, I’m not.

    1. But Yellowtardism is one of GRP’s main peeves! Others don’t need that much attention as the Yellows are the real “devils-disguised-as-angels.”

      1. Don’t need much attention? Didn’t the errors of the other presidents in the past and today don’t need much attention? You are applying double-standard here. You have no right to criticize other people if you yourself are doing what they are doing. It seems you are peddling fixed standards for Aquino and his allies and supporters but you don’t want to apply the same to Duterte and your other favorite past presidents and just instead continue to be silent and blind. No wonder this country continues to be divided because you don’t fix what’s supposed to be the world-class standard for all Philippine leaders regardless if we like them or not in order for this country to move fast in its development.

        1. Double standard? When we try to break that myth that Aquino was clean and good while the people around him were the evil ones, that means his defenders have the double standards.

        2. Yeah, double standard cause you don’t criticize and continue to keep silent on today’s president’s blunders and mediocrity and your other favorite past presidents while very vocal on the mistakes of Noynoy Aquino as if he holds the monopoly of all the biggest problems of Philippine society as what Ilda is doing in her blog.

          At first reading, you will notice her blog is a product of hate and bias against Aquino; no iota of fairness and objectivity. If you think there’s nothing wrong with that and you tolerate this kind of discussion then you yourself is perpetuating hate and anger which would not lead to healing and unity of all Filipino people. If you think there were evil people surrounded Aquino during his time, think about now? Do you think the people around Duterte are the best and the brightest as what he told the Filipino before? Think again. If you don’t see one then you choose to be blind.

    2. There’s no grudge on the Aquino family and rather, he’s making a hard and clear point. Like, the Aquinos and every typical oligarchs and their allies had done nothing good but to bring the country into the ground and enrich themselves at the expense of the Filipino people, ever since the 1986 People Power Revolution.

      Another is that to say that “the way you criticize Noynoy as vindictive and antagonistic” was a justification that he speaks the truth and you’re only cowering in fear, as you’re afraid of the truth.

      Also, Noynoy Aquino is nothing more but an incompetent president. The way he handled response on Yolanda, Mamasapano massacre, Luneta Hostage Crisis, Tanim-Bala scam, as well as Dengvaxia mess are all but disastrous. Worse, is even the Hacienda Luisita massacre placed a dark mark on him. Even during his term as President; drug proliferation, rising rate of crimes as well as necropolitics flourished under his watch. Like, it was all a total mess.

      And upon his death, he left nothing but a hollow and mess of legacy and will no impact, whatsoever. Knowing that his yellow acolytes will try to weaponize his death for the elections next year (and clearly the yellows are horribly desperate), it won’t the same thing the way when his mother Cory passed away more than 12 years ago. That strategy will backfire on the yellows, terribly and if when the yellow lose the election next year, it will be a nail in the coffin for them and there’s no way that they would be able to recover in that supposed failure.

      Another thing, to say that he’s a best president is all but ridiculous for he’s simply the most incompetent president being elected in the highest position of the country and to say that he’s “mission accomplished” is all but an epic failure.

      1. Yeah, if you only like to focus on Noynoy’s failures and mistakes then it will appear he is that bad and incompetent president.

        Duterte’s admin is far from perfect too same as Aquino. If I focus solely on Duterte’s failures and mistakes, I would also make him appear incompetent and mediocre president same like Noynoy Aquino.

        1. Never said that Duterte’s Administration is perfect, as there’s also mistakes and flaws within him (like too much being cozying up to China). The point is that he’s way more competent and efficient than Aquino, who’s mediocre, weak, incompetent and feeble.

          As I said before, under Noynoy Aquino’s watch as president; drugs, rising rate of crimes (murder, rape, kidnapping, carnapping and etc.) and necropolitics were flourishing and it reeks nothing but terrible, and along with NoyNoy Aquino’s mishandling of Yolanda, Mamasapano massacre, Luneta Hostage Crisis, Tanim-Bala scam, Dengvaxia mess as well as his dirty vindictive, biased, vengful and unfair persecutions of Renato Corona, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, among others; it all proved to be his undoing and a turning point on Duterte’s rise to the presidency in 2016.

          And also, these deranged yellow acolytes are now desperately trying to use Noynoy Aquino’s death as a way to get themselves back to power just like the way when Cory, but this time it will not work on them as the people know the truth about the yellows. If ever the yellows lose big-time in the next year’s elections, they won’t be able to recover from that blow.

          All in all, the yellows are exposed and their shill biased partisan mainstream media (including the dirty site of Rappler) can’t covered it up all the black propaganda horsecrap they’ve made ( like ABS-CBN, Inquirer, and Philstar).

        2. I don’t think Duterte is competent and efficient either.

          You mentioned a lot about where did Aquino go wrong, I can mention same with Duterte:

          Corruption, drugs, crimes are still rampant everywhere, even drugs in major jails Duterte cannot stop until now; entry of covid here was the product of his original incompetence because he did not ban travel from China immediately compared to what other neighbouring countries did such as Taiwan. He belittled Covid in the 1st quarter of 2020, and promised it will be stopped in December 2020, until now Filipinos are grappling to follow health protocols as a consequence of what he did. The rollout of vaccine seems to be in a glacial pace. He hired unqualified and loyal people to lead some important offices and bureaus of government such as Uson, Montano, Honasan who is btw not an expert in IT, Doque whom doctors, nurses and senators petition to fire him, PNP Chief Sinas who was the violator of health protocol before getting that position and yet was even promoted.

          Duterte is a lawyer but seems not following the exact rule of law as his mandate before was to kill3x the suspected illegal drug personalities without due process of law. He always asked China to allow fishermen to fish in our territory. We don’t need to ask any Country because Philippines is a soveriegn State. He should always remember that since he swore to defend the Phil. Constitution and its territory. War is his bluff if we irritate China; didn’t realize Vietnam and Indonesia used to arrest and destroyed ships and vessels of China in recent times and the latter didn’t even declare war against these two. The Marawi seige which he knew would happen and would cost the Marawi residents their lives and homes and yet he didn’t stop it. Until now, 3 years have passed and many residents are still in temporary shelters. Duterte is also vindictive and made a lot of blame games in his time.

          There are still many things I would like to mention but i will stop here. This just proves Duterte is incompetent and inefficient and a liar as opposite to what you said. Of course as what i’m saying if I focus on the mistakes of Duterte same as what you did to Aquino, then he too is the same as bad as Noynoy.

        3. @Jason

          This article is not about the shortcomings of president and former presidents. Besides,
          who died and is being given praises as if he’s the greatest PH president? I am pretty sure its not Arroyo, Estrada, Ramos or *gasps* Duterte.

          When did necropolitics failed the Aquinos? It is a fact that the deaths contributed largely (if not solely) to their presidency despite having no competency to be one. People just need to stop the sympathy voting then either regret it later or live in Lala Land.

  4. What could another Aquino do in office if one decides to run? The rest of them look like they would rather live private lives. Are they even interested in the welfare of Filipinos beyond political scripts?

    1. The Aquinos lost their political capitals and will, let alone that the yellows won’t stand a chance in the next year’s election (knowing their coalition with 1Sambayan is nothing but a fiasco and a sham) and the only dirty tricks that the yellows would do is to cheat and rigged the election (of which it would be a travesty).

  5. Tragedy or travesty, Ilda? Hehehe. Both of them are equally applicable to Noynoy’s presidency, you know.

    1. Me, a yellow, also am disappointed with Aquino actually, but may he RIP. All previous presidencies were FAILURES, but I truly believe in Mar Roxas. He is waaaaay more brilliant than any of these presidents. Even when Duterte vowed to uproot Roxas he failed for he didn’t find anything corrupt about him. Its sad to see what the Philippines are going through. I just want the best for this country and everything is just disappointing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.