MEMORIAL MASS FOR PNOY
June 30, 2021
M. V. Francisco, SJ
Una, kinutya siyang pala-PlayStation, tatamad-tamad sa gitna ng napakaraming suliraning hinaharap ng ating bayan.
Subalit, ayon kay Cielito Habito, tanyag na ekonomista, “I can assert that no other Philippine president in recent memory matched the positive economic advances achieved under PNoy’s six-year leadership in 2010-2016….
“Poverty incidence of families fell significantly from 19.7 percent in 2012 to 16.5 percent in 2015—the steepest drop seen since … the 1990s”
At ayon kay Ramon del Rosario, industrialist, “The Philippine economy grew an average of 6.2 percent and twice exceeded 7 percent, the best performance since the 1970s, and the Philippines obtained its first investment grade score from a major credit rating agency…. Foreign direct investments from $1.07 billion in 2010 to $8.2 billion in 2016. Employment rose and 7.7 million Filipinos were lifted from poverty.”
Gayunpaman, pinaratangan siyang pa-Play-Play Station na lang.
Ikalawang kabalintunaan. Tinawag siyang duwag na nagtago sa ilalim ng kama sa gitna ng mga coup de etat noong pangulo ang nanay niyang si Tita Cory.
Subalit si PNoy ang tanging pangulo ng anumang bansang humarap sa Tsina sa pagkamkam nila ng mga isla natin sa West Philippine Sea at ibang bahagi ng South China Sea.
Ayon kay Truong Trieu Duong, dating ambassador ng Vietnam sa Pilipinas, by filing a case against China’s incursions at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague “President Aquino… was the one and only president in the world who dared to challenge China’s vast claim over almost the entire South China Sea and finally won the difficult battle.”
Bilang pagpupugay, nagtext si dating Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario kay PNoy, “I would like you to know, Mr. President, that there is only one person I truly look up to – and that would be YOU! Take care, Sir.'"
Gayunpaman, tinagurian siyang duwag ng kanyang mga mambabatikos.
Ikatlong kabalintuan. Tinawag po siyang Abnoy.
Subalit, ayon kay Motoo Konishi, World Bank Country Director for the Philippines, 2012-2016: “Over the 35 years that I served at the World Bank, I have worked with Presidents and Ministers in over thirty countries. But the four years as the Country Director for the Philippines has been the most challenging, most impressive, most rewarding because of the Aquino leadership and administration.
At ayon kay Pres. Joe Biden ng Estados Unidos, “President Aquino’s steadfast commitment to advancing peace, upholding the rule of law, and driving economic growth for all Filipinos, while taking bold steps to promote the rules-based international order, leaves a remarkable legacy at home and abroad that will endure for years to come”
Gayunpaman, tinagurian siyang Abnoy.
PNoy the Suffering Servant
Sadyang ganoon yata ang kalagayan ng mga propeta at martyr mula ng sinauna.
Ayon sa propetang Isayas, ang tapat na tagapaglingkot ng Panginoon ay tinaguriang,
“a thing despised and rejected by men,
A man of sorrows familiar with our suffering.
And yet ours were the sufferings he bore,
Ours the sorrows he carried” (Is 53:3-4)
Gayun din si PNoy. Kinutya, binatikos. At katulad ng Suffering Servant sa Lumang Tipan, nanahimik si Pnoy sa gitna ng paninira sa kanya:
“Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly,
He never opened his mouth” (Is 53:7)
Sa kalaunan, dahil sa kanilang pagtataguyod sa katarungan ng Diyos, pinaslang ang mga propeta: “he was torn away from the land of the living” (Is 53:8)
In the aftermath of PNoy’s unexpected death, we have come to value his integrity and honesty, his abidance of the rule of law, his decency and respectability as head of state.
Grace Pulido-Tan, former COA chief, writes: “He enabled me to do my job by his confidence and respect, never interfering nor interceding, even where COA took to task his political allies and appointees. He was firm and true to his program of integrity and accountability in government.”
Edwin Lacierda, spokesperson of Aquino, adds that the former president had "governed our country with honest leadership, decency, and civility."
We ask: How does the Lord deal with his servant who was faithful to the end?
First, He remembers the good he has done:
“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work
and the love which you have shown toward His name,
in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints” (Heb. 6:10)
On Christmas Eve, 2017, as I was grappling with the ascendance of populist leaders who had little concern for human rights in many parts of the world, the propagation of fake news that shaped the perception of the masses, the revision of narratives so much so that tyrants were remolded as heroes and patriots were refashioned as the villains, I asked him, “Noy, di ka ba nanghihinayang that what you worked for the past years is being undermined?”
He replied, “What I have done for our people is my gift to them. What they do with what I had given them is their gift to their children.”
PNoy seemed unconcerned whether people remembered and appreciated his sacrifices and contributions to our nation or not. He seemed unaffected by people’s perception of his person and tenure as president.
But PNoy, I know you are listening, know that even though our people forget all that you have done for us, our Lord will remember. God will eternally remember your sacrifices and good deeds.
Second, God will vindicate his faithful servants:
“For the Lord will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants” (Deut. 32:36)
And so, Noy, though you may have been underappreciated during your tenure as president, the Spirit will evoke in us a nostalgia and a deep yearning for decency and honesty, industry and integrity in public service. History will vindicate you when we as a people recover our soul as a nation.
Third, God will raise his faithful servant: “he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights” (Is. 52: 13)
Rest now, PNoy, your weary heart and body. We did not deserve a leader like you. Heaven awaits you. Allow Mama Mary to lead you to her Son, Jesus our Lord. Allow the Father to declare, “come home to me, good and faithful servant”.
In God’s time, your death will renew us and help us remember who we once were and are meant to be. For now, paalam, PNoy, you have run the race; you have fought the good fight. Rest in God’s eternal embrace.
Photo: Atty Larry Go