MANILA — Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III passed away on Thursday, less than a year before the Philippines chooses its next leader.
The son of democracy icons Ninoy and former President Corazon Aquino, Noynoy rose to power in 2010 after his mother succumbed to colon cancer the year earlier.
The 15th President of the Philippines in his 6-year term delivered annual economic growth that was highest since the 1970s, tackled corruption, and stood up to Beijing over competing claims in the West Philippine Sea.
He has been largely out of the public eye since his successor President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, despite the latter's repeated tirades against the previous administration.
The following are some of the quotes that Aquino, popularly dubbed "PNoy," left behind on his leadership and legacy.
- "Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap"
Aquino wooing voters with this anti-corruption campaign slogan on the runup to the 2019 elections
- "Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo."
Aquino during his inaugural address on June 30, 2010
- "I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen."
- "My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary."
Aquino during his inaugural address on June 30, 2010
- "I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people... There can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again."
Aquino on justice, during his inaugural address on June 30, 2010
- "Kapag nanalig tayo na ang kasangga natin ay ang Diyos, mayroon ba tayong hindi kakayanin?"
Aquino during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26, 2010
- "Tungkulin po ng bawat Pilipino na tutukan ang mga pinunong tayo rin naman ang nagluklok sa puwesto. Humakbang mula sa pakikialam tungo sa pakikilahok. Dahil ang nakikialam, walang-hanggan ang reklamo. Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon.
Aquino in his 2010 SONA
- "Do you want the corrupt held accountable? So do I. Do you want to see the end of wang-wang, both on the streets and in the sense of entitlement that has led to the abuse that we have lived with for so long? So do I. Do you want to give everyone a fair chance to improve their lot in life? So do I."
Aquino during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25, 2011, where he slammed the "wang-wang" mentality or sense of entitlement of corrupt officials
- "Now, our message is clear: What is ours is ours; setting foot on Recto Bank is no different from setting foot on Recto Avenue."
Aquino during his 2011 SONA talking about Chinese Navy boats' harassment of a Philippine-commissioned oil exploration vessel near Recto Bank, an incident that ramped up tensions between Beijing and Manila
- "The transformation we are experiencing now, we can make permanent with the guidance of God. As long as your faith remains strong—as long as we continue serving as each other’s strength—we will continue proving that 'the Filipino is worth definitely dying for,' 'the Filipino is worth living for,' and if I might add: 'The Filipino is worth fighting for.'"
Aquino during his SONA on July 28, 2014
- "I will not let peace be snatched from my people again."
Aquino during the signing of a peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, March 27, 2014
- "Meron din namang nagtatanong sa atin at maging sa ating mga delegasyon: 'Ang ganda ng nangyayari sa Pilipinas; anim na taon lang ba talaga ang termino ninyo? Wala na bang puwedeng magawa dito?' Ang lagi nga po nating tugon, 'Nagkaroon kami ng pangulo na talagang gumawa ng paraang manatili sa puwesto. Kailangan naming tiyaking di mabubuksan ang pinto para maulit ito.'"
Aquino on leaders clinging to power in his last SONA on July 27, 2015
- "May mali rin sa pagbibigay ng pagkakataong habambuhay na magpakasasa sa kapangyarihan ang isang tiwaling pamilya o indibidwal. Ganyang kaisipan din ang dahilan kung bakit, noong may nagmungkahing manatili pa ako sa puwesto—kahit raw dagdag na tatlong taon lang—ako mismo ang tumutol dito. Di tayo makakasiguro kung malinis ang intensiyon ng mga susunod, o kung nanaisin lang nilang habambuhay na maghari-harian para sa sariling interes. Panahon na para ipasa ang isang Anti-Dynasty Law."
Aquino on a law against political dynasties in his last SONA
Aquino using the trendy catchphrase during his last SONA, in response to critics of his anti-corruption drive
- "Mga Boss, aaminin ko: Ni minsan po, hindi ko sinabing ako’y perpekto. Minsan, binigo tayo ng ilang inasahan nating alam dapat ang kanilang trabaho... Hinihingi ko po muli ang inyong pag-unawa sa mga bagay na ito. Sa kabila nito, mahaharap ko ang sinoman at masasabing: Ginawa ko ang pinakamainam na desisyon batay sa kaalaman at kakayahang mayroon tayo sa panahong iyon. Kaisa-isang interes ko ang kapakanan ng aking Boss."
Aquino on his shortcomings in his 2015 SONA
- "All I can say is at the end of the day, when I go home and I’m about to sleep, if I look at myself in the mirror, I can honestly say that I did my all on that particular day. And each and every day, that is the mantra."
Aquino on how he wants to be remembered in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines Presidential Forum, October 27, 2015
- "Ako po, naniniwalang hindi natin tadhanang ulitin ang madilim nating kasaysayan... Naniniwala ako sa kadakilaan ng ating lahi. Naniniwala ako na bagama’t mahaba ang kakayahan nating magtimpi, may sukdulan din, at kung maabot iyon ay talaga naman darating ang daluyong ng pagkakaisang walang makakapigil.
Aquino during the 30th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, Feb. 25, 2016