MANILA - A historian and university professor on Friday chimed in on the legacy of former President Binigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III who died on Thursday morning.
Xiao Chua, a history professor at the De la Salle University in Manila said now is the time to talk about the legacy of Aquino to remind the Filipino people and to hopefully learn lessons from it.
“As a historian, tinitingnan namin ang bawat presidency doon sa tinatawag naming kung ano yung kanilang mga pagkukulang at kung ano yung kanilang gains. Ngayon sinasabi nila wag nyo munang icriticize si President Noynoy kasi kamamatay lang. This is the time to talk about it. Pag sinabi mong legacy kasama dyan kahinaan. Gusto ko lang maalala natin ng konti kasi we should learn lessons din,” Chua said.
(As historians, were looking at the faults and gains of each presidency. They say its not the right time to criticize Aquino because he just passed away. This is the time to talk about it. When you say legacy that includes the weaknesses. I just want us to remember because we should learn lessons from it.)
Chua said Aquino had been criticized for being loyal to friends.
“Yung mga ganung desisyon, halimbawa, yan yung nag lead sa Mamasapano kasi kahit suspendido na yung chief PNP noon na kaibigan niya, yun ang pinag direct nya ng operation,” he said.
(Those decisions for example led to the Mamasapano, where even a suspended chief of the PNP at that time who was his friend, was directing the operation.)
Chua said Aquino also did the same during the Manila hostage crisis where 8 Hong Kong tourists died. He said Aquino placed then Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno to supervise the operation.
“Maiintindihan mo kasi yung pamilya nila suffered betrayal during martial law. Yung strength nila lies, yung security, sa pagkapit sa isa’t isa. Sabi ko nga pagka naging ganun ang attitude niya medyo doon nagkakaroon ng problema,” he said.
(We can understand that the family had suffered betrayal during martial law. They rely on each other for security. I've said that if that is their attitude, that is where the problem begins.)
He added Aquino was also straightforward person but sometimes bordering on being tactless.
But in fairness to Aquino, Chua said the former president was very meticulous when it comes to numbers.
“Walang major controversy na personal sa kaniya na tungkol sa corruption,” he said.
(He was not involved in any major corruption controversy.)
The Aquino administration’s biggest victory, he said, was its stand on the West Philippine Sea issue.
“Napatunayan natin in an international court na tama yung claim natin tungkol sa ating exclusive economic zone,” he said.
(We proved in an international court that our claim is right regarding our exclusive economic zone.)
He also noted the reforms made by the Aquino administration in the Department of Public Works and Highways, as well as supporting the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the push for the peace process.
The historian also gave credit to Aquino for using the Filipino language in his speeches.
“Maganda yung ganung gesture na ipinakita niya inklusibo, despite his limitations,” he said.
(That was a good gesture despite his limitations.)
Chua said that Aquino did not want to become president, but he answered the call of the people.
“Despite the hesitancy, the reluctant president, when he was there, he was serious, despite his faults, he gave dignity to the presidency," he said.
He added, "Ang malungkot sa akin, 61 lang siya katatapos lang niyang maging pangulo hindi na niya na enjoy ang private life na inaasam-asam niya siguro.”
(What's sad about it is that he was just 61, and he was not able to enjoy the private life he so wanted.)
- TeleRadyo 25 June 2021