“If you can’t understand why someone is doing something, look at the consequences of their actions, whatever they might be, and then infer the motivations from their consequences.”

– Carl Jung.

When my wife told me that Pnoy died, I was in disbelief.

I heaved a sigh and was having a hard time processing the news.

“Is Pnoy dead?”

Then just after having been told the sad news, I opened my inbox, and true enough, a good friend of mine sent me a tweet that confirmed Pnoy’s death.

In between sighs, I found myself, along with my wife, shedding some tears.

We found ourselves hugging each other tightly with the unspoken understanding of the gravity of the situation to our nation’s future.

You see, it is self-evident that today, we as a nation are mired in chaos.

Ensconced in the middle of a pandemic with a lackluster form of leadership only equaled with the government’s utter disregard for our nation’s sovereignty while murdering with impunity, thousands of poor Filipinos denied of their fundamental rights to due process and a just trial.

Our people, reduced to a mere aimless, goal-less herd of sheep being led to slaughter.

But where does Pnoy fit in all of this?

It is not so much as what Pnoy would’ve done if he leads the nation today but more so with what Pnoy symbolizes for Filipinos hoping for a better life.

Pnoy’s detractors will say that his government was “out of touch with the masses.”

However, this allegation fails to account for the small and great things he did for the country.

Not to mention the number of sacrifices his family had to suffer, but that is another story.

And no, this is not to make an excuse for Pnoy’s shortcomings, nor whitewash the feelings of hurt towards people he might’ve offended or those who were negatively hit based on his political decisions, amongst other things.

However, if we are going to indict the man and his leadership, we might also need to shed light on the things he contributed and weigh them against his faults.

“Kumbaga ano ba yung mga ambag ni Pnoy?”

Chief of these “ambag” is the fact that if Pnoy didn’t run, we would have had another six years of Erap or worse, six years with Villar.

Another ambag is how Pnoy brought to justice GMA and her “people” in “positions of power.”

And he then followed by sending to jail Revilla, Estrada, and most of all Enrile and the other pork barrel syndicates headed by Napoles.

These pieces of scum who systematically stole billions of our hard-earned taxes only to be released by Duterte, but again I digress.

Under Pnoy’s administration, he allowed the rule of law to flourish even at the expense of his Presidency; thus, the DAP and PDAF ruling existed to account for Pnoy’s shortcomings.

Not to mention the 4Ps and all the other infrastructures that Pnoy’s government made sure to build and which Duterte and his allies are trying to claim as theirs with their endless ribbon cuttings and sponsored FB ads.

Another gem of these “ambag” was how Pnoy brought China to justice, how his government fought for the sovereignty of our country, and most importantly, won back the dignity of our people.

If all of the above doesn’t account for being “in touch with the masses,” then I don’t know what is.

Lastly, Pnoy left the Presidency with integrity and dignity.

And how is this, you might say?

He left the governments’ coffers and economy wealthier than when he assumed the Presidency.

Because of his leadership, the country was able to recover its wealth after 20 years due to Marcos’ plunder.

Marcos years marked ‘golden age’ of PH economy? Look at the data

Abnoy si PNOY? Walang Nagawa si PNOY?

The way I see it, Pnoy’s goal is to fix the economy, which is the most logical thing to do if we are to compete globally. Still, in doing so, it also widened the gap between the rich and the poor, which, by the way, what usually happens in ALL developing countries and is a by-product of a booming economy and can be reformed given proper economic advice and consistent development.

But alas, all of this economic progress flew out the window when Duterte came to power.

Pnoy never used his power to make the PNP his private army.

Pnoy never used his power to promote “fake news” and use our taxes to pay for trolls, nor create bogus matrices.

Pnoy never conflated data regarding the number of drug users in the country nor used violence in his proclamations to make possible his goals for the country.

Pnoy consistently produced his SALN’s and never turned his back against accusations even as bogus as the Dengvaxia scandal.

Pnoy never had 30,000 Filipinos murdered, and he never plundered Billions from the country.

His life is an open book, along with his life savings.

All of the cases thrown at him on the SAF44, even the issue of Hacienda Luisita or even the ludicrous Yolanda Funds issue, were all cleared under the court of law.

And for all of Pnoy’s foibles, he made sure that everything is on the table and everyone can be a part of the conversation regardless of color or political affiliation.

Indeed, Pnoy’s leadership often stumbled along the way, while some of his promises fell short.

BUT, I would rather have Pnoy than Duterte any time of the day.

Not because Pnoy is considered by many as “aloof” and “out of touch with reality”; thus, his critics coined the term “Noynoying.”

But because Pnoy and his family exuded true courage when doing the right thing.

He mentioned to the unfairly deposed Supreme Court Justice Meilou Sereno whether he had anything else, such as advice, to tell her. His only reply was: “Just do the right thing.”

This is way far from false promises of bravado by Duterte, of riding a jet-ski then claiming our territory only to take it back when he sees fit while calling the people who loved him and voted for him as “stupid” for believing in him.

Sige lang, let them call you names like an “oligarch” or “elitist” because, to be honest, that’s the only thing they can do. They can never be half the man and President you were nor be able to achieve the things you and your family did for the country.

This has been a long post, and it has been a long day.

Rest in peace, Mr. President, and enjoy the company of your parents along with the other great ones up there.

You will be missed.

“Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”
-Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi