Sharing little known facets of the president's character
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2011-10-04
Setting aside the wild accusations of the “evil eyes” that can’t seem to see anything good in President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy), there are many Filipinos who have very little appreciation of our president’s character. Appreciating a president’s character is essential if Filipinos are to properly assess the state of governance.

P-Noy’s character is easily misunderstood and the “evil eyes” have been capitalizing on this in promoting a distorted presidential image that an incompetent Messaging Secretary fails to clarify. P-Noy’s character is easily misunderstood because he’s such a deviation from other politicians. His mother, President Cory, was also misunderstood for being different from our past presidents, especially the dictator she had preceded.

Where most politicians would do anything and everything to attract media coverage and public attention, P-Noy would rather keep his official contacts with media to what are required by the job. Where most politicians would subscribe to mythmaking — Ferdinand Marcos as the most decorated Filipino war hero the best case in point — P-Noy will not project an image that he knows misrepresents his true person. By nature, P-Noy is self-effacing and would prefer to stay out of the limelight.

During the 2007 senatorial campaign, three of the Opposition candidates — Senators Manny Villar, Loren Legarda and then Tarlac Representative Noynoy Aquino — held a campaign sortie in the shopping plaza outside our subdivision. My wife Mey was there to shop and saw Senators Villar and Legarda in the thick of the crowd. To her surprise — Mey noticed that Noy was quietly standing at the sidelines as if he wasn’t a candidate for the Senate. The “evil eyes” try to project P-Noy as diffident, following the Wikileaks report on former US Ambassador Kristie Kenney. The better-informed and better-educated societies consider this as a manifestation of what is called the strong silent type, a person who feels self-assured.

The recent high marks that P-Noy registered in the Pulse Asia and SWS surveys could be an indicator that P-Noy’s bosses have adjusted to his presidential personality and have learned to appreciate the virtues of their president. His track record speaks for itself. P-Noy is focused on eradicating corruption and isn’t afraid to fight mighty dragons if that’s what has to be done for the good of the country. Convinced that economic growth will not happen unless we curb our population growth, P-Noy openly fought the Catholic Church leaders over the RH bill. In the face of Catholic Taliban bullying, P-Noy displays grace under fire. P-Noy has shown decisiveness when that was needed. Prisco Nilo and Lito Alvarez can attest to this.

Remarkable presidential tenacity is noted in his unstinting support for the somewhat misunderstood K + 12 education program and the CCT (Conditional Cash Transfer) poverty alleviation program. P-Noy is masterfully handling the Spratlys issue, cleverly maintaining good relations with both China and the US while promoting a multilateral approach. Many of our past presidents were lackeys of the US.  

Inspired by his heroic parents, P-Noy draws propulsion from a strong sense of mission. During the 2010 campaign, he told me that his main goal as president is to put the country in an irreversible progressive course that will extend far beyond his last day in office iin 2016.

Known to be a loyal friend, P-Noy keeps his word and will not deal with liars. He is unaffected by the trappings of power and would rather keep ceremonies and ceremonial fanfare to a minimum. This is not a sign of diffidence but a demonstration of propriety and good taste. He’s wary of loud, grandstanding persons and is impressed by diligent and intelligent work. With the people’s money, he’s as frugal as his late mother.

Last January, P-Noy graced my 62nd birthday dinner (hosted by my friend Bobby del Rosario) with his presence, as did his three sisters Ballsy, Pinky, Viel and brothers in law Manolo Abellada and Dodo Dee. Before dinner was to be served, your Chair Wrecker spoke in order to thank our guests, friends and kin. The sound system had an irritating echo. To everybody’s surprise, P-Noy stood up, walked to the control panel and personally fixed the sound problem.

Our guests would later discover just how accommodating P-Noy is and very easy to approach when they talked to him or asked him to pose with them for a photo. Businessman Gani Cabuay commented: “Where can you find a president who will personally fix a sound system problem and so humble that you won’t know that he’s the president of our country by the way he relates to everybody.”

Last year, my wife Mey accompanied me to a meeting with P-Noy and National Security Adviser CP Garcia in Malacanang. Your Chair Wrecker submitted a vital lead to one of the big plunder cases linked to the past administration. After the discussions, P-Noy remarked that the documents should be stapled lest we confuse its sequencing later. Mey and CP Garcia were about to get a stapler from the secretary outside the conference room but P-Noy beat them to it. He personally got it and stapled the documents. Mey told me later: “P-Noy is in a class above the rest.”

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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