By Louise P. Abesa
Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude. (Catechism of the Catholic Church point no. 1731).
Ninoy and Cory fought for freedom for Filipinos and ensured the means to put this power into practice through democratic principles: checks and balances between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government and the active participation of the common Filipino in governance through democratic elections and dialogue with their local leaders and the lawmakers in Congress.
Noynoy worked hard to keep democracy in the Philippines healthy by uniting the people and by not conveniently giving in to the dictates of the few. There was a healthy communication between the executive and legislative branches of government during his 2010-2016 administration and a harmonious coalition of political parties thrived (remember Team PNoy?). But admittedly, there was (and still is) so much to be done in the justice system of the Philippines.
The daily grind of politics can overwhelm and can cause a leader’s path to deviate from truth and goodness. I’m glad that in his May 3, 2018 letter to me, Noynoy had this to say, “In the school where I am from, we were taught that our Lord loves us, and that in His infinite love, has a perfect plan for all of us, one which will be fulfilled in His time alone. This much I believe, and for this reason I continue to keep the faith.”
It is a wonderful coincidence that the 90 day-campaign period for national positions in the 9 May 2022 Elections (President, Vice-President, Senators, and the Party-list groups participating in the party-list system of representation) starts on 8 February 2022, the birthday of President Noynoy Aquino, and ends on 7 May 2022. Now that President Noynoy had been called to join the beatific vision of fullness of truth and goodness, he now sees things in a broader perspective through the heart and mind of Christ. PNoy now intercedes for the good of the entire Philippines before the Triune God.
As a pilgrim creature on earth, with limited earth-bound perspective but which is based on Christian principles and my background as a social studies teacher, let me share with you my views on the major candidates for President in the coming May 9, 2022 elections.
SENATOR PING LACSON:
He has an independent mind and is meticulous about the National Budget. He and the late Senator Joker Arroyo were consistent as regards the pork barrel funds. They turned over theirs to the National coffers.
He worked well with the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. He was tasked to coordinate the efforts to rebuild the Yolanda-hit provinces. After holistically assessing the extent of the damage left by the 2013 super typhoon, he made his recommendations and prudently convinced President Noynoy to transfer the reconstruction-related tasks to a permanent agency, The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
As head of the Philippine National Police, his most notable accomplishments were the reduction of corrupt policemen (Kotong Cops) and various organized crime syndicates engaged in kidnapping, drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
FORMER SENATOR BONGBONG MARCOS: He was chairman of the Committees on Local Government (which President Noynoy Aquino chaired in the 14th Congress before he became President of the Republic in 2010) and Urban Planning and Housing Resettlements in the 15th Congress.
He was chairman of the Committees on Local Government and Public Works and Highways in the 16th Congress.
Among the major candidates for President in the May 2022 elections, he is the one most keenly interested in the National Land Use Act (NaLUA), the crafting of which was certified urgent by Presidents Ramos, Noynoy Aquino, and Rodrigo Duterte.
MAYOR ISKO MORENO:
He is an action man. He has been a public servant since 1998. He started as a councilor of Manila and was the city’s vice-mayor before he became the current mayor. I read in a Ground Zero article by Manny Angeles of the Daily Tribune that President Rodrigo Duterte praised him once saying, “Sa totoo lang, mas magaling siya sa akin”.
SENATOR MANNY PACQUIAO:
His advocacies include budgetary support for anti-human trafficking initiatives and the welfare of workers.
SENATOR BATO DELA ROSA:
He was awarded the Medalya ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod for his invaluable service in the field of Anti-Terrorism by President Noynoy Aquino and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas in 2014.
VICE-PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO:
She said in an interview by Toni Gonzaga that she has a sterling slate with the Commission on Audit (COA) and claimed she has worked with non-government organizations instead of the Duterte Administration in her housing projects (does she know how to deal with government agencies with moral strength like Miriam Defensor Santiago did without evading them?).
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin found her imprudent stance as regards China in 2019 unsettling. I share the sentiments of Secretary Locsin about her.
Knowledge of TRUTH and GOODNESS of something or someone makes one free to choose the good over evil or the better choice over a good one. Freedom makes man responsible for his choices and acts to the extent that they are voluntary (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church point no. 1734). There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just (Catechism of the Catholic Church point no. 1733).