Statement on the Passing of Former President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III

The Philippine Bar Association is one in mourning with the Filipino Nation as we all collectively process and acknowledge the passing of a faithful son of democracy and a committed believer in the spirit of the Filipino People: former President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III (“President PNoy”).

From birth, President PNoy learned well from the dedication of his parents to the country and to its sacred democratic ideals. He learned what he could, and strove to learn from their wisdom and mistakes – – an opportunity of living in close proximity to history. He brought that same wisdom with him into his work as a public servant: first as the Representative of Tarlac’s 2nd District, then as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, then eventually as a Senator of the Republic, and finally as the Chief Executive and Head of State.

The Philippine Bar Association pays homage to the man who held the highest office in the land from 2010 to 2016, whose nonchalant but deliberate and serious style of leadership steered the Nation through the trials of a Global Recession, the encroachment by a Superpower of its sovereign rights, the continuing war against Global Terrorism, and the emerging dangers brought by the Internet Age. His no-frills and stick-to-the-goal manner of leadership ushered for the Nation a new decade bright with the promise of prosperity and development. Many of the values and institutions that he fostered then continue to serve the Filipino People today.

President PNoy shared the Association’s staunch advocacy for the promotion of the Rule of Law. We recall his ringing message on the occasion of the Association’s 123rd Founding Anniversary last 26 June 2014 when he said:

“…I made it a point to be here with your Association today…to thank you for being a consistent voice for the Rule of Law. Even when so many other lawyers’ groups seem so willing to add to the noise and clamor, your Association remains sober and measured in its statements. This is what sets the Philippine Bar Association apart from all other groups. Even in disagreement, you do not pander to public sentiment, but raise the level of discourse and uphold the Rule of Law – – in all situations, you have found that there is only one answer to the question, “Does this redound to the common good?”

With a keen sense of duty and a tenacity for one’s convictions, he led a public life that is an example to us all.

May he rest in peace, and may the nation honor his memory and his fealty to the Rule of Law.