Daghang salamat, President PNoy!

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

We will remember this day as our thanksgiving day to President Benigno Aquino III, better known as Noynoy or PNoy during his term. He served only six years and did not wish to stay any day longer. At the start, he was also a reluctant candidate. It was after coming out of a spiritual retreat, after discernment, that he accepted his mission to serve God and His people for 6 years, from 2010-2016.

And he proceeded to do just that - serve as best he could, with dignity, with honesty, with a purpose. After what seemed to be endless years of corrupt governance and declining economic health, PNoy leaves us a legacy of transparency and good team governance. As far as we can remember, PNoy may be the first ever Filipino President to leave a healthy economy - a huge $100 billion better economy for our country.

Decades of corruption and abusive government leaders have drained our country's reserves. From top to bottom, abusive and greedy officials and staff raped our country's coffers for so long.

Corruption is not completely wiped out, for sure. Yet, PNoy and his team showed that the tuwid na daan can be travelled rather than the more often travelled path of corruption. PNoy showed us that there was an alternative route aside from the road of corruption and abuse. In the past, government agencies always produced negative or zero accomplishments at the end of any administration before PNoy.

This time around, PNoy and his team showed that with honesty, transparency, diligence, and commitment, ,profits and savings can be earned to serve our people. Even the GOCCs remitted billions to the government of PNoy. Yes, tuwid na daan was real and was taken by dignified, honest officials led by PNoy and his staff.

But poverty is still so rampant, PNoy's critics hurl back. Yes, of course, poverty is still around. Can six years be enough to alleviate the plight of the poor who have been impoverished by decades, even centuries of abusive, corrupt rule before PNoy?

However, employment went up during PNoy's terms - meaning, his administration gave jobs to millions of our people. Poverty levels also lifted about three million of this nation's poor. It's too slow, too low, according to critics. Social inclusion has been slow during PNoy's term.

But let us be honest. Which administration before PNoy can claim millions benefitted with employment? Which administration lifted three million or more Filipinos from poverty?

Which administration showed us that our people, if led by honest public servants like PNoy, can just as be honorable and dignified and honest? Which term gave us hope, that despite the rampant corruption or previous administrations, we can still dig into the deep reserves of honesty, integrity, concern for our people?

Too slow, too ineffective, critics are out to shout back, often using offensive language. The streets remain unsafe, crimes are still prevalent. Again, please be honest. Did we feel less safe and secure during PNoy's term compared to the terms of other presidents before him?

Despite all negativities that have been hurled against PNoy, he remains quiet, silently working his way through to allow our country to shine, allowing our real treasures, the best in our people, to shine to the rest of the world.

He and his team show us that what matters most is that they have shown their brand of work, their brand of concern, their brand of love for our country and our people the best way they could.

With much pride and gratitude, we reluctantly, we sadly bid goodbye to President PNoy and his good men and women who truly genuinely served our people within the short six years allowed them. They have many achievements to show. They have pioneered the path to clean, honest, committed governance, and without threats or without installing fear among our people, without martial law and without malice and arrogance, without insulting but rather strengthening our reverence and gratitude for God. Trabaho lang, that's their brand of service.

What comforts us is that they will still be around to continue to serve God and our people the best way they can and together with the rest of the millions of Filipinos who believe in the dignity of our people, who believe in the power and mercy of our God, and who are willing to go to any length to defend freedom and our people from any form of tyranny and abuse.

Daghang salamat, President P.Noy and your committed team! May you and your team reap the rewards God has prepared for your loyal, faithful service to Him and His people.

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