Benigno Aquino III

‘The best eulogy for PNoy is to bring back decency’ – Villegas

Dwight de Leon
‘The best eulogy for PNoy is to bring back decency’ – Villegas

HOMILY. Archbishop Socrates Villegas leads the final Mass for the late former president Benigno Aquino III on June 26, 2021 in Quezon City.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

'President Noy joined the pantheon of the great, and has entered into eternity. He is where sickness can no longer threaten, where fake news has no more place, and where trolls are dead,' says Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Soc Villegas

The death of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III should be an eye-opener to the public when choosing leaders who will not compromise Filipinos’ dignity as a people, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.

Villegas led the final Mass for Aquino on Saturday, June 26, offering a homily that did not fall short of celebrating the former president’s legacy, and reminding the public about what his death should mean.

“Eulogies have been written and spoken and shared, but the best eulogy tribute we can pay to our dear President Noy is to bring back, recover, preserve, safeguard, and never again to compromise our dignity as a people and the decency of our leaders as servants, not bosses,” he said at the Church of the Gesù in Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.

“The flags at half-mast are not only for the dead president, but for the dying, decent governance,” he added.

‘The best eulogy for PNoy is to bring back decency’ – Villegas

Villegas also took a swipe at trolls and propagators of fake news, saying Aquino is now finally free of them.

“President Noy joined the pantheon of the great, and has entered into eternity. He is where sickness can no longer threaten, where fake news has no more place, and where trolls are dead,” Villegas said.

A family friend of the Aquinos, Villegas had a complicated relationship with Noynoy.

Villegas, protégé of the late Manila archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, chastised Aquino over the Disbursement Acceleration Program, which sought to hasten public spending without needing approval from the legislative branch.

Villegas was also Aquino’s vocal critic during the debates on what was then the reproductive health bill, a pet project of his administration.

But his complex past with Aquino did not stop Villegas from showering the former president with praise during his funeral Mass on Saturday.

Villegas thanked God for giving the Philippines an honest public servant “who died as he lived,” staying true to his campaign slogan “tuwid na daan (straight path).”

“Sixty-one is an age too young to die. But his relatively short life is a fitting reminder for us that what matters indeed is not how long we live, but how,” he said. — Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.