MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III took the opportunity on Wednesday to impart the lessons he learned in Ateneo by using the country’s political controversies as example.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Ateneo Professional Schools, Aquino mentioned the midnight appointment of former chief justice Renato Corona, a fellow Ateneo alumnus.
Aquino said it was in Ateneo that he learned to become a “man for others.”
“But let us not forget that there are those from Ateneo who do not use their brilliance for goodness,” he said in Filipino.
He then went on to discuss the appointment of Corona during the previous administration. He said the people should be the judge if it was just for the Supreme Court to intervene and decide on the matter.
“Chief Justice (Reynato) Puno retired and Chief Justice Corona was appointed)one week after the elections. The President can no longer appoint, except in Executive positions until the end of the term,” Aquino said.
“Was it an interpretation or an outright manipulation of the constitution by the Supreme Court? I leave it for you to decide,” he said of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the appointment.
Aquino did not spare Ateneo as he questioned the university’s supposed changing positions on Corona’s appointment.
“It seems difficult to serve as a guide when your direction changes constantly,” he said.
He said that to become a guide, it is not enough to be bright or intelligent.
“The difference between right and wrong should be clear to you,” he said.
Aquino said that was one of the lessons he learned as a student of Ateneo.
The President attended Ateneo de Manila University from elementary up to college where he graduated with a degree in Economics.