Non-lawyer Noynoy Aquino's adherence to law a hallmark of his presidency -- Drilon | Inquirer News

Non-lawyer Noynoy Aquino’s adherence to law a hallmark of his presidency — Drilon

/ 05:43 PM June 25, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — Every time Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon—then Senate president under the Aquino administration—would be called into the office of former President Benigno S. Aquino III, a book of the 1987 Constitution is always sitting on top of the chief executive’s desk.

Drilon shared this anecdote as he remembered Aquino’s adherence to the rule of law, despite not being a lawyer himself.


“PNoy was not a lawyer but if there is any hallmark that I see in his presidency, is his adherence to the rule of law and on a personal basis. When I see him, when he calls for me as a Senate president or a senator, you know what was [on] his desk? On his desk always was the Constitution of the Philippines,” Drilon said in an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source Friday.


“Sometimes I feel uneasy because I’m a lawyer of 50 years and yet he (Aquino) would know the Constitution as much as any lawyer would do. Probably, sometimes, maybe even better than some lawyers that I know,” he added.

On non-expiration of franchise: Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, during the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes virtual hearing Wednesday, May 27, 2020, says Senate Bill 1530, which aims to amend Section 18, Book VII, Chapter 3 of the Administrative Code of the Philippines or the Non-expiration of License or Franchise, would not diminish the power of Congress to legislate franchises. Drilon, noting that the National Telecommunications Commission did not issue before cease and desist order against other broadcast stations with expired franchises, said the measure would remedy the unequal protection of the law that ABS-CBN Broadcast Corp. had suffered. (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

 Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (Screen grab/Senate PRIB)

Drilon served as justice secretary under the administration of Aquino’s mother, former President Corazon Aquino.

During the term of the younger Aquino, Drilon sat as Senate president from 2013 to 2016.

“He’s a loss. To me, as a friend, and to the country in general…I’m sure that history will recognize PNoy’s contribution to the political history of our country,” he added.

The minority leader also took note of Aquino’s efforts to revive the economic situation of the Philippines, turning the “sick man of Asia” into a “model of economic reform” in the region.

“I had the honor of serving his mother, who fought for the foundation of democracy and indeed history will recognize the contribution of the Aquino family to our Filipino history,” Drilon added.


‘He’s gone’

Aquino died in his sleep on Thursday morning. His death certificate indicates that the cause of his death was renal disease secondary to diabetes.

He was 61.

According to Drilon, he was informed of Aquino’s death past at around 7:30 a.m. Thursday.

Noynoy Aquino 'comes home' to Ateneo for public's chance to pay respects

Honor guards carry the urn bearing the ashes of former President Benigno S. Aquino III to the Church of the Gesu at the Ateneo de Manila University, his alma mater, in Quezon City, ahead of a scheduled public viewing on Friday, June 25, 2021. (Screengrab from Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM Facebook Live)

He first got a text from a friend who is also close with the Aquino family, saying the late statesman was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City.

“After a while, I received a second text which said he is gone…It was shocking to me,” Drilon said.

‘Awaiting kidney transplant’

Drilon said he last saw Aquino before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country but kept in touch through text messages.

“I reviewed the text exchanges I had with him. The last one was a couple of months ago saying that he’s waiting, or looking for a donor for a transplant of the kidney because there was kidney failure,” Drilon recalled.

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“His kidney had to be replaced, he said he was waiting for a donor and as far as I know, he was scheduled for kidney replacement,” he added.

TAGS: Noynoy Aquino

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