By Ana Marie Pamintuan
He did not believe the presidency was his destiny, he is not competing with his esteemed parents, and he would be happy if he could put the country on the path toward its “rightful place in the sun”.
President Aquino recounted to local media here the developments leading up to his fateful decision to seek the nation’s highest post, and explained his goals as Chief Executive.
“Did I expect it? Not especially… I wasn’t aiming for it. I wanted to do my part, but I wasn’t volunteering to try and fix the mess that my predecessor left,” he told Radio New Zealand. “Do I think it was my destiny? No.”
He recalled his father, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., telling him when he was about 15 that “our people are the best people in the world.” It was martial law and he had asked his father why people they thought were loyal to the senator would no longer even speak to them.
The President said he decided early on not to compete with his parents “because they’re my idols and my mentors… how does one compete with the standard?”
“All I want is this: when the time comes that God calls me from this world, I want to be able to say that I’m leaving it a lot better than how I found it,” the President said.
“If we are successful – and so far we are, we have been very successful – and that attitude becomes a permanence and if they, our people, have that confidence to be able to demand of their leaders certain minimum standards, then this is but the start of a rightful place in the sun. And if I was part of attaining that dream, then I’m very glad that I was given that opportunity.”