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Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Psycho-Historical Background of President Noynoy Aquino: Understanding Noynoy's Behavior and Actions


Benigno Simeon Aquino III is the only son of former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. Born in the eighth of February 1960, Noynoy, as what he is affectionately called, is the third child of the late Senator Ninoy and former president Corazon Aquino III.  Noynoy was born in Manila at the time that his father, Ninoy serves as Vice Governor of Tarlac City. 


Since his father was very active in politics, Noynoy was left in the care of his affectionate mother, Cory, and two (2) sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz and Pinky Aquino-Abellada. Erikson (1983) says that his formative years as a child were spent with his elder sisters and a doting mother.  PBSA3 spent most of his childhood, teens and early adult years in their house in Quezon City. 


During the care of his sisters and mothers, PBSA3 learned how to trust people, develop feelings of shame and guilt (Erikson) and the capability to distinguish what is good and bad, and what things are prohibited and what are being encouraged in the household. Kolhberg (2002) says this is also a stage where the reward and punishment system was taught to PBSA3. While he develops his sensorimotor skills (Piaget), PBSA3 learns the rudimentary social and moral principles. 


The absence of a father figure during this stage, could have developed delinquent tendencies for the young PBSA3, although studies point that this is not necessarily the case for children raised in household absentee fathers. As what Eastin wrote in her dissertation (2003):


It is important to empathize that father-absence does not necessarily lead to delinquency, developmental deficits, and/or render the child with an absent father-figure inferior in psychological functioning to the child with a present father-figure in their lives.  Children who have absent-fathers are far from a homogeneous group with almost an infinite number of patterns that can be specified.  Many factors need to be considered in evaluating the father-absent situation including the length of separation from the father, type of separation, cause of separation, the child’s age and gender, the child’s constitutional characteristics, the mother’s reaction to the father’s absence, the quality of mother-child interactions, the family’s  socioeconomic status, and the availability of surrogate models (Biller & Solomon, 1986). The number of family risks to which children are exposed often best predicts how well children will be able to adjust in the world and conform to social norms (Kalb et al., 2001). 


Kolhberg (1981) says that at stage 1, kids develop moral values based on their personal observation that powerful personages in their lives have a set of rules which they have to obey regardless of reason or unquestionably obey. 


At the age of six, PBSA 3 began his elementary education at the Ateneo de Manila University. It was at this stage that PBSA3 is weaned away from his family and developed his skills such as industriousness, and feelings of inferiority. It was also at the age of six that the superego develops (Freud). 


From the ages of six to 11, Benigno Noynoy Aquino grew under the tutelage of the Jesuits. It was also at this time that his father became more and more estranged from the family, since it was the height of the struggle against the re-election of Marcos (1965-1971). It was also the height of student protests against Philippine participation in Vietnam. In 1968, the Communist Party of the Philippines was born. This period was marked with violence, political instability and social turmoil. It must have been very confusing to the young Aquino.


From 1972 (which is the year when Martial law was imposed) up to 1980, was a period where Noynoy developed his logical skills (Piaget) and created strong interpersonal relationships (Kolhberg). This was also a period where the young Aquino needed all the support in terms of developing his moral and personal beliefs. 


This period was most critical to the formation of Aquino's personality because, under normal circumstances, the role of the father should have manifested itself in this stage. Yet, no. Noynoy was deprived of this opportunity because his father was incarcerated by Marcos. When he was Grade 6, at the age of 13, Noynoy got a letter from his father, asking him to assume the responsibilities of a father to her sisters and a dotting son to his mother. That year, 1973 must have been very painful for the young Aquino. 


When the dictatorial regime meted the death penalty to his father, that was probably the most painful moment in Noynoy's life. This happened during the entire length of his high school days at the Ateneo. 


This explains why Noynoy trusts his high school and college classmates so much because they became his strong support system during those times when his family was persecuted, and even himself, somewhat bullied by some of those whose families flourished during the regime.


In 1980, his father was allowed to go to Boston to undergo medical treatment. It must have been a welcome news for the young Ateneo. This explains why Noynoy did not attend the graduation rites at the Ateneo, where he was conferred the degree in Economics. 


We must also understand that at this period, 1974-1980, was the time where Noynoy formed very strong bonds of brotherhood and friendship with his classmates at the Ateneo. Those whom he close to be in his circle of confidence stayed with him until the end. These people were also instrumental in lending strong support to the Aquinos when his father died, and when his mother was tasked the very heavy burden of assuming the leadership role of the anti-Marcos movement. His close classmates formed the inner circle which Noynoy depended upon during these very crucial times. From 1982-1985, Noynoy worked as Executive assistant at the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and as Assistant Promotional Manager for Mondragon, selling Nike shoes at the height of the 1985 snap elections campaign. 


When the struggle won in 1986, Noynoy Aquino worked for his uncle, Antolin Oreta in his company, Intra-Strata Corporation. He stayed there for the whole length of his mother's term as President (from age 26 to 32). At the age of 33, he worked for his family corporation. He stayed at the Azucarera for five years before he launched his Congressional career in 1998, at the same time, Erap ascended the presidency.


When his mother, the late icon of democracy, Cory broke out and militated against Erap, he was at that time, Congressman of Tarlac. He sided with the Spice Boys which eventually occupied highly sensitive posts during the time of Arroyo. 


Conclusion


There are two sets of people very influential with the President---his close immediate family members and his friends. Is there something wrong with that? None. When you tackle a job which you think requires surrounding yourself with your very close and intimate friends, there is nothing wrong with hiring these people to accompany you in that office. 


However, when things go terribly wrong and you seek counsel with the very same people who actually caused those damages in your administration, you have to re-assess their value. IN the case of Noynoy, he is not that sort of friend. He is very trustworthy. He obviously value utang na loob, a trait which is not uncommon to every single one of us. 


Among his friends, there are at least three sub-groupings namely: classmates and confidantes at the Ateneo, associates and friends formed during his ten-year stint as a Business professional and friends and associates formed during his ten-year stint as a politician. In terms of proximity, it is his classmates at the Ateneo that he has complete trust, followed by those he formed during his days as a businessman and lastly, those he formed during his Congressional and Senatorial terms.


Based on the latest buzz, Noynoy Aquino has reportedly abandoned the counsel of his close family friends and sisters. He has lent more than an ear to his close high school buddies who now occupy highly sensitive yet non-controversial posts in government. 


For example, we all know that what Bong Caguiat did at PAGCOR is not normal industry practice and even if it was, it violated the Ethical code for public officials. 


There are reports that the reason why this administration initiated shakedowns in every industry is the plan to dominate the business landscape prior to the end of this administration. 


There are insinuations that the this class, is the one who formed the team who purchased hectares of land at the Pagcor Entertainment City. 


For those who want to really know the truth, investigate each and every project now entered by the Aquino administration, and you'll find at least one classmate involved in it.