The Leadership of President Benigno Aquino III
On June 30, 2010, Benigno Aquino III became the 15th and current President of the Philippines. He is the son of two political leaders, Senator Benigno Aquino Junior and former President Corazon Aquino. Senator Aquino was a political leader who fought for people’s freedom under the ruling of President Ferdinand Marcos. After eight years in prison and three years of self-exile in the United States, Senator Aquino returned to the Philippines only to be assassinated by a military officer immediately after he stepped off the plane (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2011a). President Corazon Aquino fought against poverty and the enormous debt of the Philippines during her time in office. Soon after her death in 2009, many people looked to her son, Benigno Aquino III, and encouraged him to run for President. Winning by more than 5 million votes, Aquino was elected as president (Cable News Network [CNN], 2009). Although he is president, Benigno Aquino III does not view himself as a leader but as a servant of the nation. His policies are consistent with his serving attitude. His behavior indicates he is not above the law, but he is a follower of the law like everyone else (Burgonio, 2010). His characteristics of honesty, fairness, and humility further support that he has the integrity of a Servant Leader (Linden, 2008). The philosophies he has developed help to better serve the people. Many are happy with what he has accomplished, but some are upset with promises he has not followed through with (Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, 2010). With more time ahead to serve his term as president, the future of his leadership is unclear but looks bright. Background
The history of the Philippines is filled with corruption and poverty. President Aquino’s conviction to have an honest government stems from the country’s leadership history. Before his mother took the seat as president, the Philippines was ran by President Ferdinand Marcos. President Marcos enabled himself to stay in power as president for 21 years through Martial Law. During those years the military was utilized to hold on to power and put political leaders who opposed him—including Senator Aquino—in prison. President Marcos was known for nepotism, a corrupted government, and hurting the nation’s economy (Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2011b). By the time President Corazon Aquino took office, the Philippines was 28 billion dollars in debt, and poverty was pervasive (CNN, 2009). Leadership Style
“There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might, and with all your strength” (Philstar, 2010b). These were words written to President Aquino from his father. Through inspiration from his parents, he developed the attitude of devoting his actions to help his country. According to Liden (2008), President Aquino is a Servant Leader, someone who “stresses personal integrity and serving others, including employees, customers, and communities.” In President Aquino’s Inaugural Address, he stated that his goal in life is simple: to be true to his parents and his country as an honorable son, caring brother, and a good citizen (Alto Broadcasting System - Chronicle Broadcasting Network News [ABS-CBN News], 2010a). He continued by saying:
Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems… We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation.
His words clearly depict himself as a Servant Leader.
President Aquino does not view himself as a person who is privileged to make decisions because he was voted by the...