I'll say this much: if he hadn't rallied the people way back in 1986, when General Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile's coup d'etat failed, they would have been dead and we'd still be under Marcos' rule. But it wasn't as true that he was crucial to the second uprising that overthrew Estrada--that was the entire middle class, coordinated by text messaging. And he was a hatchet man for the church's conservatism; no political leader could make any leeway in proposing a more realistic birth-control program, or an actual divorce law, or a viable AIDS program, or maybe even a few rights accorded to gay couples. He even helped scuttle a government tetanus immunization program, for christ's sake, by suggesting that getting a shot would cause abortions.
So he's dead, and I'll mourn him for the good he did, curse him for the bad he did, and hope the next cardinal won't be as bad (fat chance!).