Aquino giving Rody ‘honeymoon period’
He’s keeping mum despite his successor’s provocative pronouncements the past few days.
“I’d like to give him what wasn’t given to me—a honeymoon period,” President Aquino said of his conscious effort to refrain from commenting on the recent statements of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
He doesn’t want to add to the multitude of voices that could “add to the strain” when one needs to make important decisions, Mr. Aquino added.
In an interview with Inquirer editors and reporters at Malacañang on Tuesday, President Aquino said he knew “how difficult the job is, and all the voices we have to contend with. I don’t want to add to the strain that impacts on (Duterte’s) ability to make the best decision, at least for one year.”
With five weeks left in office, the President said it was unlikely he would resume his trips around the country to say goodbye and present his administration’s accomplishments, as he did throughout the three-month election campaign, when he pushed for his anointed, Liberal Party standard-bearer, Mar Roxas.
“If I go that route, I’d have to comment on my successor’s [statements]. And I’d like to give him what wasn’t given to me, which was mark a honeymoon period,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino, 56, was swept into power in 2010 after a popular call for him to seek the presidency following the 2009 death of his mother, democracy icon President Corazon Aquino.
Seen as a symbol of change from his predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Aquino’s term of office started on a wrong footing when eight Chinese tourists died in a hostage-taking at Manila’s Rizal Park during a botched rescue operation.
His approval rating also took a dive for his perceived insensitivity to the Special Action Force troops who died in a clash with Moro rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao province, in January 2015.
Mr. Aquino will end his term at noon of June 30, leaving behind a legacy of strong macroeconomics that transformed the country from a laggard in Asia to the region’s rising economy.
As Commander in Chief, Mr. Aquino pushed for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, one of the weakest in Asia, as he led the campaign to protect maritime rights and sovereignty in the South China Sea amid China’s expansionist moves.
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