MANILA, Philippines – After 6 years at the country’s helm and an intense election season, President Benigno Aquino III weighed in on his successor in an exclusive interview with TIME magazine.
During the interview on Thursday, May 19, Aquino said Duterte will have to adjust from the campaign to the real work of running the country.
“Undoubtedly, he [Duterte] has begun to recognize that certain rhetoric that was allowed in the campaign might not be allowed in governance. He will adjust to the realities of governance,” said Aquino.
On the campaign trail, Duterte made headlines with his sensational statements on killing criminals and insults to his fellow rivals, particularly Aquino’s annointed one, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.
Analysts have said many of those who voted for Duterte were not satisfied with the Aquino administration’s promise of “Daang Matuwid” or “straight path” governance.
Aquino was asked if he thought Duterte’s victory was a “repudiation” of his 6 years in office.
“We will study it but [Duterte’s victory] was about a successful campaign,” said the outgoing president.
Aquino said not all of those who voted for Duterte – about 40% of voters – were not necessarily unhappy with his presidency.
“Even that 40%, without taking anything away from them, what portion is always interested in being on the winning side? Is it a repudiation? I don’t think so,” said Aquino.
Duterte ran on a platform of “change” anchored on a tough anti-crime program and federalism, among other things. He has begun to organize his Cabinet, made mostly of old faces who have served previous administrations. (READ: LIST: Who’s who in the incoming Duterte Cabinet)
Duterte had also said that he would continue the Aquino administration’s macroeconomic policies which have helped boost the economy, making it one of the fastest-growing in the region.
Duterte is set to be proclaimed as the 16th president of the Philippines in the coming days. His inauguration will take place noontime of June 30, the end of Aquino’s presidency. – Pia Ranada/Rappler.com