'It's been a fantastic journey' – outgoing Palace spokesman
MANILA, Philippines – On the eve of a new government, the outgoing Aquino administration thanked the Filipino people for the opportunity to serve them "the best it could" over the last 6 years.
Outgoing Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the statement in an interview with Rappler on Wednesday, June 29, as the Aquino administration prepares to relinquish power to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte the following day.
"Though much more remains to be done, given the privilege of serving the Filipino people for 6 years, I believe that we have done the best we could. And as much as we would like to further improve the lot of our people, we are happy with what we've done," Lacierda said.
He recalled how the late senator Joker Arroyo often likened the Aquino government to a "student council" that was run by amateurs.
"This 'student council' arguably did the country right by all counts, by any standards," Lacierda said.
"It's been one fantastic journey serving the Filipino people. Thank you for all their support, all the things that we learned from our countrymen. Let history be the ultimate judge of what we did in the last 6 years. And I think by all standards, history will be fair to us," he added.
Lacierda said that under the Aquino administration, the Philippines earned the renewed respect of the international community, and "started the building blocks of alleviating poverty in a methodical way" which he hoped the new administration will continue.
He was apparently referring to the outgoing administration's flagship conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that currently serves 4.6 million families. While Duterte has said that he would continue and even expand the CCT, incoming social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo wants to review the program.
To the Duterte administration, Lacierda said, "We certainly wish the next administration the same amount of enthusiasm in serving the Filipino people." – Rappler.com