Photo by Gil Nartea/Malacanang Photo Bureau
MANILA, Philippines – Former president turned… singing superstar?
On the first day of his last month as president of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III let loose and even took the stage several times on Monday evening, June 1, during losing Liberal Party (LP) candidate Manuel Roxas II’s victory party at the LP headquarters in Quezon City.
Aquino, who will be leaving office on June 30, was joined by key Cabinet members, Roxas, and members of the campaign staff as they belted out one song after another on stage.
Roxas’ supporters crowded the parking lot of the Balay Expo Centro Building from the afternoon up until the wee hours of the morning.
It was Roxas’ first public appearance since losing the 2016 presidential elections to president-elect Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Roxas’ running mate, winning vice-presidential candidate Leni Robredo, also attended Mass that preceded the thanksgiving party.
Both Roxas and Robredo thanked their supporters for sticking with them throughout the campaign period, among the most divisive in recent history.
The LP banked its 2016 run on the promise of continuing “Daang Matuwid”, its catchphrase for its anti-corruption, transparency and good governance platform.
Roxas also turned sentimental when he started talking about his campaign team. "Hindi ako madaling boss. Itong mga nasa stage, ito lang talaga outlet nila after months, years, decades (I'm not an easy boss. These people onstage, this is their outlet after months, years, decades)," said Roxas, after singing a song on stage.
Laughing, he added: "Kung parati akong naka-smile sa harap ninyo... dahil sa harap nila, parati akong nagagalit (If I'm always smiling in front of you, it's because in front of them, I'm always angry)."
His staff responded by screaming, "I love you, sir."
Roxas lost to Duterte by more than 6 million votes, while Robredo won over Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr by just over 200,000 votes.
“Thank you for last night! Sa mga tumulong sa bawat probinsya, sa mga dumipensa sa amin ni Leni sa FB, etc, salamat po muli (To those who helped in every province, to those who defended Robredo and I on Facebook, thank you)!” Roxas would post on social media on Tuesday morning.
There was one song the President didn't sing, however: his favorite, "Estudyante Blues." – Rappler.com