Two weeks before stepping down, President Benigno Aquino 3rd hosted a so-called farewell lunch for journalists who covered his presidency.
Aquino and members of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) met at the President’s Restaurant in Binondo, Manila, on Thursday.
In his message, he thanked the MPC as he bade its members goodbye.
“Thank you… Ako’y magpapaalam na sa inyo. At magkita na lang tayo somewhere down the line. Kung ikakasal na kayo, sa stag party niyo ako imbitahin [… I am bidding you goodbye. And I hope to see you soon… if you are geeting married, youcan invite me to your stag party],” Aquino told the reporters.
The President also thanked the media for understanding his spokesmen, including Secretaries Herminio Coloma Jr., Edwin Lacierda and his deputy Abigail Valte, Undersecretary Manuel Quezon 3rd and resigned Ricky Carandang.
“It was never personal ‘no. Talagang kung minsan, tao tayong lahat, nagpatong-patong ‘nung araw na ‘yun. ‘Yung humihingi ng linaw sa panahon na walang linaw, hinihingi ‘yung impormasyon na hindi pwede ilabas [It has never been personal. Sometimes things just kept piling up. There was information that could not be made public],” he said.
Earlier this month, Aquino made the rounds of granting exclusive interviews to various media outlets, reflecting on his presidency and the lessons he learned during his term.
He will step down as President on June 30, the same day that his successor, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, will take his oath of office.
Unlike his successor, Aquino is reaping praises from journalists for his media transparency in the past six years in office.
A member of the MPC, TV5 reporter JV Arcena, posted a throwback photo with the President, saying he was “proud to have covered the Aquino presidency–transparent and no boycott.”
Arcena previously covered the President and his activities, including his visit to the United States in 2012.
His comments were made after Duterte ruled out granting media interviews supposedly to avoid criticisms and mistakes.
Duterte went on a media boycott after causing outrage for his comments on the killings of corrupt journalists.