PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday bade farewell to the members of the diplomatic community and asked that they “carry forward the relationship” to his successor, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“I speak to all of you, a mere 37 days before I step down from office, I will not have the pleasure of working with you much longer. Nevertheless, I trust you will carry forward the relationship… with my duly-elected successor after he assumes office on June 30,” said the President.
Aquino led the presentation of credentials of resident ambassadors-designate of various countries at the historic Rizal Hall in the Palace.
“Presidents may come and go, but the friendship between our respective nations must always remain and flourish. I’m hopeful that even after my time in office, our commitment to strengthening our relations will endure, and that we can truly give rise to a world that is stable, just, and progressive, a world we can be proud to bequeath to future generations,” he stressed.
The President will step down from office on June 30, the same day Duterte will be inaugurated as the rightful successor to the presidency.
In his speech, Aquino lauded the international community for helping the Philippines achieve “a vast transformation, with the citizenry far more empowered and a stronger, more capable government.”
“Today, the Philippines is more than able to perform its role on the world stage. A world now characterized by challenges that transcend our borders and have the potential to affect all our peoples,” he said.
“These past few years alone, we have confronted the scourge of pandemics, transnational crime, terrorism, the refugee crisis, global economic uncertainty, and climate change, among many others,” Aquino further noted.
These concerns, he explained, which may cause much worry among the peoples of the world, also represent opportunities to exchange best practices and to cooperate more fully with one another.
“Indeed, if we can deepen our relations in a truly meaningful manner, if we can tap into each other’s strengths and thereby mitigate or even erase our respective weaknesses, we can solve these problems sooner rather than later,” Aquino pointed out.