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Aquino to spare Duterte of criticisms for 1 year

There will no longer be any Duterte bashing from outgoing President Aquino at least for a year.

For the love of the country, President Aquino has decided to give his successor, Rodrigo Duterte, a yearlong honeymoon period to give him greater leeway to govern the country.

The President, who will end his six-year term on June 30, said it was in the country’s best interest to give the next administration a boost as it starts governance.

“We are all patriots. It’s in our interest to help you,” the President said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last Thursday in Malacañang when asked about his advice to the country’s next president.

“Actually, I think I’m violating my self-imposed rule that I will keep my mouth quiet at least for a year cause I’d like to afford him that which wasn’t afforded to me where I was nitpicked and criticized even before I stepped into office,” Aquino added.

Still, Aquino expressed hope that Duterte “will do all of the right things that makes it easy for people to support him.”

Aquino said he does not see any conflict with Duterte for as long as “we are marching in the sense in that direction of really uplifting the lot of our people.”

The President opted to give his successor a chance to prove his worth even after strongly campaigning against Duterte’s presidential bid due to his alleged dictatorial tendency. Aquino, a few days before the May polls, warned he would fight any return of dictatorship and other abuses even at the cost of his life.

Duterte, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City who promised a strong law and order campaign, won the presidency by a landslide, defeating Aquino’s chosen one Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.

The President has earlier promised to facilitate the smoothest transition to the incoming administration and give Duterte a leg up at the start of his term.

Given the administration’s accomplishments on economic growth, poverty reduction, among others, Aquino maintained that his successor will have lesser problems in office than he had when he started in 2010.

“At the very least, I think we have fulfilled our promise of leaving something better, doing better than what we found,” he said.

“You will have a more capacitated and empowered, not just people, but society, even the institutions, that will make the job of governing, if not a lot easier, definitely easier than what we found,” he added.