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PNoy, Duterte talk for the first time

More than a month after his anointed one lost the presidential elections, President Aquino has finally extended his congratulations to his successor via phone call and promised a smooth transition at the end of the month.

The President had a brief phone conversation with President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as he welcomed his transition team in Malacañang Thursday afternoon.

“The President congratulated him on his victory. It was a short phone call facilitated by Bong Go,” a Palace source said, affirming Aquino’s promise to ensure the seamless transfer of power on June 30.

It was the first time Aquino had talked to Duterte since he was proclaimed winner of the presidential elections by Congress.

The tough-talking mayor of Davao City secured a landslide victory on a promise to launch a strong campaign against crime and corruption. Liberal Party standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, ranked second in the bitterly contested presidential polls.

The Duterte transition team including the mayor’s special assistance Christopher Go, incoming Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Secretary to the Cabinet Leoncio Evasco Jr. visited the Palace Thursday for transition talks with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Ochoa, the head of the special Palace transition committee, met with the Duterte team and gave them a tour around Malacañang.

“ES Ochoa brought them to the President’s office and introduced them. Then the President invited them to a tour in the main Palace building,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said. “I have no further details as of tonight,” Coloma added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)

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