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Aquino offers to help Duterte

Despite belonging to rival political parties, President Aquino is willing to lend a hand to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to ensure the advancement of the country beyond his term.

The President said he offered the assistance to the next administration so it won’t have to “reinvent the wheel” when he talked to Duterte over the phone last Thursday.

Aquino acknowledged that it is the patriotic duty of Filipinos to help the incoming administration address challenges now that the elections are over.

“We had a conversation, perhaps short conversation, about a minute or so ‘no, wherein I congratulated him. I think we asked each other how we were. I reiterated the offer to be of assistance, in any and every manner that they need it. And, more or less, it was a pleasant conversation, that’s how it ended,” Aquino said in a media interview in Manila yesterday.

Aquino said Duterte did not reject his offer of assistance and even thanked him for the gesture.

“Sabi ko: ‘Kung anong maitututlong ho namin sa inyo o ngayon sa transition at tsaka pagkatapos, para hindi na kailangan, parang reinvent the wheel kumbaga,” Aquino said.

Aquino recalled that Duterte helped his campaign when he ran for senator in 2007 and eventually president in 2010.

He said Davao was one of the first places that had a massive turnout of voters during the campaign.

For first time since the bitterly contested May 9 elections, the President talked to Duterte over the phone and extended his congratulations. The phone call was made while Aquino was touring Duterte’s transition team in Malacañang last Thursday afternoon.

Aquino said he reiterated such offer of assistance to the incoming administration while conversing with the next Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in the Palace. (GENALYN KABILING)