There’s no turning back now.
Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III left Malacañang for good on Thursday morning after a brief meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Aquino arrived at around 10:25 a.m., followed shortly by Duterte, who will soon be sworn in as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines.
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The two leaders then proceeded to the President’s Hall for a meeting that lasted around 30 minutes.
After the encounter, Duterte accompanied Aquino for the latter’s departure honors.
They walked on the red carpet together, from the staircase near the President’s Hall and out into the Palace grounds.
Also with them were outgoing Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and incoming Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said it is a “symbolic gesture of a peaceful turnover.”
Aquino was given a 21-gun salute as part of the customary send-off. The two leaders stood side-by-side while saluting the Philippine flag.
They also engaged in small talk before Duterte walked Aquino to his vehicle.
Aquino, who left the Malacañang compound shortly after 11 a.m., will be returning to his residence in Times St., Quezon City as a private citizen.
On the other hand, arrival honors will be held for Duterte who will take his oath of office, followed by his appointed Cabinet members. CDG/rga
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