P-Noy: I’ve started packing

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - He may like being able to authorize solutions to pressing problems with one phone call, but President Aquino is ready to give up power 84 days from now.?

“I’ve started packing,” he told a group of women in media after a state luncheon he hosted for Prince Albert II of Monaco yesterday.

President Aquino then invited six women journalists into his private office for a briefing on certain government programs.?

His office is actually the former bedroom of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, his father Benigno Aquino Jr.’s arch political enemy.? The room is sparsely decorated, save for a painting done by his late mother Corazon and a painting of his parents together on the wall opposite it.?His desk is the same one his mother used as president from 1986 to 1992. Behind his desk are several telephones, one of which is a dedicated hotline to key Cabinet members; the framed original copy of his oath of office, the family Bible on which he and his mother swore to serve the country, a solo photo of his father and a photo of his mother with a statue of the Virgin Mary.    

Underneath the console table behind him is a pair of leather slippers. ?Next week, he added, the Times street home that he inherited from his parents will be ready for occupancy.  He will be living there alone “not by choice,” he laughs, after he steps down.?

What will he miss about the presidency, which he has less than three months of?? “When there is a problem, you are able to order the solution,” he replies.?

For now, his schedule his pretty much the same – desk work in the morning, campaigning in the afternoon and trying to “solve everyone’s problem” in the evening.?But for one solid hour the President was a gracious host, pulling out chairs for his lady guests and serving them chocolates.

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