MANILA, Philippines - After 9 years in office, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo finally left Malacañang Palace on Wednesday but not before giving some parting words to her successor, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
In an interview, Arroyo said she congratulated Aquino before they boarded the Presidential car, a black Mercedes Benz S-Class, to the Quirino Grandstand where Aquino was set to take his oath of office.
She said she endorsed a report of the Presidential Task Force on Education, headed by Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, to her successor.
Arroyo told reporters she did not give any advice to Aquino, who was her student at the Ateneo de Manila University.
At the Quirino Grandstand, the military gave the outgoing president a 21-gun salute to honor her as the head of state for the very last time.
From there, she proceeded to San Fernando, Pampanga where she took her oath of office as congressional representative of the province's 2nd district.
For her new job, Arroyo said she will work on bills that will cut ted tape, saying that from her experience as president, lapses in the bureaucracy due to red tape had to be addressed in implementing rules and regulations of laws.
Arroyo took her oath 2 hours after Aquino took his own oath. She was cheered on by her kabalens.
After her oath-taking, she proceeded to her house in Lubao Pampanga.
Aquino announced Tuesday he would set up a "truth commission" to investigate the alleged crimes of the outgoing president and her allies.
He said the commission would look into a wide range of controversies surrounding Arroyo's nine-and-a-half years in power, including allegations she cheated to win the 2004 presidential election.