MANILA - Benigno Aquino, the 15th President of the Philippines, was given departure honors Thursday as he stepped down from office, ahead of the inauguration of his successor, Rodrigo Duterte.
Before this, Aquino welcomed Duterte around 10:25 a.m. at Malacañang, where the erstwhile Davao City mayor will take his oath of office at noon today.
The two talked for some 30 minutes before the Army led the final departure honors for Aquino at the Palace grounds around 11 a.m.
Aquino earlier said that he was at peace with bowing out of office, saying the country is in better shape than when he came in.
He also said it was an honor serving the country.
"Ang iwan ang bansa sa di hamak na mas magandang kalagayan kaysa sa atin pong dinatnan," he said last Thursday.
"Hanggang sa huli, isang malaking karangalan para sa aking paglingkuran ang Pilipino at ang Pilipinas."
After leaving the office he had headed since 2010, Aquino will once again become a private citizen and reside at his family's home in Times Street, Quezon City.