MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he will not run for a lower post when he steps down from office in 2016.
At the Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel media forum, Aquino said the first thing he would do once he passes the baton to his successor is to go home to the Aquino residence on Times Street in Quezon City and rest.
"Well, going back to Times, staying in my own bed in my own house... Perhaps looking forward to the following day when I don't have to wake up too early. I can laze around and get used to living in Times again. Then perhaps visit the neighborhood… The supermarket and the fast food joints," Aquino said when asked about his plans when his term ends on June 30, 2016.
Aquino plans to "recharge" for at least a year and serve in a different capacity outside politics.
"After 2016, I think the foremost on my mind, together with my Cabinet, is to take at least a year break and recharge and recover from all the tensions, turmoil, concerns over the past six years by that time. So I think I will try to look for a means to serve in another capacity rather than elective office," he said.
"There are very many roles that can be done not just in politics. And perhaps I owe it to those close to me, especially my sisters for instance, and even some of my staff, who have been with me since Congress, they are all looking forward to some time off."
Aquino may also write a book to put on record the "lessons" that he could share to the youth.
"People from our political persuasion seem to note that there is a dearth of institutionalizing the lessons that have been learned. So, perhaps one of the dreams… [I] can write a book to share the experiences. But more importantly, we'd really want to interact with the youth and really help shape the next generation so that we don't repeat the same mistakes. And exactly what form? I'm not exactly sure at this point in time. We are concerned with today's issues.,'' he said.
In his last full year in office, Aquino intends to focus on making the people feel the "changes" that have happened since he assumed office.
"The people really have to feel that there were significant changes and that they were responsible for these changes. So 2015 really is focused on demonstrating so many of the results, be it infrastructure, be it a better employment picture, be it more investments, and so on and so forth," he said.
"So if there is a direct correlation that they gave us this opportunity, this mandate, we will be reaping the fruits in 2015, substantially. Therefore, we can have that picture of what can be achieved, building upon that which we already did. So the focus on 2015, again, is more intensified inclusivity of the growth in the economy and the empowerment of the people and that this is very palpable to everybody. That is, I guess, the main focus for our remaining time."
This early, he considers the change in people's mindset about the country as his legacy as president. He also considers feedback about people coming back home as one of the happiest moments of his presidency.
"When you see the renewed optimism and the attitude that is different in our people where it seems nothing is impossible. That, I think, brings out the 'great' as a nation from the time we stepped into office when there was massive cynicism, where the primary goal was how to leave the Philippines, to now, Sandee was just talking about the young coming back home. That, again, makes us all happy and makes all of this worthwhile."