PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said he can now retire, as the future of the country will be in the right hands.
Speaking at an event for Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas, Aquino said, "Di ko inakala sa buhay ko na magreretiro ako at age 56."
He added that many of those present, among them LP stalwarts from local government units, stood behind him as he rose to power.
"Talagang magaan sa konsensya kong pwede nang magretiro at pumapel na dakilang alalay ng lahat," Aquino said at the lunch meeting organised by the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) held in Gloria Maris, Greenhills.
ULAP national president Governor Alfonso Umali said more than two thousand people were estimated to have attended the event.
In his speech, Aquino said that his administration has just started the change and that the next one would reach farther because it already has leverage.
Although he did not mention names, the President seemed to have alluded to Senator Grace Poe, who was leading in the recent electoral survey, and opposition standard bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Poe has been described as not yet ripe for the presidential candidacy, while Binay has been slammed for not being able to present solutions.
He said they are sometimes tempted to wait and rely on surveys and not to support candidates who are not sure to win.
However, he said the show of support by ULAP members was proof that they want to continue the administration's reform agenda.
"Ngayon pa lang, naninindigan tayo kung saan tayo tutungo," he said.
He then added that it is difficult to "sell an abstract product."
"Pag kami nakaupo, sabi ng iba gaganda ang buhay niyo. Hanggang ngayon nagaantay ako kung paano," he explained.
He then enumerated the programs that his administration was able to launch to benefit Filipinos.
Aquino said there is a lot of proof now of what the government has achieved.