MANILA - He will enjoy good food in the company of good friends and celebrate his freedom.
That's how President Aquino plans to spend his first day as an ordinary citizen on July 1, 2016, the day after he steps down from office.
After taking a beating for entertaining the idea of staying on, the President on Thursday finally made it clear that he would not seek a second term, adding that he was not a "masochist."
"One year and 10 months from now, I think I will be with [Undersecretary Rey] Marfil and [Assistant Secretary Jun] Delantar (his aide) on July 1 (2016), the day after I step down from office, and we will eat something really delicious. Then there will be a banner behind us that reads, 'Freedom,'" he said in a taped interview on Bombo Radyo that was aired Thursday.
Aquino also spoke about his trip to Belgium, France, Spain and Germany next month to establish stronger relations with the European Union and invite investors to the Philippines and about speaking at the United Nations in New York on climate change at the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US President Barack Obama in the light of the Philippine experience from a series of natural disasters.
The President also said he believed he would get justice in the four complaints for his impeachment filed in the House of Representatives, which were brought by leftist groups that frequently staged rallies in front of the Aquino home on Times Street in Quezon City.
Aquino questioned the motives of his detractors.
Aquino said his openness to amending the 1987 Constitution had nothing to do with seeking a second term, but rather concerned the need to limit the judiciary's supposed "meddling" with the two other branches of government.
"Am I the one who has this ambition to extend my term?" he asked.
He went on to recite the difficulties that came with his job and whose "context," he said, "appeared to have gone missing" when he first discussed the matter in an interview with TV5 two weeks ago.
"As I said when I first ran for office, 'I'm no masochist,'" he said.