United States President Joe Biden has conveyed his condolences to the Filipino people on the passing of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. He remembered him as a “valued friend and partner” who left a remarkable legacy for promoting rules-based international order.
“President Aquino’s steadfast commitment to advancing peace, upholding the rule of law, and driving economic growth for all Filipinos, while taking bold steps to promote the rules-based international order, leaves a remarkable legacy at home and abroad that will endure for years to come,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Aquino, the Philippines’ 15th president, succumbed to “renal failure secondary to diabetes” at 6:30 a.m. on June 24. It was during his presidency that the Philippines brought to the Internation Arbitration China’s incursions inside the country’s territorial zone in the West Philippine Sea which it claims as its own.
The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines in 1916, invalidating China’s “9-Dash Line” map which which covers almost the entire South China Sea.
Biden, who was vice president of of the US President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, said he “greatly valued” the time he worked with Aquino in the past. He said Aquino would be “long remembered for serving his country with integrity and selfless dedication.”