Biden sends condolences after death of US 'friend, partner' Aquino
This file photo taken on November 4, 2012 shows Philippines' President Benigno Aquino smiling upon his arrival at Wattay airport to attend the ninth Asia-Europe (ASEM 9) summit in Vientiane. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, the Philippines' former president who waged an anti-corruption agenda and ushered in key economic reforms during his term has died at the age of 61, officials said on June 24, 2021.
AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam

Biden sends condolences after death of US 'friend, partner' Aquino

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 25, 2021 - 10:38am

MANILA, Philippines — US President Joe Biden offered condolences to Filipinos following the death of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, whom he called a “valued friend and partner to the United States.”

Biden said Aquino, who died at the age of 61 on Thursday morning, will long be remembered for serving the country “with integrity and selfless dedication.”

“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,” Biden said in a statement.

“I greatly valued our time working together, and I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his family and to all who will mourn his absence,” he added.

State vists and EDCA

Manila’s alliance with Washington strengthened under Aquino but it has come under strain since 2016 during the Rodrigo Duterte presidency.

In 2012, Aquino visited the US and had a bilateral meeting with then US President Barack Obama.

In 2014, Obama held a two-day state visit to the Philippines. He wrote on the official guestbook of Malacañang his “Thank you” note to Aquino and Filipinos for welcoming him, adding: “May America’s oldest alliance in Asia always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect.”

Biden served as the US vice president from 2009 to 2017 under Obama. 

Aquino signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which grants the US increased military presence in the country through the rotation of ships and planes for humanitarian and maritime operations. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled with finality that the agreement does not violate the Constitution.

Aquino was known for ushering in key economic reforms, instilling transparency in governance, and standing up to China over disputes in the West Philippine Sea.

Aquino's sisters said the former president died due to renal disease secondary to diabetes. He had been in and out of the hospital even before the pandemic. 

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