MANILA, June 25 (Mabuhay) — United States President Joe Biden extended his condolences to the Filipino people on the passing of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III as 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, who was the 15th president of the Philippines, succumbed to renal failure secondary to diabetes at 6:30 a.m. on June 24.

It was during his presidency that the country initiated an arbitration against the Chinese government over its claims on the South China Sea.

In 2016, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration rendered a landmark decision invalidating the latter’s nine-dash line, which covers almost the entire strategic waters.

Biden, who served as the vice president of Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, said he “greatly valued” the time he worked with Aquino in the past.

He added that Aquino would be “long remembered for serving his country with integrity and selfless dedication”.

“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 ended. (MNS)

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