Biden: Aquino ‘valued friend, partner of US’
US President Joe Biden on Friday joined the international community in expressing sympathies for the passing of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, calling him a “valued friend and partner to the United States.”
“I extend my deepest condolences to the people of the Philippines on the death of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
“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 said, adding Aquino “will long be remembered for serving his 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.
The American leader served as vice president of former US President Barack Obama, who had initiated the US pivot to Asia by further strengthening military and diplomatic ties with its regional allies, including the Philippines.
In April 2014, the Aquino administration signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with Washington, which gave American forces access to Philippine military facilities, just moments before Obama arrived for a two-day state visit in Manila.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson also extended his government’s condolences as he paid tribute to the 15th Philippine president who passed away on June 24.
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