Ex-Pres. Aquino leaves "remarkable legacy" in foreign policy, national history - DFA
By Celerina Monte
Former President Benigno S. Aquino III has left a "remarkable legacy" in the Philippine foreign policy and national history, the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
Aquino passed away on Thursday morning in a hospital in Quezon City. He was 61.
"During his term as the 15th President of the Philippine Republic, President Aquino elevated the country’s conduct of foreign relations, steered foreign policy towards a principled direction that earned international respect and esteem, and invigorated the foreign service with a collective sense of patriotism, commitment to service, and professionalism," the DFA said in a statement.
In 2013 under the Aquino administration, the Philippines filed a petition before the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal against China's historic and sovereign claim in almost the entire South China Sea, including those areas within Manila's exclusive economic zone.
In July 2016, the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines.
It was also under the Aquino government that the Philippines signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States.
On June 4, 2015, Aquino and then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed in Tokyo a joint declaration to strengthen the "strategic partnership" of the Philippines and Japan.
The DFA offered its condolences to Aquino's family and friends as it joined the Filipino people "in grieving the loss of a great man, leader and nationalist." DMS