MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has been buried in austere state rites during the pandemic with many remembering him for standing up to China over territorial disputes, striking a peace deal with Muslim guerrillas and defending democracy in a Southeast Asian nation. Aquino died Thursday at age 61 of kidney disease following a long public absence, after his single, six-year term ended in 2016. Family and friends sang a patriotic song after a silver urn with Aquino’s remains was placed beside the tomb of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, who restored democracy in 1986. President Joe Biden has called Aquino a valued friend and partner to the United States who served his country with integrity and selfless dedication.
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