Ex-DFA chief Albert del Rosario dies at 83
MANILA, Philippines — Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, 83, died on Tuesday, April 18, his family announced.
The longtime diplomat’s daughter, Dr. Inge del Rosario, broke the news of his passing in a statement sent to Inquirer.
“The family of Ambassador Albert Ferreros del Rosario is deeply saddened to announce his passing today, April 18, 2023. He was 83. The family requests privacy during this difficult time,” she said.
Enrique Manalo, incumbent chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), extended his condolences to the bereaved kin of del Rosario.
“He was a consummate diplomat and an inspiring leader who led the DFA with integrity and unwavering commitment to public service. You will be missed, Mr. Secretary,” Manalo wrote over social media.
Del Rosario was the Philippine Ambassador to the United States from 2001 to 2006 prior to serving as the country’s chief diplomat.
Del Rosario sat at the helm of the DFA from 2011 to 2016 under the administration of the late and former President Benigno Aquino III.
It was under his watch that the Philippines first elevated to an international court its complaint against China for violating the country’s rights over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
This led to the historic 2016 arbitral ruling in favor of the Philippines, which junked China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea.
At the tailend of the Aquino administration, however, Del Rosario was replaced by Jose Rene Almendras when the former resigned from his post due to health reasons.
Del Rosario later provoked the ire of Aquino’s successor, Rodrigo Duterte, after he said that ranking Chinese officials bragged that they had been able to influence the outcome of the 2016 Philippine elections, which catapulted Duterte into the presidency.
Del Rosario had also staunchly called on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to veer away from the position of Duterte on the West Philippine Sea.
He said Marcos should “consistently raise” before the United Nations the landmark decision of the Hague-based tribunal on the West Philippine Sea.