Yasay ‘at peace,’ insists he didn’t lie to CA
Ousted Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Thursday said he was “at peace” even after the powerful Commission Appointments (CA) rejected him from his post as the country’s top diplomat for supposedly lying about his American citizenship.
Yasay, the first nominee of President Rodrigo Duterte to be rejected by the CA, reiterated that he did not lie about his citizenship, a claim which he said was made by his critics and political detractors.
“Let me assure you that despite the tremendous difficulties and challenges that we faced as we hit the ground running, I faithfully did my duties and responsibilities in the service of our country the best way I could, the best way I know how, with honor, dedication, fairness, competence, dignity and respect,” Yasay wrote in a Facebook post Thursday.
“For the record I did not lie in responding to the issues raised against me before the CA contrary to what my partisan political detractors have claimed in the pursuit of their interest or agenda… I am at peace with everything that I said, and I leave it to God – my refuge and my strength – to judge me on that score. I rest comfortably in the succinct words of wisdom of a dear friend that when politicians accuse you of not telling the truth, be of good cheer for they are lying,” he added.
The CA on Wednesday unanimously ruled to reject Yasay’s appointment as DFA chief after his admission of “misleading” lawmakers about his citizenship. In an initial hearing last February, Yasay claimed that he had never been an American citizen and had never been issued a US passport.
But documents obtained by the Inquirer showed that Yasay was granted American citizenship in 1986, which he formally renounced at the US Embassy in Manila on June 28, 2016 or two days before President Duterte appointed him as foreign affairs secretary.
Yasay said there was a “better life” waiting for him beyond the CA rejection, as he would be able to spend more time with his family and having a haircut.
“I respect even all my critics who spoke ill of me. That is a reality that goes with the territory and is important in our democracy where the mechanisms of checks and balances continue to be firmly in place,” he said.
“I may not have pleased everyone in what I did or did not do. But who ever said that serving the country was about getting everyone to agree with you? If that is the objective of public service then sadly, no one will ever succeed. Indeed, serving the country is not a popularity contest… I know that God has even greater plans for me and he is not done with me yet,” Yasay added.
President Duterte on Thursday named DFA Undersecretary Enrique Manalo as acting secretary following Yasay’s rejection.
Yasay also ran for senator in 2001 and for Vice President in 2010. He served as associate commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1993 to 1995 and as chair from 1995 to 2000. IDL/rga
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