Ex-DFA chief Albert del Rosario dies at 83

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Ex-DFA chief Albert del Rosario dies at 83

Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario passed away on Monday, April 19, 2021 at the age of 83. He was a prominent figure in Philippine politics and diplomacy for more than four decades.

Del Rosario served as the Philippines’ 15th Secretary of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2016, under President Benigno Aquino III. During his tenure, he worked to strengthen the country’s bilateral relations with other nations and pushed for the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

He also played an instrumental role in crafting the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the Philippines and the United States, which sought to increase military cooperation between the two countries.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Del Rosario served as Secretary of National Defense from 2006 to 2011. He was also chairman and CEO of several private companies throughout his career.

Born in Manila on October 8, 1937, Del Rosario was educated in the Philippines and abroad. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Economics and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University.

Del Rosario was awarded numerous honors during his lifetime, including the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Hollande in 2015, and the Order of Sikatuna by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2007.

In 2018, Del Rosario initiated a case against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged crimes against humanity committed in the South China Sea. The case was dismissed by the ICC in 2019 due to lack of jurisdiction over Chinese officials.

Del Rosario is survived by his wife Maria Victoria “Vicky” del Rosario, their children Marcela del Rosario-Gonzalez, Albert del Rosario Jr., Miguel del Rosario, and Maria Isabel del Rosario-Tantoco, and their grandchildren. 

His death marks a great loss for Philippine diplomacy and politics. He will be remembered for his dedication to protecting Philippine sovereignty and advancing its interests abroad.