Duterte's first foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr dies
MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Perfecto Yasay Jr, the first foreign secretary of the Duterte government, died on Friday, June 12, Malacañang confirmed.
He was 73.
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones of former Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr, who died today, June 12," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
"As we pay tribute and honor Secretary Yasay, we offer our sincerest prayers to the Almighty to grant him eternal repose," Roque added.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr also paid tribute to Yasay through a tweet on Friday.
Locsin posted on Friday: "'Jun Yasay has donned the garment of immortality,' text said (sic). More important it makes him finally impervious to pain. He recommended me for my UN job. He hurt no one and helped everyone he could. He did what many fighting tyranny had to: shield themselves with US law."
Yasay served as Philippine foreign secretary from June 30, 2016, until March 8, 2017, when lawmakers rejected his appointment over a citizenship controversy.
The Commission on Appointments, composed of legislators from both houses of Congress, removed Yasay from office after he denied under oath that he was once a US citizen. A series of Rappler reports had pointed out that Yasay was once an American citizen despite his initial denials.
Yasay was a campaign supporter and once a dormitory roommate of President Rodrigo Duterte when they were law students.
From 1995 to 2000, Yasay chaired the Securities and Exchange Commission. He testified at the impeachment trial of then president Joseph Estrada, accusing him of corruption and abuse of power.
Yasay ran for senator in 2001, then for vice president in 2010, but lost in both elections.
As a lawyer, Yasay specialized in corporate law and securities regulation. He finished law at the University of the Philippines and later served as a visiting law professor at the Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, according to his government profile.
After leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs, Yasay chaired the board of trustees of the Philippine Christian University, Malacañang said. – Rappler.com