Del Rosario: Patriot, inspiring public servant --- Robredo

Former vice president Leni Robredo expressed grief over the death of former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, whom she called a “patriot” and a “personal friend.”

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(From left) Former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former vice president Leni Robredo (Photo from Leni Gerona Robredo/Facebook)

Del Rosario passed away on Tuesday, April 18, while traveling on his way to the United States. He was 83.

“Our nation has lost a patriot, one of its most faithful sons,” Robredo said in a Facebook post, referring to the late Philippine top diplomat.

“He was a source of inspiration to many of us in public service,” she added.

The diplomatic community paid tribute to Del Rosario’s efforts in strengthening bilateral ties, while the others recognized his role in securing the landmark Hague ruling victory for the Philippines.

Robredo said the leader brought an “indelible mark” to her, particularly during the wake of her husband Jesse in Malacañang.

Del Rosario served as the late former president Benigno Aquino III’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary, while Jesse headed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Always soft spoken, mild mannered and very respectful,” Robredo described Del Rosario in her post.

“He became a personal friend after that. But when I became Vice President, he always addressed me as Mrs. Vice President, even during casual conversations,” she said.

Robredo added she had been always awed by Del Rosario’s “wisdom, resolve, and grace“ and the diplomat’s “courage spoke volumes in difficult times.”

“Maraming, maraming salamat, Ambassador, sa pagtindig para sa ating bayan hanggang sa huli (Thank you very much, Ambassador, for standing up for our country until the end),” Robredo ended her post.