Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr died on Friday morning, his wife confirmed in a Facebook post, June 12.
His wife, Cecille, said Yasay, who is already 73 years old, died of pneumonia due to a complication from cancer recurrence.
“My husband, my partner, my best friend, left us today at 7:26 a.m. due to pneumonia caused by the recurrence of his cancer, not [coronavirus disease 2019]. Jun Yasay, you are loved. We will miss you,” Cecille said.
The former DFA chief has battled two cancers in life.
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) also mourned the death of Yasay.
“We deeply regret the news of the passing of… the current Chairperson of PCU Board of Trustees and former DFA Secretary, Atty. Perfecto Yasay, Jr.,” it said. “Prayer for [his] eternal repose in the bosom of God. Rest in peace, our dearest [brother] in Christ. Condolences to [his] bereaved family.”
Yasay was the current chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Christian University (PCU), which us an affiliate of the UCCP.
Former DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay dies
Malacañang, in a separate statement, also expressed its condolences to Yasay’s family.
“As we pay tribute and honor Secretary Yasay, we offer our sincerest prayers to the Almighty to grant him eternal repose,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.
Yasay chaired the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1995 to 2000. He was also a former executive of Banco Filipino, which collapsed in 2011.
He ran for the senate in 2001 and 2004 and for vice president in 2010 but lost.
Yasay was also a known close friend and college roommate of President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte appointed him as the Department of Foreign Affairs. He led the Duterte administration’s pivot to China and Russia while moving away from the US.
The bicameral Commission on Appointments removed Yasay from his position after the body found out that he did not disclose the real status of his citizenship.
“He recommended me for my UN (United Nations) job. He hurt no one and helped everyone he could,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. said.
“He hurt no one and helped everyone he could. He did what many fighting tyranniny had to do: shield themselves with US law,” Locsin added.