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Senate reso honors late ex-DFA chief Del Rosario, role in The Hague victory

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution seeking to honor the late former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and his role that led to the 2016 landmark victory against China in The Hague.

In proposed Senate Resolution 572, Hontiveros appreciated Del Rosario’s contribution in defending the national interest, whether it be the interest of distressed overseas Filipino workers or the country’s security interests.

Hontiveros described Del Rosario as “consummate and hands-on diplomat” and “mild-mannered but firm” who represented the Philippines with “utmost grace, honor and dignity.”

“[D]el Rosario will be remembered most for being at the helm of the Philippine victory in The Hague, where the 2016 Arbitral Award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration reaffirmed our legitimate rights in the West Philippine Sea and asserted baseline principles of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS),” Hontiveros wrote.

“The ruling has earned its place in the annals of international law, and has shown the world that a country like the Philippines can assert and protect its rights over its territory and resources, even in the face of conflicting claims from a global giant like China,” she added.

Further, Hontiveros honored Del Rosario not only for being a tenacious and wise diplomat but for being a public servant of untarnished integrity and moral certitude, “even refusing an order from an incumbent Head of State because it compromised his principles.”

“[D]el Rosario’s legacy will live on, not only in his body of work, but in our continued commitment as a people to stand up to aggressors and to defend our sovereignty,” she said.

The DFA said Del Rosario died while en route to San Francisco in the United States. He was 83.

Del Rosario spearheaded the country's successful arbitration case against China over Beijing’s claims to features that are located within Manila's exclusive economic zone. — Hana Bordey/RSJ, GMA Integrated News