FORMER Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert F. del Rosario has resigned as non-executive director of Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Co. Ltd., citing poor health and his decision to focus on personal advocacies.

This comes less than two weeks after Mr. Del Rosario was denied entry to Hong Kong, which caused him to miss First Pacific’s board meeting and shareholders’ meeting on June 21.

In a disclosure posted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday, First Pacific said that Mr. Del Rosario has tendered his resignation on July 1.

Salim-led First Pacific controls three Philippine firms, namely Metro Pacific Investments Corp., PLDT, Inc., and Philex Mining Corp.

Mr. Del Rosario, who turns 80 in November, attributed his decision to leave the company to “poor health” and “other constraints, such as, his increased involvement in a number of personal advocacies which makes it difficult for him to continue to serve as a director of the company.”

The company noted that Mr. Del Rosario does not have any disagreements with the board of directors, and that he has no claims over fees, remuneration or compensation, or loss of office.

“The board would like to express its profound thanks to Ambassador del Rosario, who has been a source of invaluable counsel to the company during his tenure,” First Pacific said.

On June 21, the country’s former top diplomat was held and questioned by immigration officers at the Hong Kong International Airport, before being deported back to Manila.

At that time, Mr. Del Rosario called Hong Kong’s denial of entry despite his diplomatic passport a “disrespectful act” of the special administrative region of China against the Philippines.

Mr. Del Rosario and retired Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sent a “communication” to the International Criminal Court (ICC) last March asking the organization to conduct a preliminary examination against Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials in connection with the harassment of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.

Mr. Del Rosario first sat on First Pacific’s board in June 2003 as independent non executive director. He left the board after being appointed as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs from February 2011 to March 2016 by former President Benigno S. Aquino III. He returned to First Pacific on June 2016, occupying the same post.

He also served as the Philippine Ambassador to the United States from 2001 to 2006 under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

First Pacific now has nine members, namely, non-executive chairman Anthoni Salim, managing director and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, chief financial officer Christopher H. Young, Benny S. Santoso, Tedy Djuhar, Edward K.Y. Chen, Margaret Leung Ko May Yee, Philip Fan Yan Hok, and Madeleine Lee Suh Shin.

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