Ex-DFA chief Yasay writes farewell: ‘I did not lie’

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Ex-DFA chief Yasay writes farewell: ‘I did not lie’

Lito Boras

'When politicians accuse you of not telling the truth, be of good cheer for they are lying,' lawyer Perfecto Yasay Jr quotes a friend as saying

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine foreign secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr posted a farewell message on Thursday, March 9, insisting that he “did not lie” before the Commission on Appointments (CA).

The CA rejected his appointment on Wednesday, March 8, after lawmakers said he lied under oath about his US passport.  

Yasay’s former undersecretary, seasoned career diplomat Enrique Manalo, is now the acting secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). 

In the farewell message posted on Facebook, Yasay said, “For the record I did not lie in responding to the issues raised against me before the CA contrary to what my partisan political detractors have claimed in the pursuit of their interest or agenda.”

“I am at peace with everything that I said, and I leave it to God – my refuge and my strength – to judge me on that score,” the former foreign secretary said.

“I rest comfortably in the succinct words of wisdom of a dear friend that when politicians accuse you of not telling the truth, be of good cheer for they are lying,” he added.

Yasay’s passport returned or misplaced?

Hours before the CA rejected his appointment, however, Yasay flip-flopped again about his US passport.

Yasay claimed on Wednesday that his passport was “misplaced,” even as he returned his naturalization certificate to the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

In an earlier interview with ANC, he said he “returned” his passport along with his naturalization certificate.

Yasay told the CA on Wednesday: “On July 21, 1993, I surrendered to the INS district director in Newark, New Jersey, the naturalization certificate issued to me for cancellation and revocation, while the US passport issued to me in 1986 has been misplaced and could not be located despite diligent search. I do not have any other US passport.”

Days before this, on March 6, he told anchor Karen Davila on ANC’s Headstart, “I had an American passport, but that has already been returned together with my naturalization certificate.”

In any case, Yasay said on Thursday that there’s a better life waiting for him. “Among other favorite things I can do freely is to have more time with family and a haircut,” the Philippines’ former top diplomat said. – Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com