Del Rosario quits board of Hong Kong-listed firm

MANILA, Philippines – After being barred from entering Hong Kong, former top Philippine diplomat Albert del Rosario resigned as non-executive director of First Pacific, a publicly-listed company in Hong Kong of tycoon Manuel Pangilinan.

In a disclosure dated Tuesday, July 2, First Pacific said Del Rosario cited poor health and "other constraints" as the reason for the departure.

The company also said Del Rosario's "increased involvement in a number of personal advocacies" made it "difficult for him to continue to serve as director."

Del Rosario also confirmed in the disclosure that he had no disagreement with the board and had no claims against the company, whether in fees, remuneration, or compensation for resigning.

Del Rosario was with First Pacific since 2003 until he was appointed as foreign secretary in 2011. He then returned to the First Pacific board in 2016.

The 80-year-old diplomat was supposed to attend board and shareholders' meetings of First Pacific in Hong Kong on June 21, but was barred by Hong Kong authorities and was held for 6 hours at the airport. (READ: Del Rosario defends diplomatic passport: 'DFA knew')

He was deported even if he carried a courtesy diplomatic passport, a privilege extended to former Philippine foreign secretaries and ambassadors. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin later announced the cancellation of all courtesy diplomatic passports.

Hong Kong authorities did not provide any reason for barring the entry of Del Rosario, but the latter suspected that it was due to the case he and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had filed against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity over environmental damage in the South China Sea.

Morales was also barred from entering Hong Kong last May 21. 

First Pacific's portfolio includes Indofood PLDT, Metro Pacific Investments, Goodman Fielder, Philex Mining, PXP Energy, PacificLight Power, and Roxas Holdings. 

First Pacific's executive directors are Pangilinan and Christopher Young. Its non-executive directors are chairman Anthoni Salim, Benny Santoso, and Tedy Djuhar. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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