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No drama! Ex-DFA chief Del Rosario’s brilliance shines for DLSU prof amid Cayetano’s incompetence

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The saying, “You don’t know a good thing until it’s gone,” has never been so apt now that the Philippines is in the midst of a diplomatic row with Kuwait due to a controversial rescue mission.

Political analyst Richard Heydarian only came to appreciate how brilliant of a diplomat former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario was when he compared his actions to that of the incumbent Secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano.

In a Facebook post, Heydarian recalled how Del Rosario worked for the repatriation of over 14,000 Filipinos in Libya in 2014 amid a civil war.

Despite the chaos, the political science professor at De La Salle University said there was no “single production-style video coming out to valorise him or specifc diplomats.”

Throughout the Aquino administration, Heydarian said Del Rosario worked with civil society groups to forge bilateral labor agreements with various Arab states for the protection of Filipino workers’ rights.

“Instead of trolls or politicians, it were professional and dedicated diplomats, who handled our diplomacy. And we saw the wonders it did. But of course, many didn’t ‘see’ it on Facebook or youtube, because that was not the aim of the DFA back then,” he said.

For Heydarian, the DFA’s aim under Del Rosario was clear: to help and protect Filipino citizens anywhere in the world.

“Despite his relatively advanced age, and huge commitment to the West Philippine Sea affairs, the then Filipino diplomatic chief ensured that all necessary measures are taken to protect our citizens, negotiate their safe passage, and take care of all necessary expenses. It wasn’t about him,” he said.

While Heydarian is no fan of the Aquino administration, he said he misses “the overall professionalism and mostly low-key diplomacy — with exception of the lawfare in the West Philippine Sea — we had back then.”

“So let me say this — because I didn’t manage to back then, since I was maybe too busy criticising their shortcomings — SALAMAT Secretary Albert Del Rosario for your valiant service and to all friends in the DFA, who did it not for fame or glory, but out of an unshakable sense of duty, and inspired by professional and competent leadership,” Heydarian said.

The professor’s comments flies in the face of Cayetano’s thirst for attention, which was manifested by the Department of Foreign Affairs’ publicized rescue of a Filipina maid in Kuwait.

A video of the rescue was uploaded by DFA officials online and shared to reporters, angering the Kuwaiti government.

The incident has led to the expulsion of the Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Renato Villa and the Gulf state’s issuance of arrest warrants for three Filipino diplomats.