MANILA (UPDATE) — Former Foreign Secretary Roberto "Bobby" Romulo has passed away at age 83, his office confirmed on Monday.
Romulo died on Sunday, according to his office, which did not elaborate on the cause of his death.
"The schedule of masses and novena prayers will soon be announced at www.romulofoundation.org," it said.
Reacting on Twitter on the news about Romulo's passing, Foreign Sec. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said, "The best are leaving."
"I relied a great deal on his judgment & understanding of the dynamics of the job he held with so much distinction in a really tough time—we'd just rejected the renewal of the US bases and the Cold War's end diminished our value to near nothing in the eyes of the total victor," Locsin said of Romulo who took the helm of the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1992 until 1995.
"Goodbye my friend; wish you'd waited till after we saw see other again face to face," he added.
According to the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation, Romulo joined government service in June 1989 when he was appointed Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Commission of the European Communities.
Months before he died, Romulo criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for "squandering the weight of global public opinion in the Philippines' favor following the ruling of the UN arbitration court invalidating China’s claim on the South China Sea by meekly standing by."