Siazon, Japan expert, former DFA chief; 76
Former Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon Jr., a career diplomat who had a key role in expanding trade ties with Japan and recalibrating foreign policy to improve the treatment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), died on Tuesday from prostate cancer. He was 76.
“The department, its officers and staff are saddened by the passing of one of the country’s illustrious and well-loved public servants,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) statement said of Siazon, who served the agency from 1966 to 2010.
Foreign Undersecretary for International Economic Relations Laura del Rosario said Siazon’s stewardship paved the way for the signing of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement.
“He was our Japanese expert and it was during his stewardship that the Japan-Philippines economic partnership was negotiated and eventually signed,” Del Rosario told the Inquirer.
Del Rosario said Siazon came to the department at a crucial time, when Filipinos were highly emotional about the death of Filipino maid Flor Contemplacion, who was sentenced to death by hanging in Singapore.
In its tribute to Siazon, Malacañang said he was a “cultured, urbane man” who left behind a record of “distinguished service” to the country.
“He brought honor to the flag wherever he served. We extend deepest sympathies to his family at this time of profound loss,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.