MANILA – Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. passed away on Friday morning, his wife announced in a Facebook post.

Yasay, 73, died of pneumonia due to a complication from cancer recurrence, his wife, Cecille, said.

The Facebook post of Yasay’s wife confirming his passing was screen-grabbed and posted by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP).

“My husband, my partner, my best friend left us today at 7:26 a.m. due to pneumonia caused by the recurrence of his cancer, not [coronavirus disease 2019]. Jun Yasay, you are loved. We will miss you,” Cecille said.

Yasay has battled two cancers in life.

The UCCP also mourned the death of Yasay.

Yasay is the current chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Christian University (PCU) which is an affiliate of the UCCP.

“We deeply regret the news of the passing of… the current Chairperson of PCU Board of Trustees and former DFA Secretary, Atty. Perfecto Yasay, Jr.,” it said. “Prayer for [his] eternal repose in the bosom of God. Rest in peace our dearest [brother] in Christ. Condolences to [his] bereaved family.”

In a separate statement, Malacañang also extended its sympathies and condolences to Yasay’s family.

“As we pay tribute and honor Secretary Yasay, we offer our sincerest prayers to the Almighty to grant him eternal repose,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Yasay is the first Foreign Affairs Secretary on an ad interim basis under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte.

His ad interim appointment, however, was rejected by the Commission on Appointments in March 2017 due to questions about his citizenship.

Yasay also served as the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1995 to 2000.

He also unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Senate in 2001 and 2004, and for Vice President in 2010. (PNA)