On the Radar

Roberto 'Bobby' Romulo passes away at 83

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
Roberto 'Bobby' Romulo passes away at 83
Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo speaking at a Stratbase ADR Institute event in November 2017.
Stratbase ADR via Facebook

MANILA, Philippines —  Former Foreign Affairs Secretary and AIG Philippines chairman Roberto "Bobby" Romulo died on January 23. He was 83 years old.

A mover in the country's IT sector, Romulo had a long career in technology with IBM Corp. in New York City. He later became the president and general manager of IBM Philippines prior to joining government service.

Romulo was chairman of PETNET, MediLink Network and the Nationwide Development Corporation (NADECOR). He also held board memberships in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT); Equicom Savings Bank; Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc., Maxicare Healthcare Corporation and McLarty Associates (formerly Kissinger McLarty Associates).

In 1989, he was appointed Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the Commission of the European Communities. He was then elevated to the top of the country's Department of Foreign Affairs in 1992. An accomplished diplomat, he was decorated by the governments of Belgium, Thailand, Spain, Chile, France and the Philippines.

Romulo, a longtime columnist of The Philippine STAR, was also the chairman of non-profit foundations such as the Zuellig Family Foundation, Foundation for IT Education and Development, the Philippine Foundation for Global Concerns, and Asia-Europe Foundation of the Philippines. He was similarly a trustee of the US-Philippines Society.

The schedule of mass and novena prayers are yet to be announced by the Romulo family.

Family members are requesting that those who want to send flowers may opt to send donations instead to the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, by contacting Mel through mobile number 0917-817-7940.

His last published piece on The STAR was on January 21, two days before his death. In his final column, he wrote about the work of the Zuellig Family Foundation, of which he served as chairman and later chairman emeritus.

In July last year, he penned an "urgent appeal" to his fellow businessmen while taking a break from penning column pieces due to medical reasons. Parts of it read:

The next election will be fought in cyberspace – be it the social media trolls or even outright digital shenanigans by the side that have the means to do so or is friendly with those who have. Truth is the counter weapon of choice against those who will bend it to change the narrative.

Do not put priority on the ‘winnability’ of a candidate but rather on someone who will bring back competence, dignity, civility and true love of country and her people. Together we can make that candidate winnable.



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