I am sad to learn that Consul Roussel Reyes finally ended his tour of duty as one of the member of the diplomatic corps of our Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.
I first met him in his first days of assignment during the Partidong Pandaigidigang Pilipino tripartite meeting where he was our Guest of Honor representing the then former Ambassador to the Kingdom Tony Villamor. We finally became friends when he accepted my invitation as one of our panelist during the OFW Forum – “Know your Rights and Obligations as OFW in the Kingdom” held at the 2nd Industrial Area of Riyadh.
Reyes tenure was marked with plenty of hubbub coming from the so-called progressive alliance of OFWs in the Middle East; from “no indelible ink” in the last Absentee Voting where he oversees the implementation of the OAV in Riyadh; to non-assistance of jailed OFWs where he heads the ANS-Assistance to National Section till his tenure ended. But these allegations never stop him from doing his job silently and satisfactorily with no media mileage. I still remember when he explained to me in details how difficult to follow up some ANS sensitive cases.
For the past five or six years of his posting as Third Secretary and Vice Consul and just recently as Consul, I was able to track his work and how he managed to deal some complexities of his job. He told me and accepts that his first experienced as a diplomat was challenging, tough and grueling. According to Consul Reyes in one of our friendly chat, “the Saudi legal system and the procedural aspects of their criminal law is very complicated” he said. Yet despite from all the untiring efforts that he and his colleagues had done in assisting distressed OFW cases, there are still some quarters that don’t believed ANS are doing their very best.
Consul Roussel Reyes is a lawyer from San Juan, Metro Manila. He graduated in 1998 from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the same institution in 2002 and passed the Bar examinations of 2003. Just recently the DFA named him as 2012 Outstanding Diplomat-Gawad Mabini Award.
He joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2004 as Foreign Service Officer, Class IV, after passing the Foreign Service Officer Examinations of 2003. Prior his posting in Riyadh, he was a Principal Assistant in the Office of Legal Affairs of the Department from April 2005 to August of the same year. He was subsequently designated as an Acting Division Director in the office from August 2005 to October 2006. His first foreign assignment was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as Third Secretary and Vice Consul from October of 2006 to February 2013. He is married to Mary Michelle C. Reyes and has two daughters.
For me, I don’t have the superlatives to describe who he was as a diplomat and a friend. He has been an exemplary Consul. It is good to imagine that the DFA got it so right in sending Consul Atty. Roussel Reyes and for posting him first in Saudi Arabia. To those who know him well, will going to miss him. And of course I will miss his smiling face and sparkling eyes, the part of his imagery.
Surely, he will look back on a job well done, in a place where he will be missed.
Thank you Sir Roussel! “Mission Accomplished.”