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‘People’s diplomat’ hailed; to be laid to rest today

lucenario coffin

PHOTO BY RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.net

Hailed by his colleagues as a “people’s diplomat,” Domingo Lucenario Jr. will be brought to his final resting place on Sunday.

“In all his endeavors, his constant battle cry was, ‘para sa bayan (for the country).’ In the end, he paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country,” Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a speech at the memorial service for Lucenario at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

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Lucenario, 54, a multiawarded diplomat who spent more than 35 years in government service, perished with five others in a helicopter crash in the mountainous region of northern Pakistan on May 8.

Taliban extremists claimed responsibility for shooting down the aircraft but the Pakistan government said the crash was caused by mechanical failure.

Del Rosario said Lucenario’s leadership was marked by “authenticity, intelligence, humility and a terrific sense of humor.”

“Ambassador Doy was the epitome of true courage and the strong desire to serve the people,” he said.

Del Rosario said that if Lucenario would give his credentials to God, “he will no doubt be received warmly and with open arms, and he would hear words like, ‘Well done, my son, well done. You did good.’”

Lt. Col. Marlowe Patria, a former member of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), paid tribute to Lucenario, saying overseas Filipino workers had lost a good public servant and friend.

Patria, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1995 who is now assistant chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines public affairs office, said he met Lucenario many times during his one-year stint with the UNMOGIP from May 2013 to July 2014.

Patria recalled that Lucenario came to the rescue of the Filipino United Nations Military Observers when the AFP suddenly closed down in January 2014 the Defense Armed Forces Attaché’s (Dafa) house in Islamabad, where the UNMOs would stay when they were in the capital, as part of cost-cutting.

Patria said Lucenario welcomed the UNMOs to the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan. “Ambassador Doy offered us shelter and provided for our other needs. The embassy became our home, he [was] our foster father and the rest of the embassy staff our family,” Patria said.

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Lucenario will be buried at 10:30 a.m. today at Holy Cross Memorial Park in Quezon City, following a Mass at 8 a.m. at Arlington Chapel, Heritage Park, Taguig City.

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TAGS: Department of Foreign Affairs, Domingo Lucenario Jr., Obituary, Philippine Embassy in Pakistan
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