MANILA – As another major quake rocked Nepal on Tuesday, the Philippine Senate adopted a resolution expressing its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal last April 25.
Upon the motion of Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, all the senators have been made co-authors of Senate Resolution No. 1301 filed by Senator Manuel ‘Lito’ Lapid last April 27.
The killer earthquake hit the Himalayan nation shortly before noon of April 25, reportedly killing 8,150 people and injuring more than 17,800 as it flattened mountain villages and destroyed buildings particularly in Kathmandu.
The strong earthquake was also felt across parts of India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan.
On Tuesday, a 7.4 magnitude quake reportedly hit Nepal near the Chinese border between Kathmandu and famous Mt. Everest.
”The Senate of the Philippines stands as one with Nepal as it grieves for this devastating loss,” according to the resolution.
The Senate also adopted Resolution No 1328, also filed by Lapid, taking into consideration Resolution 1329, introduced by Senator Cynthia Villar, expressing condolences to the family of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan Domingo Lucenario Jr., who died in a helicopter crash at Naltar Valley, Pakistan last May 8.
Lucenario was on his way to attend a three-day excursion with 10 other foreigners when the helicopter he was riding crashed.
Authorities are currently investigating whether the crash is caused by mechanical failure or due to a terrorist attack by the Pakistani Talibans.
“Lucenario’s untimely demise, without a doubt, is an immense loss to us, and the Senate joins the nation and his family in their moment of mourning for the loss of a distinguished public servant,” Villar said in her resolution.
In his resolution, Lapid extolled Lucenario’s accomplishments, pointing out that he was “the only Filipino career diplomat who had the rare distinction of having been awarded with three major Presidential awards for his exceptional and meritorious stint in the foreign service.”
Lucenario was awarded the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Gold level) in 2009, the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Grand Officer (Maringal na Pinuno) in 2008 and the Gawad Mabini award with the rank of Grand Officer (Dakilng Kamanong) also in 2008.
Prior to his appointment as ambassador to Pakistan in 2012, Lucenario served as ambassador to Kenya and the Philippine non-resident envoy to Burundi, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania.
He was the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN Habitat).
Lucenario was noted for his work as project manager of the Philippine machine readable/e-passport program which allowed Filipinos to travel internationally with ease.
He also handled several other special projects and positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs including chairman of the National Committee on Illegal Entrants (NCIE), chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee on Passport Irregularities (ICPI), Assistant Secretary General of the National Organizing Committee on the ASEAN Summit of 2007, the Global Forum on Migration and Development of 2008 and the Special Ministerial Meeting on the Non-Aligned Movement in 2009.
Lucenario earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, magna cum laude, from the Manuel L. Quezon University and obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1984 from San Beda College.