Press Release
May 13, 2015

Villar honors envoy killed in Pakistan helicopter crash

Sen. Cynthia Villar in a resolution honored the Philippine Ambassador who was killed in a helicopter crash in Pakistan.

Villar authored Senate Proposed Resolution 1329 which was adopted by the Senate as Resolution No. 81 expressing the profound condolences of the Upper Chamber on the untimely demise of Philippine Ambassador to Pakistan Domingo Lucenario Jr. in a military helicopter crash at Naltar Valley, Pakistan.

This morning, Lucenario's remains arrived at Villamor Airbase in a chartered Pakistani C-130 plane accompanied by Pakistan's Minister of Commerce.

"His death tells the risk and hazard our diplomats are exposed to when deployed in foreign territories," Villar said.

Lucenario was among the six people who perished in the crash, along with Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, when they were set to inspect development projects in the mountainous Gilgit region of Pakistan on May 9.

While the crash was claimed to be caused by a mechanical failure, it is also being investigated as a possible act of terrorism.

"Whereas, the Senate of the Philippines deplores any and all acts of terrorism if it turns out that indeed the helicopter crash was due to a planned attack conducted by the Pakistani Taliban as they claimed," part of the resolution said.

Lucenario served the government for more than 25 years and in different capacities, including assignments in Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, and as former Philippine Ambassador to Kenya with concurrent jurisdiction to twelve African nations.

He is one of the country's outstanding career diplomats, having been awarded with three awards, namely: the Order of Lakandula Award with the rank of Grand Officer, the Gawad Mabini Award with the rank of Grand Officer, and the Order of Sikatuna Award with the rank of Datu.

During a memorial held in Islamabad for those killed in the crash, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif handed to them the Sitara-e-Pakistan, one of its highest civilian awards, "for their contributions towards forging closer bilateral relations."

As announced by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a memorial service will be held at the Heritage Park in Taguig City on May 14 and at the DFA on May 15.

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