Philippine envoy to Lebanon dies from COVID-19

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced the untimely death on the early morning of April 2, 2020, of Ambassador Bernardita Catalla, Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon due to COVID-19 complications caused by the deadly coronavirus.

Catalla was Consul General in Hong Kong prior to her assignment in Lebanon.


“Bernie, as Ambassador Catalla was fondly called, has always lent a helping hand, to her family, friends and colleagues. Her ever ready smile and infectious laughter may have been extinguished but her dedication to our country will always be there as a guiding light for all members of the Philippine foreign service,”

While serving in Lebanon, Catalla spearheaded the voluntary mass repatriation program for distressed Filipinos there.

A career diplomat for more than 27 years, Catalla has served in key posts like Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and was Passport Director where she delivered frontline service to millions of Filipinos, the DFA said.

“Bernie, as Ambassador Catalla was fondly called, has always lent a helping hand, to her family, friends and colleagues. Her ever ready smile and infectious laughter may have been extinguished but her dedication to our country will always be there as a guiding light for all members of the Philippine foreign service,” the DFA added.

“Ambassador Bernie Catalla’s remains will be received with an honour guard and I am putting forward a nomination for Gawad Mabini and Sikatuna. Not that she needs more honour than the profound regret and mourning of a grateful service, government, and I hope nation.” DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin tweeted.

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