FORMER Ambassador Jose Apolinario L. Lozada, Jr. passed away on Tuesday at the age of 68, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
According to reports, Mr. Lozada was confined at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) after suffering from a brain hemorrhage. In 2014, the diplomat was diagnosed with prostate cancer and declared cancer-free the following year.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano offered his condolences to the family of the late ambassador.
“I join the men and women of the Foreign Service in mourning the passing of an astute diplomat and legislator in Ambassador Lozada. I send my condolences and prayers to his family and friends in this time of great sadness,” Mr. Cayetano said.
“Ambassador Lozada and I were good friends and seatmates during the 11th Congress in 1998. I will always remember him as one who championed the welfare of our diplomats and kababayan abroad,” he added.
Mr. Lozada is survived by his wife and four children.
Mr. Lozada served as ambassador to Palau, the Holy See, Vienna, Austria, and Baghdad, Iraq.
He also served as Negros Occidental 5th district representative from 1998 to 2004. He became the chairperson of the House committee of foreign affairs and pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 9225 or the Dual Citizenship law and Republic Act No. 9189 or the Overseas Absentee Voting Law.
Prior to becoming a lawmaker, Mr. Lozada also became as Appointments Secretary and Chief of Protocol to then President Fidel V. Ramos.
Mr. Lozada obtained a Mathematics undergraduate degree in the De La Sale University (DLSU), a master’s degree in Public Administration in the University of the Philippines (UP), and another master’s degree in Physics at the Siliman University. — Camille A. Aguinaldo