By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

Former envoy Lauro Baja Jr. (Photo courtesy of Baja’s FB page)

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday expressed its condolences to the family of former Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr., describing him as an “admired diplomat and a devoted public servant”.

Baja, 86, died of heart attack on Feb. 8.

“The Department pays tribute and offers prayers of strength to the bereaved family,” the DFA said in a statement.

Baja’s remains will be brought to the Bulwagang Apolinario Mabini at the DFA in Pasay City on Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m.

He will be interred at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City on Feb. 16.

Baja served as the country’s ambassador to Brazil, Italy, and the United Nations (UN) when the Philippines last assumed one of the elected seats at the UN Security Council from 2004 to 2006.

He represented the Philippines at diplomatic conferences, including the Rome conference establishing the International Criminal Court, and served in senior official capacities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Non-Aligned Movement meetings.

He was also instrumental in the crafting of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the ASEAN Joint Declaration Against Terrorism. (PNA)