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Chito Sta. Romana, Philippine Ambassador to China, passes away

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Chito Sta. Romana, Philippine Ambassador to China, passes away
This Aug. 29, 2019 screengrab shows the late Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana holding a press briefing.
Philstar.com screengrab via RTVM

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 11:20 a.m.) — Jose Santiago "Chito" Sta. Romana, Philippine Ambassador to China, has passed away, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday.

The DFA said the Philippine Embassy in Beijing is coordinating with Chinese authorities for the repatriation of the late ambassador's remains.

"The Department of Foreign Affairs offers its sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Ambassador Chito, to our nation for its great loss. We pray for the eternal repose of his soul," the DFA said.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Sta. Romana.

The Chinese envoy recalled that Sta. Romana was among the first Filipinos to visit "the new China" as part of the Philippine Youth Delegation in 1971.

"Over the past 51 years, starting fro a foreign student learning Chinese in Beijing, to ABC's China correspondent for over 20 years and to Philippine Ambassador to China, Ambassador Chito has spent the best part of his life understanding and helping the world and the Philippines to understand China," Huang said in a statement.

Huang further acknowledged Sta. Romana's part in strengthening Philippines-China relations under his tenure.

The Chinese foreign ministry, meanwhile, said they are deeply saddened by the passing of Sta. Romana, who "was our old friend and good friend."

"We are deeply grieved by the loss of a good friend and extend our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. We will work together with his family and the Philippine Embassy in China to properly handle follow-up matters and provide every convenience possible," Chinese foreign minitry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

Sta. Romana was appointed as Philippine Ambassador to China on Dec. 7, 2016.

"Under his distinguished tenure, Philippine-China relations flourished despite differences; indeed they flowered all the more in maturity and were deeply strengthened," the DFA said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

CHITO STA. ROMANA

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

OBITUARY

PHILIPPINES-CHINA TIES

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