Defense Attaché Col. Orlando M. Suarez, 50
“It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Colonel Orlando M. Suarez,” says a statement from the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.
“Col. Dado,” as he was fondly called, served as the Assistant Defense and Armed Forces Attaché at the Philippine Embassy since April 30, 2014. He is survived by his wife Gemma, and children Mark Andrew, Samantha Nicole, Paolo Benjamin, and Maurine Ysabel.
A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy’s Maringal Class of 1988, Suarez was commissioned to the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 1988. He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Management from the Development Academy of the Philippines in 2010.
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Col. Suarez,” said retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, chairman of the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) in a statement. “His wife, Gemma Francisca I. Calalo-Suarez, and their four children are in our thoughts and prayers. We wish to convey to the family our deepest sympathies.”
During his brief stint in Washington, D.C., Suarez was very supportive of FilVetREP’s efforts to secure the Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino World War II veterans, Taguba said further.
The Philippine Consulate General in New York likewise extends its “deepest condolences” to the family of Suarez, who was a military adviser to the Philippine Mission to the UN. “His service to country will always be remembered.”
“Dado was more than a friend. He was like a brother to me,” writes Chargé d’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad Elmer Cato on Facebook. “Please join me in praying for the eternal repose of his soul.” Suarez and Cato had a shared timeline at the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.
Details of the memorial service will be announced by the Embassy. Suarez’s remains will be flown to the Philippines for burial.