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Statement of Senator Loren Legarda On the Passing of Ms. Bernarditas Muller

December 18, 2018

The Philippines loses a staunch climate ally with the passing of Bernarditas De Castro Muller.

Ditas rigorously served in the Philippine Foreign Service and in environment and climate negotiations, having been involved in the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in 1991 that established the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and elected as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) in 2017.

She led negotiations for the G77 and China negotiating bloc, where the Philippines is affiliated, championing ever so passionately the interests of the poorest countries in climate talks especially in the provision of climate finance, paving the way for the eventual creation of the green climate fund.

Her fierce negotiating style had earned her the name “dragon woman”—a character feared by industrialized countries but adored by poor countries. She would however always insist that she was not working for the developing countries, rather “for their children’s children and what we will leave the world.”

I will remember Ditas in our common advocacies in the environment and climate change, as well as in our shared aspirations for a just and fair world.

My deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Ditas.