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Philippine envoy to China suffers stroke

Sonia Brady1

By Ellen Tordesillas, VERA Files

Philippine Ambassador to China Sonia Brady suffered a stroke in Beijing this week .

"Amb. Brady suffered a stroke and is hospitalized where her condition is being monitored closely," Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario confirmed Brady's condition in a text message to VERA Files.

An official statement released by DFA Spokesman Raul Hernandez late  Friday evening said:

"Amb. Sonia Brady was brought to the hospital last Wednesday after she passed out in her residence in Beijing. She is undergoing tests and waiting for the results. Her condition is stable but she is under observation. "

"She is better now than when she was brought to the hospital last Wednesday," Hernandez added in a later text advisory.

Brady, who turned 71 on Wednesday, the day she was brought to the hospital, had just recovered from a mild stroke when she was named ambassador to China last May at the height of the standoff between Philippine and China maritime vessels in Panatag shoal.

Aside from China, North Korea and Mongolia are also currently under Brady's jurisdiction.

She is on her second stint at ambassador to China, having served in the same position from 2006 to 2010. She was ambassador to Thailand and Myanmar before she was named envoy to China.

From 1976 to 1978, Brady served as third secretary and vice consul and was later second secretary and consul of the Philippine embassy in China.

Brady was plucked from retirement after President Benigno Aquino III's first choice, family friend Domingo Lee, was bypassed by the Commission on Appointments several times.

Brady breezed through the CA as the members recognized her experience in China and diplomacy and the urgency of the situation.   She waited only a month to be confirmed.

A career diplomat, Brady studied journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. She earned her foreign service degree at the University of the Philippines. She holds a master's degree in international relations from the University of Southern California in 1987.

Brady served as assistant secretary in the Department of Foreign Affair's Office of Policy and Coordination from 1999 to 2002.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

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