Philippines-Austria relations

Luli Arroyo is Marcos’ pick for Philippine ambassador to Austria

Bea Cupin
Luli Arroyo is Marcos’ pick for Philippine ambassador to Austria

FUND-RAISING. CSFI president Luli Arroyo Bernas holds up a capiz angel that will be used for the fund-raising project for House staff. Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

File photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

President Marcos picks other new ambassadors as well: a career diplomat as envoy to Australia, and a former military general as envoy to India

MANILA, Philippines – Luli Arroyo, the only daughter of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has been nominated Philippine ambassador to Austria by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Arroyo, whose full name is Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, was appointed on October 19, with her papers reaching the Commission on Appointments the day after.

She will also be the Philippines’ envoy to Slovakia, Croatia, and Slovenia.

Arroyo was previously the chairperson of the National Museum board of trustees. She was appointed by Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.

The new ambassador to Austria has a masters degree in international relations from Georgetown University and, nearly two decades ago, passed the notoriously difficult exam to be a foreign service officer (FSO).

In 2001, the year the younger Arroyo took the test to be a career diplomat, there were over 3,000 examinees. Arroyo was one of three who passed the test.

Her career, however, was put on hold because her mother had assumed the presidency in early 2001 following an uprising that led to the resignation of impeached former president Joseph Estrada.

According to a Philippine Star report from 2001, then-president Arroyo deferred signing her daughter’s appointment papers as FSO IV over concerns she’d be accused of nepotism.

In 2007, Luli Arroyo was hired as a policy officer of the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Her mother is a close ally of Marcos and is part of the “UniTeam” coalition during the May 2022 elections. The former president endorsed Lakas-CMD party-mate Sara Duterte for vice president and Marcos for president. The older Arroyo, now a member of Congress, also helped broker endorsements and alliances for the 2022 tandem.

New ambassadors: Former AFP chief, DFA career diplomat

Marcos also nominated two new ambassadors: one for Canada and another for India.

Maria Andrelita Austria, previously the consul general to Vancouver, is the new Philippine ambassador to Canada. Like Arroyo, she was nominated on October 19 and her papers were sent to the Commission on Appointments a day after.

Austria has decades of experience in diplomacy. She was previously assistant secretary for American affairs at the Department of Foreign Affairs, and also worked at the Philippine embassy in Washington DC and the Philippine consulate general in San Francisco.

Andres Centino, former chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, was also nominated as the country’s ambassador to India. He will also be the envoy to Nepal. He was appointed on October 21.

Centino is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1988. He was appointed chief of the AFP by former president Duterte in late 2021. He served two presidents, staying on as AFP chief until August 2022. –

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  1. ET

    Seems like Patronage Politics is working here.


Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.