Malacanang expressed its condolences to the family of June Keithley-Castro who passed away on Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer.
“June Keithley-Castro’s battle with cancer–which she had waged since 2009–is at an end. To her last breath she exemplified courage and faith,” Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
Keithley, wife of the late veteran news anchor Angelo Castro Jr., was the host of Radio Bandido at the height of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
Lacierda said Keithley courage “enabled her to confront her illness, but also that of her husband, Angelo Castro Jr., whose death we all mourned in 2012, with dignity and the kind of serenity that can only come from an uncompromising faith in the goodness of God and trust in His plan for all things.”
“As we pause to pay her tribute, we believe we speak for the nation in extending our deepest sympathy to her children,” he said.
Keithley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Castro himself died of cancer on April 5, 2012.
The Palace official also recalled Keithley’s journey of faith in 1985, when her son asked her to accompany him to the Quirino Grandstand for the consecration of the nation to the Virgin Mary.
“From there, her reawakening to her faith accompanied the period of national redemption and liberation that brought forth the Miracle of EDSA: that peaceful revolution which was marked by her voice on Radio Bandido. There, in the isolation of a radio studio, together with two brave children, she spoke truth to power for 14 hours, heedless of the danger of contesting the media apparatus of the dictatorship,” he said
“From the moment she played the “Mambo Magsaysay” on air in February, 1986, to the moment when, a quarter of a century later, she was honored at the EDSA Commemoration this year, June Keithley’s courage and faith sustained her as a voice that would not be silenced, because hers was a voice joyously secure in her faith: the very characteristics that will always make her more than just an unforgettable figure in our democratic history–they make her a human being who speaks to all of us for all time on the eternal truths that sustain men and nations,” Lacierda said.
Keithley’s remains will be brought to St. Ignatius of Loyola Cathedral in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, today.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE