MALAYA Business Insight publisher Amado “Jake” Macasaet passed away Sunday, January 7 at the age of 81.
His wife Karen said in her Facebook post Macasaet died peacefully surrounded by family at 8:35 a.m.
The Macasaet family will announce the schedule of his wake at the Heritage Park, Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
Macasaet was a business editor of Malaya before he became the paper’s owner in 1986, after the Edsa People Power revolution that ousted former president Ferdinand Marcos.
He also owned two tabloids – Abante and Abante Tonite.
Macasaet’s career as a journalist spanned more than five decades.
He was a business reporter from 1963 to 1964 for the Philippine Herald; managing editor for Economic Monitor, 1965-1966; business reporter and agriculture editor for The Manila Times from 1967 to 1970; assistant business editor from 1970 to 1972; senior business writer for Bulletin Today from 1973 to 1974; business editor for the Times Journal from 1974 to 1981; business editor and assistant publisher for Malaya from 1981 to 1986. He was the publisher and chairman of the editorial board of Malaya since 1986 and chairman and president of the Philippine Press Institute since 1999.
Macasaet was known as a staunch critic of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. He was arrested, along with seven colleagues from Malaya, in connection with a libel complaint filed by former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo over a report alleging that the president was involved in an attempted vote-rigging during the 2004 election. Arroyo later withdrew the complaint.
In 2001, Macasaet declared his “personal, very, very close friendship” with ousted president Joseph Estrada. Macasaet said his friendship with Estrada dated back to 1992, insisting that his friendship with the former president did not influence his newspaper.
“I would not mind citing myself and my paper as examples of the opposition press. Malaya has not said one word about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Joseph Estrada for the simple reason that the case is in court. But we maintain that Mr. Estrada has not been heard and, therefore, nobody has any business pronouncing his guilt until a judgment has been made. If that is [being]biased, then I am patently biased,” he said.
JEFF ANTIPORDA AND EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ