Tributes continue to pour in for journalist Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc who passed away on Christmas Eve.
Magsanoc—editor-in-chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer—passed away on Christmas Eve at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City (Metro Manila). No information has been released yet on the cause of her death.
Her wake will be at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig beginning on Sunday.
In breaking the news to the public through a statement posted on its website, Thursday evening, the Inquirer
said: “The country has lost a bedrock of journalism. And we, the Inquirer family and her family in the profession, feel the incalculable loss of a well-loved leader, a mentor, a friend. We pray for strength in this hour of bereavement.”
President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday expressed his condolences to Magsanoc’s family.
In a statement, Aquino said he was shocked by the news of the passing of the veteran journalist, who “always spoke to me frankly, and yet with deep understanding.”
The President called Magsanoc “a source of strength” for “all Filipinos of goodwill.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with her family and all her colleagues in the Philippine Daily Inquirer at this time of profound sadness and loss. She was, to me, and all Filipinos of goodwill who love freedom, democracy, and good governance, a source of strength,” Aquino said.
“One always knew that with her, the truth was the benchmark of a journalist’s efforts; and that in all that she did, there was no higher cause than the country’s welfare and that of our people,” he added.
“To her loved ones and colleagues, you are not alone: We are all called to living up to her courageous example, one that will continue to inspire all of us to fight for freedom by ensuring we have a discerning and informed public,” the President said.
“May she rest in peace and her example lend us strength in continuing to ensure we have a nation that is always free to speak its mind,” he added.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, in a statement, said Magsanoc “will always be remembered as one of the brave few who, despite the tremendous difficulties, not to mention dangers, dared to insist on the independence of the press when the dictator Ferdinand Marcos decreed that its sole role was to sing paeans to his draconian New Society.”
“Letty has stood firm in the constant struggle for a free and independent press to her last breath.
“It is thanks to the example set by Letty and others who refused to allow press freedom to be swallowed by the darkness of totalitarian rule, among them Joe Burgos, NUJP founder Tony Nieva, Alfredo Navarro Salanga, that the tradition of independent Philippine journalism continues to thrive to this day despite the continued efforts, helped in no small part by official apathy and inaction, to silence us,” the NUJP said.