‘A shining example of the best, boldest journalism’
Tributes continued to pour on social media for Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, whose ashes were brought on Sunday afternoon to the Aeternum chapel at Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.
Magsanoc died of cardiac arrest on Dec. 24. She was 74.
“A dear friend and hero of global journalism has left us on Christmas Eve. Letty Magsanoc of the Philippines was, and is, a shining example (of) the best and boldest journalism can be—anywhere,” David Briscoe Jr., Manila bureau chief of the Associated Press in the 1980s, posted on the Facebook account of Magsanoc’s daughter, Kara Magsanoc Alikpala.
Former Philippine Daily Inquirer editor Federico Pascual said on Twitter: “EDSA icons (and) heroes are going away, gone..There is a need for a post EDSA Filipino Emergent to lead the country.”
Sheila Coronel, dean of the Academic Affairs and Director of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia School of Journalism, posted on Facebook: “My thoughts are with you and your family, Kara. Like many others, I have fond memories of your mom and will always remember how brave she was. She was a shining light.”
“Letty was a legend in her own time and bravely wrote AND printed many of the things we dared not express. The Inquirer will never be the same without her. Rest in peace, Madam Editor,” former political detainee Doris Nuval posted on Facebook.
“Thank you for your wisdom, LJM. I’ve remembered your words all these years, and it has carried me through very difficult times. Now as we grapple with finding meaning to your sudden loss, we will remember these words you left us with. May the tree in the middle of your garden help remind all those whom you have left behind that you are now everywhere—in our hearts, in the air, in the skies, and in every leaf that falls. We will miss you very much,” Inquirer Lifestyle columnist Cathy Babao said on Facebook.
“Thank you #LMJ for kissing us all with patriotic love through your passionate leadership of @Team_Inquirer. We, the readers, will miss you!,” said netizen @reivaxadlos.
Philippine Red Cross chair Richard Gordon hailed Magsanoc a “game changer” who “dared against authority, defied all kinds of pressure and asserted and created a leader brand in the journalistic profession and business.”
Senatorial candidate and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares described Magsanoc “one of the beacons of light during the dark martial law years.”
“The last time I felt like this was when my mother died,” Inquirer Learning editor Chelo Banal-Formoso said. “With my mom, I was somewhat ready and still it hurt like hell. But you, you left so abruptly. ‘Am so sorry that your holiday package from me will be late this year… Hoping to be up and about before Christmas day. Love you, guys,’ you texted. I texted back, ‘Pagaling ka, (Get well) Let. That’s what’s important.’ But God had other plans, and now I can’t stop the tears.”
“We lost a true journalist. Rest in peace, Letty, who have met your final deadline!” said Lydia D. Castillo on Facebook.
Former Inquirer deskman Carlos Hidalgo also recalled on Facebook his years with the newspaper which Magsanoc edited. “I am right now overwhelmed with flashes of memories… LJM writing me a letter about the death of her father to condole with me after learning that my own father just passed away; Jun E, handing me a letter of commendation from LJM for our coverage of the Flor Contemplacion case, and I, out of embarrassment, said, “Pwede bang perahin na lang ‘to,” (cash would be better) not knowing that LJM was at earshot, and she said, “It’s more than the money you could ever get,” which was, of course, true, except that I failed to tell her that her gesture was overwhelming and I always say the wrong things when I’m embarrassed… This could go on and on, but I’d rather stop. But let me just say that those were heady years. I was probably working 12 hours a day, and there were times when I slept in the office, but I always felt so alive. It was as if we were all a part of something bigger than ourselves, and we had to do our darnest to be worthy of that company. Thank you.”
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