MANILA, Philippines – Isagani Yambot, the late publisher of the country’s most circulated newspaper, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, received tributes from the Palace as well as netizens moments after his death.
In a statement, Malacañang described Yambot as a “calm, cheerful presence not only in the newsroom and boardroom of his paper, but in every gathering of note among journalists and between media, civil society, and government.”
“His was a voice of passion yet reason; the loss of his presence will be felt deeply by a nation that knows all a newsman can ask for, in the end, is this simple epitaph: he wrote it, as he saw it, with honest words and with his only master, the truth,” said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte.
The 77-year-old Yambot succumbed to a heart attack on Friday, March 2, after he underwent a bypass surgery last week.
Yambot, a veteran journalist, served the Inquirer as publisher from 1994 until his death. Before this, he was executive editor of Malaya.
Netizens also paid tribute to Yambot, making him the 7th most discussed or trending topic on Twitter as of posting time.
In a tweet, Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said Yambot “was first and foremost a journalist’s journalist, never jaded, always a perfectionist and a gentleman.”
Former United States Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney, who is now US envoy to Thailand, also sent her condolences via Twitter. “He was a true gentleman,” Kenney also said.
Yambot’s home organization, the Inquirer, said he “will surely be missed but his spirit lives on in the work we do to ensure editorial policies are closely followed.”
“We are very grateful for all of his contributions and we applaud his passion and commitment to his work. We request that you join us in prayer for the eternal repose of his soul,” the Inquirer said.
In an interview with Rappler last year, Yambot spoke about the grand tradition of journalism.
“It’s like a priesthood. When you enter journalism, you take a vow – of poverty,” Yambot said. – Rappler.com