Filipino journalists

Marcos, other PH officials pay tribute to journalism pillar Mike Enriquez

Bea Cupin

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Marcos, other PH officials pay tribute to journalism pillar Mike Enriquez

FAREWELL. File photo of late veteran journalist and GMA News pillar Mike Enriquez.

Mike Enriquez's Facebook page

Politicians, including President Marcos, remember Enriquez for his fairness and dedication to the craft

MANILA, Philippines – Top government officials led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday, August 30, paid tribute to Mike Enriquez, an icon and pillar of Philippine journalism and the broadcast industry.

Enriquez, 71, died on Tuesday, August 29, after a decades-long career in radio and, eventually, television. Enriquez also led radio operations at GMA Network, his home since 1995.

“We are saddened by news of the passing of veteran anchor Mike Enriquez, a pillar in our broadcasting industry. He dedicated his life to delivering unbiased news to the Filipino people. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time,” Marcos said in a statement.

Presidential Communication Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil, a former journalist, remembered Enriquez as a “partner in delivering news that’s truthful and unbiased (tapat at walang-kinikilingan),” a reference to GMA Network’s tagline.

Tunay na ang kanyang kontribusyon sa larangan ng pagbabalita ay hindi matatawaran (Truly, his contributions to the field of journalism are unmatched),” she added.

The broadcaster was a constant in most Filipinos’ lives as long-time anchor of GMA’s flagship newscast 24 Oras, public affairs program Imbestigador, and different radio programs. He started in the broadcast industry “accidentally” in 1969 as a disc jockey before eventually launching a career in broadcasting and journalism.

“The death of Mike Enriquez has left a void in the industry and in his beloved network his colleagues would struggle to fill. His absence will be felt for a long time,” said House Speaker Martin Romualdez in a statement.

Napakalaki ng legasiyang iiwan ni Manong Mike Enriquez, bilang isa sa pinaka pinagkakatiwalaang mga boses sa mundo ng pagbabalita (Manong Mike Enriquez leaves a big legacy, as a trusted voice in the field of journalism),” said Senate President Miguel Zubiri in a statement.

Joy Belmonte, mayor of the city where GMA Network’s headquarters is located, remembered Enriquez for his “unwavering dedication to the truth, and a genuine passion for storytelling.”

“As we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate the legacy he leaves behind. Bilang isang Kapuso at pangunahing miyembro ng liga ng katotohanan (As a Kapuso and a leader in the pursuit of truth), he inspired many individuals to engage with the world around them and strive for a better, more informed community,” she added.

Other lawmakers issued statement to pay tribute to Enriquez.

Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the committee on public information and mass media, said Enriquez’s “credibility and dedication” in delivering the news and helping Filipinos was incomparable.

“Throughout his career in broadcasting and radio, Mike Enriquez served as the voice of truth, reason and courage,” said Senator Majority Leader Joel Villanueva.

Ako Bicol Representative Elizaldy Co said Enriquez “gave all sides their time to say their piece, but he also did not let people ramble on with meaningless words shrewdly intended to silence contrary opinions.”

“His delivery of news and opinions on matters that hurt the people, in his trademark staccato fashion, was like the rapid fire demolition of excuses and alibis of the guilty. He was an old school journalist who was fair in reportage and fearless in his opinions with facts, and not fake news, as his basis and guide,” said Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto.

“For many, his voice was synomous with trustworthy news, and though we would no longer hear his iconic voice over the airwaves, his legacy as a broadcast journalist will live on and forever be immortalized in the annals of Philippine journalism,” said Pinuno Representative Howard Guinto.

Ang Probinsyano Representative Alfred delos Santos and Senior Citizen Representative Ompong Ordanes also expressed their condolences in separate statements. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.