Tributes pour in at Isagani Yambot’s wake


PRESIDENTIAL PRAYER President Aquino prays before the coffin of Inquirer publisher Isagani M. Yambot Sr. at Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday paid his respects to the late Philippine Daily Inquirer publisher Isagani M. Yambot Sr. as members of the local media world led by Inquirer president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, paid tribute to the departed veteran journalist at Arlington Memorial Chapels in Quezon City.

Mr. Aquino stood alone beside the brown casket, apparently in prayer, before taking a seat beside Yambot’s wife Mildred to convey his condolence to the family. He and Mrs. Yambot talked for several minutes.

The President was accompanied by his security aides and Rey Marfil, assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office. Mr. Aquino stayed at the wake, held at Felicidad Chapel on the ground floor of Arlington, for about 20 minutes.

Besides Romualdez, among those at the wake were Inquirer chairperson Marixi Prieto and editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

‘We love you’

Magsanoc thanked Mr. Aquino for taking time to condole with Yambot’s family, noting that it was a Sunday, normally the President’s day-off from work. He said he had not been having a day-off lately.

Speaking to Yambot’s family and friends, Romualdez vowed that the Inquirer would complete the second Inquirer stylebook that Yambot was working on before he passed away on Friday.

“We love you and we miss you already,” Romualdez said of Yambot.

Before the President arrived at past 5 p.m., a group from the University of the Philippines sang the Filipino version of the song “The Prayer.”

Yambot, also a trustee of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), a nationwide organization mostly of newspaper journalists, underwent angioplasty last year and his condition improved.

Angioplasty is a procedure to widen blood vessels around the heart which have become blocked with cholesterol-laden plaque deposits.

Yambot, however, started becoming ill two weeks ago and had a quadruple heart bypass on February 21. He died 10 days after the operation.

Godspeed, Gani

Yambot’s other colleagues in the media world mourned his death.

“Gani, we will miss you. Miss the wry rumor. Miss those poems. Miss how you never shirked from showing emotions when colleagues fell in the line of duty,” said Inday Espina-Varona, head of ABS-CBN’s Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo.

“Most of all, I will miss the intellectual honesty that forced all of us to confront ourselves, our profession’s weakness, even as we sought ways to serve the nation better,” she added.

Varona also said that in one media gathering, “Gani emphatically stressed that it was high time employers of journalists were brought into the discourse because no profession could treat its workers so badly and expect high ethical and professional standards. Godspeed, Gani.”

Press freedom fighter Nonoy Espina, editor, described Yambot as “truly one of the pillars in the unfinished struggle for press freedom in the Philippines. We will carry on.”

Touching lives

Hollywood columnist Janet Nepales wrote: “So sad with the passing away of a good friend and mentor, Gani Yambot, editor-journalist and PDI publisher … While I was a journalism student at UST, Gani would always graciously come to my invitations for him to speak to the journalism students … he was then editor of The Times Journal where I would eventually work later … he has touched our lives and made a difference to the world! Rest.”

Gerry Plaza of Yahoo! Philippines said: “He was the gentlest, kindest person you’ll ever meet who’d never fail to brighten up your otherwise gloomy, troubled day with his wisdom and, yes, his always assuring smile. Goodbye sir Gani. We’ll miss you,”

“Mild-mannered, always pleasant, friendly and professional,” was how Mario Hernando, weekend editor at Malaya, described Yambot.

“He was the antithesis to the old-style terror desk editors who made every reporter’s life hell, those cranky old fogeys who believed that getting the news and putting the paper to bed could only be effective under a martinet or an army drill sergeant. Gani proved that the newsroom need not be run by a yelling, cursing roughneck,” Hernando wrote.

Prayers for Gani

More messages from other journalists and media groups were posted on social networking sites:

“Condolences to the family and colleagues of Mr. Isagani Yambot … He is a big loss to the industry.”—

“Glad to have met you, Mr. Yambot.”—Sandra Aguinaldo

“Condolence to the family of Isagani Yambot … He will be missed.”—Carlos H. Conde

“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.”—Guyito Kalabaw

Not all the tributes came from Yambot’s media colleagues.

Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin “FM” Romualdez said: “Isagani Yambot was a pillar of Philippine journalism. As publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, he did a well-balanced act. As a mediaman, he shunned the power and influence of the pen. He humbly dedicated himself to delivering factual yet unbiased news to the readers.” With a report from

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Lily Ogori

    The passing of a great guy!

  • William Bumanlag

    Few days before Isagani Yambot died, why did he wept when he learned that Kokoy Romualdez passed away?
    Isn’t his newspaper persecuted his former boss?

  • Simoun Alajero

    ….the passing of Mr. Isagani Yambot…coincides with the death of free discussion in this online forum…After deciding to delist ….DISQUS… as the ID provider for article comments….the list of participants drop precipitously…a big blow to the new found freedom of speech…in this country…
    …a long drift away from it’s traditional role….as the fearless forum….
    …this newspaper…is slowly drifting to the darkside…as the sole mouthpiece and propaganda tool of the current palace tenant…
    …so long to our friends…who will find this change cynical …. and understandably…will rather keep their silence…instead of suffer under Mr. Aquino’s strong handed vindictiveness…
    …we will miss your…VOICES…

  • themayflower

    To his Excellency President Pnoy Aquino,
    If I were you, I will take full advantage of the Chief Justice’s current, very unpopular spot light. I don’t think you will ever get another chance like this one before the start of the defense rebuttal. So, go for the kill your Excellency.
    What I am talking about is Hacienda Luisita. If indeed you don’t want to have anything to do with it, it is an opportune time to settle the matter in your own hand by asking your clan to give the property up. For many generations, you family considerably gained, profited from it. It is time for the deserving farmers of Tarlac to take over its ownership and get the same opportunity and benefits like what your clan had for many decades. Let the farmers decide for themselves what is best for their family.  Prove CJ wrong when he said what he said about Hacienda Luisita. And little did I know now, HL, was not even the Cojuanco’s in the first place. So, do the people of Tarlac and the entire country a justice by asking the Cojuancos, your own clan abandon it once and for all.
    This is an opportunity for you to accomplish the same level of greatness Senator Benigno Aquino, President Corry Aquino did in the service of our country. We know your family, I mean your immediate family, Ninoy and Corry, sacrificed and gave up so much for the country already and it really does sound more than too much to ask of you do the same. But fortunately for the country, now while you at the helm, finally is at the threshold of being able to rid itself what is endemically wrong with it…..corruption.
    Remember, you are accountable to me and the entire country, I expect nothing less from you when I proudly chose you as my president inside the sanctity of that election booth. I could not help myself become teary eyed that election day and I am re-experiencing the same emotion as I write this one today. It might take long and hard before the deliver of your campaign promises but I can’t wait to see really the end of your term, see the results, so I can make my own judgment of your true character. PLEASE, DO NOT FAIL US.

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