Political leaders cite LJM’s commitment to press freedom
VICE President Jejomar Binay on Saturday paid tribute to the late Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, citing her commitment to press freedom.
“Letty kept the torch of press freedom alive during the [Marcos] dictatorship. Together with a handful of press freedom fighters, Letty stared censorship and harassment in the face and reported the true state of the nation during martial law,” Binay said in a statement.
“Her commitment to freedom will always be remembered,” he said.
Binay also extended his condolences to Magsanoc’s family.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. also issued a statement saying: “I have known Letty for a long time, even during martial law, through her husband. And after the birth of [the Inquirer] and through the ensuing years up to the end, I have had nothing but admiration for her, her principled stand on various issues. Her death is our loss and our country’s.”
Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Magsanoc “brought honor to Philippine journalism [with] her insistence on the unvarnished truth, her insistence on fairness in [reporting], and her zeal for justice.”
“All these, along with her deep personal integrity, made her what she was: a [Filipino woman] who fought the dictator and grafters and crooks with an unyielding commitment to having a country where no one would be oppressed, and where all would live without fear or want,” Roxas said.
“I join the reading public in mourning her passing. My family and I extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to her family and her colleagues in the Philippine Daily Inquirer,” he said.
Remarkable work ethic
Sen. Loren Legarda also expressed her condolences to the Magsanoc family, saying the Inquirer editor in chief’s passing “leaves a void and tugs at the heart.”
“Letty’s work ethic is remarkable and her nose for news is a gift. She had the gravitas not many people have. Sometimes she is also childlike,” Legarda said in a statement.
She said Magsanoc was known for her commitment to democracy, which was her greatest weapon in leading the Inquirer for 24 years.
Legarda cited some of the recognitions received by Magsanoc as a journalist. She was one of “The Stars of Asia,” awarded by BusinessWeek international magazine in 2000 to 50 Asians for leading change in the world’s largest continent. In 2006, she was named among Asia’s heroes of the last 60 years by Time magazine.
The Rotary Club of Manila named Magsanoc its Marcelo H. del Pilar Journalism Awardee for Print in 2000 and Journalist of the Year in June 2015.
‘Sincere, caring friend’
Legarda said Magsanoc was not just an exemplary editor and esteemed journalist but also “a sincere, caring friend. I sincerely believe that she loved me and cared for me. She had a soft spot for me and I felt it,” she said.
She also thanked Magsanoc for supporting her advocacies of environmental protection, climate change adaptation and heritage preservation, among others.
“Letty appreciated my work on climate change and always tried to have it covered and land on front page because she knew the importance of the issue. She even made me write and this was both an honor and pressure for me,” said Legarda, who wrote for the Inquirer several articles on climate and disaster resilience.
“We were not prepared for Letty’s passing. She leaves a void,” Legarda said. “My deepest condolences to the family of Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc. May her soul rest in peace.”
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