Press Release
February 12, 2020


The Philippine Senate adopted Senate Resolution No. 317 "Honoring and Remembering Gabino "Gaby" De Guzman Tabuñar, Jr. for His Exemplary and Outstanding Contribution to Journalism and Press Freedom" sponsored by Senator Richard J. Gordon.

The resolution states that Tabuñar, who passed away on January 4 due to pneumonia, "was a proponent of honest and accurate journalism exemplifying the highest ideals of courageous, compassionate and committed journalism in his coverage of the news through the ever-changing landscape of the Philippine history from the post-World War II era to the various political transition in the succeeding decades."

It also recognizes Tabuñar's commitment to "responsible and fearless reporting" during his stint as a journalist. Among the major events that he covered were the Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption in 1991, the Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, and the U.S. military bases turnover in Subic Bay.

An official copy of the resolution was personally received by Tabuñar's family at the Senate.

In his sponsorship speech, Gordon said that Tabuñar is one of the country's most respected journalists in the country, who rose from the ranks and became one of the pillars of journalism.

"I had the privilege of knowing Gaby throughout my career; very fatherly, very courageous, full of integrity, and certainly the embodiment of what a media man should be. He was a true friend to many and a mentor to countless journalists," he said.

Gordon added that Tabuñar's experience as intelligence officer during the guerilla movement against the Japanese gave him "strong passion for courageous exercise for freedom that is responsible."

"Here is what he said that remained in my heart and in my mind: Character is the basis of all virtues; you talk about kindness and generosity it all to character. Character is the main driver of a man whether for good or for bad," Gordon said citing a quote from Tabuñar.

Tabuñar is one of the co-founders and served as Chairman Emeritus of the Foreign Correspondence Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), established in 1974 to fight for freedom of the press and civil liberties during the Martial Law era, where he remained active as he guided young journalists even if he was already retired.

He was a longtime correspondent for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) News in America from 1986 until 2008. Prior to that, he worked for the Philippine Liberty News after World War II, served at the War Information Office of the US government in Manila in 1945-1946, and worked as Media Director for Winthrop Sterling Company, as well.

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