Press Release
February 12, 2020

Senators honor veteran journo

Senators on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, honored veteran journalist Gabino "Gaby" Tabuñar for his "exemplary and outstanding contribution to journalism and press freedom."

Sen. Richard Gordon, author of Senate Resolution No. 317 honoring "a father, a true friend to many, and mentor to countless journalists," said Tabuñar exemplified the highest ideals of courageous, compassionate and committed journalism.

"He 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," Gordon said.

Tabuñar died on February 4, 2020 at the Makati Medical Center after a bout of pneumonia. He was 94.

Tabuñar worked at Philippine Liberty News after World War II, at the War Information Office of the US government in Manila in 1945-46, and as a media director for Winthrop Sterling Company, an American pharmaceutical company.

He co-founded Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) in 1974 "to fight for freedom of the press and civil liberties" during the martial law era of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

He was a former Manila correspondent of the US broadcast network CBS News from 1986 until he retired in 2008.

Even in his retirement, he was still active in FOCAP activities as he guided young journalists to run the association's activities.

Gordon said Tabuñar showed his commitment to responsible and fearless reporting in his coverage of news, including the 1991 cataclysmic Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption and the closure of U.S. military bases in Subic Bay, among others.

"His dedication to providing legitimate platform and source of real and accurate news was instrumental in the rapid transformation of Subic in the early 1990's, as well as in addressing the political challenges faced by the tourism industry through his coverage of SARS, terrorism and Abu Sayaff kidnappings from 2001 to 2004," the resolution stated.

A copy of the resolution, which was adopted by 20 senators present in the plenary session, was presented to Tabuñar's relatives during the session.

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