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Senate honors Tabuñar, veteran journalist

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By Vanne Terrazola

The Senate recently honored veteran journalist Gabino “Gaby” Tabuñar for his “exemplary and outstanding contribution to journalism and press freedom.”

Senators last Wednesday adopted Senate Resoution No. 317 to honor and remember Tabuñar, one of the founders of Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP). He died on February 4 at age 94.

Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Founder Gabino "Gabby" Tabunar Jr. (FOCAP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Founder Gabino “Gabby” Tabunar Jr. (FOCAP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The resolution stated that Tabuñar “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 transitions in the succeeding decades.”

It also recognizes Tabuñar’s commitment to “responsible and fearless reporting” during his stint as a journalist.

Senator Richard Gordon, author of the resolution, had also paid tribute to Tabuñar.

“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 said in his speech.

“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’s all about character. Character is the main driver of a man whether for good or for bad,” Gordon said, quoting Tabuñar.

Tabuñar co-founded the FOCAP along with late journalist Teddy Benigno in 1974 to fight for press freedom and civil liberties during the Martial Law. He was a longtime correspondent for Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) News in the US.

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

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