Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Burial and Wake of Cerge Remonde

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited the wake of the late Press Secretary Cerge Remonde at 4:32 a.m. Wednesday at the chapel of Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City.

The President, who stayed for more than 30 minutes, condoled with Remonde's wife, Marit.

She recalled the numerous happy moments she had with the late head of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), especially his birthday party in Hong Kong last December which the Chief Executive attended.

President Arroyo said Remonde's death is a great loss to her Cabinet.

For their part, Senators Loren Legarda and Manuel Villar recognized Remonde's dedication and honesty in the performance of his job.

Legarda said she was saddened by the loss of a good person and friend.

She described Remonde as a true and hardworking public servant.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said the demise of Remonde is a big loss for the Cebuanos, especially to the local media.

Vidal cited Remonde's huge contributions to Cebu, foremost of which are government projects.

Militant groups Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis and Kabataan Party-List also condoled with the Remonde family.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo said they have no grudge against Remonde as a Malacanang official because he was just doing his job.

House Deputy Minority Leader Roilo Golez said Remonde is a great loss to President Arroyo as he noted that the late Press secretary had given his unconditional loyalty to the Chief Executive.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said President Arroyo has designated Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Conrado A. Limcaoco Jr. as acting Press Secretary while she is looking for Remonde's replacement.

Ermita said he believed Secretary Limcaoco can effectively do his job as "he is not new to the media."

Remonde's remains are scheduled to be brought to Malacanang Thursday, and would be flown to Cebu City on Friday. Burial was set on January 24 in his hometown of Argao. 

Negros Oriental Media Mourns for Cerge Remonde

Members of the local media in Negros Oriental mourn the untimely death of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde.

The late Secretary Remonde was declared dead 11:51 a.m. Tuesday at the Makati Medical Center after he succumbed to heart attack. He was 51.

The publisher of Metropost and local NBN chief Alex Pal said "Cerge" as he was fondly known to many was a very good and vital asset in the Arroyo administration. He was a friend to all journalists and he did a very good job as press secretary and in his previous other assignments.

Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP)-Negros Oriental chapter president Roy Bustillo said Remonde's death is a big loss to the industry as he is called the Big Bro of the KBP and the media.

"A very approachable and humble secretary. He is the best press secretary so far in the country. Journalists in the Philippines would surely miss him," he said.

"A big loss not just to government but to the media as well. He was somebody we in the media and Visayans should be proud of," said Dumaguete Bureau Chief of the Philippines News Agency, Mary Judaline Flores-Partlow.

Remonde traced his roots to Argao in nearby Cebu province.

A press statement released by the Dumaguete Press Club Inc. through the chairman emiritus and owner/publisher of Negros Chronicle and DYEM-FM Ely Dejaresco said the passing of Press Sec. Remonde, a true blue Cebuano, has never come so untimely as when he left at a time when he was most needed not only by the President but by the nation. He died with his boots on, during the thick of the election season.

Remonde was just seen in full attendance to Sunday's Sinulog de Cebu. Most mediamen in Cebu were surprised to see Remonde in almost all Sinulog activities in Cebu and even met with Cebuano media and gave them black t-shirts as souvenir from the Office of the Press Secretary, the statement said.

Known as the golden boy of Malacañang, Press Sec. Remonde was the trusted media propagator of Malacañang who precisely would know how and when to answer issues, which are raised for or against the administration.

He was the dream of any president as press secretary because Remonde was himself a practicing journalist and broadcaster who was easily able to blend into the media psyche.

His last great stand for the administration was when he stepped out of the gates of Malacañang to meet journalists who were protesting the Maguindanao massacre. Remonde was there both to defend the administration and empathized with the cause of media, the Dumaguete Press Club statement said.

He was long time president and chairman of the national KBP and that was how he was able to gain foothold and goodwill from the print and broadcast industry.

Admittedly, media is the hardest industry to organize. But for almost one decade as KBP chairman, Remonde was able to stand tall in upholding the tenets of a true broadcaster and journalist, the statement further said.

Remonde has virtually become an instant icon in the government and private media, both in upholding as well as maintaining a balanced press secretariat and even before as a private broadcaster and labor-oriented radio commentator who has given the journalism profession a mighty booster in gaining a high sense of moral duty and dedication to the service of the people, the statement added. (PNA) 

Pampanga Media Mourns for Cerge Remonde

Capampangan media practitioners on Wednesday expressed sadness over the sudden demise of Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, even as they inducted their incoming new set of officers.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, dressed in black, inducted the eight officers and seven directors of the Capampangan in Media Inc. (CAMI) at the Holiday Inn Hotel here this morning.

"We extend our condolences to the family of Cerge. We also condole with the President for the loss of one of her most devoted assistants," said Crispulo "Jun" Icban Jr., chief editor of the Manila Bulletin and chairman of CAMI.

"We will surely miss Cerge for his professionalism, industry and humility. We will miss him as friend and brother in the profession," said Philippine Star columnist and CAMI president Federico "Dick" Pascual Jr.

Aside from Icban and Pascual, the other inductees were DZXQ anchorman Ernesto "Ernie" Tolentino (CAMI vice president for Metro Manila); Manila Bulletin correspondent and Sunstar Pampanga columnist Fred Roxas (CAMI vice president for the provinces); Philippine Graphic senior writer Jose "Joe" Cortez (Secretary); Business Mirror chief news editor Dionisio "Nonnie" Pelayo (Treasurer); and LUB Banner chief editor Ashley Jay Manabat (Auditor).

Inducted as CAMI directors were Pilipino Star Ngayon editor-in-chief Al Pedroche; Philippine Broadcasting Service Radyo ng Bayan director John Manalili; Philippines News Agency (PNA) General Manager and News and Information Bureau Director III Vittorio "Vot" Vitug; Tony Lozano, in-charge of the Senate media; Virgilio "Vet" Vitug of North Luzon Railways Corp.; former PNA managing editor Jake Espino; and NOW columnist Willie Capulong.

Formed in 2005, Pascual said CAMI acts whenever press freedom is threatened, helps raise the competence and professionalism in the industry, and looks after the welfare of mediamen from Pampanga.

The President was accompanied by Acting Press Secretary Conrado "Dodie" Limcaoco Jr. and Press Undersecretary Romeo "Butch" Junia. (PNA)