Statement of the President Re: Rizal Yuyitung
Manila (26 April) -- On behalf of my family — my husband, Mike, and my children, Mikey and his wife Angela, Luli and Dato and his wife Kakai, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Rizal Yuyitung—his beloved wife Veronica, who co-founded with me and other friends the Association for Philippines-China Understanding, his children and their spouses, his grandchildren, his sisters and his other relatives and friends.
Rizal Yuyitung is one of those rare individuals whose personal and professional integrity had thrust him into the centerstage of politics. Like the hero he was named after, Rizal used pen rather than sword to fight for truth to prevail; and, like the hero, he was persecuted for upholding the ideals of his profession.
As a journalist during the dark days leading to Martial Law and as an editor in the newspaper his father founded—the Chinese Commercial News or CCN, Rizal published what others dared not publish, thus transforming CCN, the country's oldest Chinese language newspaper, from a business paper to one that awakened and expanded political thought. He and his paper obtained the ire of a dictator who was afraid of the truth.
However, Rizal would be proud to know the paper that was once shut down is thriving and has a new purpose now. Today, CCN contributes to the metamorphosis of the local Chinese community into an integral part of our multi-ethnic society, reflecting a new truth—the need for unity.
Rizal serves as an excellent example to a new generation of journalists, as well as advocates of democracy. Instead of sowing division, let us nurture the seeds of unity that they may bear fruit and put an end to poverty, the source of many of our social ills.
I assume many of us here who have been fortunate to have met him or his family have a lot of fond memories of Rizal as husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle or friend but to the nation he left behind with his death, he would be remembered as a very principled man who gave voice to the truth even under threat of death. Filipinos throughout the ages would remember that, through responsible journalism, he helped maintain democracy.
Today, we thank Rizal and we honor him for showing through his life and his works that truth prevails when there are people who are willing to awake the nation. Thank you Rizal for keeping us informed, for keeping us awake. (OPS) [top]