Malaya publisher Jake Macasaet, 81

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Amado “Jake” Macasaet, longtime newspaper publisher and a Varsitarian alumnus, passed away last Jan. 7. He was 81.

Macasaet, a veteran business editor, became publisher and owner of Ang Pahayagang Malaya (later Malaya Business Insight) in 1986.

He founded the newspaper with fellow Thomasian journalist Jose Burgos Jr., and served as its business editor during the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Macasaet took up journalism in the University. He had a row with Fr. Jose Cuesta, O.P., the Varsitarian’s moderator at the time, over a story claiming that UST’s Department of Military Science and Tactics had been selling brass name plates at a 15-centavo profit over those sold for 35 centavos on Morayta Street.

He served as cadets editor of the Varsitarian in 1963, running the campus publication with veteran writers Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Nestor Cuasay, and former senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad.

Allen Macasaet, Jake’s son, remembered his father as an honorable journalist, saying his career was propelled by truth and its importance in a democratic society.

“He told me that journalism is about freedom. Once we lose that freedom, the people will lose their voice, and when the people lose their voice, we will lose democracy,” Allen told the Varsitarian at the sidelines of a media tribute for the late journalist on Wednesday at the Heritage Park at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig.

Macasaet became president of the Philippine Press Institute in 1999, elected by acclamation.

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