Mario Urrutia III, a UST journalism instructor and National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 media relations officer, died at age 30 on March 1.

His brother, Ian, confirmed his death to the Varsitarian.

Urrutia taught journalism courses at the University, including multimedia journalism and newsroom practice and media management.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman in 2013.

In 2020, he earned his master’s degree in media practice from the University of Sydney. He also worked as an instructor and a research assistant in the Australian university in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“You did your part in making sure this family sticks together in the toughest of times. You were more of a big brother to me than I ever was to you despite me being the eldest. And for that, I’ll forever be grateful,” Ian said in a Facebook post for his late brother.

“I’ll never get tired of remembering you, celebrating your achievements, and making you feel loved. You’ve fought really well in life. Now it’s time for you to rest in power and peace. You can hold your head high now, knowing how you’ve made us proud,” he added.

In 2021, Urrutia worked as a media affairs and relations officer in the communications and public affairs department of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) and the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19.

The task force expressed its sympathy with the Urrutia family in a Facebook post on March 3.

“Mario had an outstanding work ethic. He was focused, committed and was always willing to go the extra mile. He was an excellent worker who epitomized the meaning of a real civil servant,” the NTF said.

Bryle Leaño, Urrutia’s colleague from UP, remembered Urrutia as naturally welcoming and articulate: “When I migrated to Australia, he was one of the first few people who welcomed me. He made it easy because he’s naturally welcoming and charismatic aside of course from our common interest in the Filipino struggle.”

Urrutia’s wake was held at Faith Memorial Homes in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan starting March 3. A memorial service for him will also be held on March 6.


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