Broadcast journalist Jun 'Bote' Bautista signs off
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 1:17 PM) Veteran journalist Jun "Bote" Bautista, one of a few mainstream journalists who covered sensitive political events during Martial Law, died Tuesday morning of complications arising from COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 75.
One of the most common lung diseases, COPD is the same tobacco-caused illness which killed renowned comedian Dolphy.
By the time of his retirement from TV several years ago, Bautista--his real name was Augurio Bautista Camu Jr.--- was the most senior journalist covering the Senate, one of the most respected in breaking down Philippine politics in general. He has been writing a column for Abante and Abante Tonight.
"Bote" was like many journalists who lost their jobs when martial law was proclaimed, but soon landed a job at GMA Network Inc. where he distinguished himself as one of the finest, most seasoned broadcast journalists - covering even cases deemed "hot" to handle in that era.
His coverage of a labor case in a company owned by Marcos brother-in-law Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez earned him the regime's ire, forcing his employers to penalize him with a year-long suspension from any "on-camera" reporting.
During the 1986 snap elections, he chose, despite great risks, to stay behind and report the abduction of fellow journalist Benjie Guevarra of Malaya, the national newspaper published by world press freedom icon Joe Burgos Jr., and trailblazer in the mosquito press critical of the Marcos dictatorship.
Guevarra had accompanied several volunteers of Unido - the anti-Marcos opposition alliance - who were hauled off in a minibus by goons of a well-known warlord. Bautista's prompt alert gave Malaya editors time to look for Guevarra and the Unido volunteers.
One of Bautista's most treasured scoops as a broadcast journalist was covering, together with editors of the defunct TODAY, the clandestine trip to Manila in 1995 of several officers of the Burmese National League for Democracy (NLD), who were sent by detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi to lobby the ASEAN to block the entry of the junta-led Burma.