DISCLOSURE: The editors of DNX have worked with some of the members of media who have died in this report.
The writer was a colleague of Delos Santos at dyAF Radio Veritas and was a friend of the three others even though he and Ubas used to work for competing local radio stations.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – For two straight days, the local press here woke up to bad news: its members dying due to COVID and other causes.
Yesterday, 15 September 2021, news broke early in the morning about sports writer Jerome Segovia Galunan dying in his home and, hours later, broadcaster Rushmore Ubas dying to COVID inside a public hospital.
Yesterday, as colleagues of the two began postimg messages, friends of longtime radio stringer Maui Delos Santos also said that he died a week before inside a town hospital south of here while being treated for COVID.
Today, friends of another broadcaster, Franklin Villanueva, reported that he died in his home.
Yves Montecillo, president of the local Negros Press Club, confirmed yesterday that Galunan and Ubas died due to COVID, the first two confirmed deaths due to the pandemic that had been sweeping across the globe since 2019.
The NPC, in its official statement, pays tribute to Galunan, whom colleagues remember as “someone who is hardworking and dedicated to his professions both in the education sector and the community media, and for being a faithful and loyal family man”.
The NPC also pays homage to Ubas, a veteran radio anchorman “known for his straightforward reporting, and insightful and dynamic commentaries”. Ubas was a former assistant station manager and anchorman of Bombo Radyo-Bacolod before he worked for MUEWS FM then finally joined the Radyo Bandera Sweet FM Bacolod in 2017.
Rey Siason, former NPC president and a close friend of Villanueva, said Villanueva appeared to have choked before he collapsed, Siason said, quoting the wife.
Ramil Estilo, a former broadcaster and friend of Delos Santos, confirmed his death in a hospital.
The two are former colleagues at dyAF.