PULITZER PRIZE WINNER Manuel Mogato with former President Fidel Ramos whom he had covered for almost three decades, starting when he was Armed Forces chief of staff, Secretary of National Defense and President, from Camp Crame to Camp Aguinaldo and then to Malacanang Palace.
By JO ERLINDA MAUFIT GABOT
NEW YORK/MANILA (PhilAmPress) Another veteran Filipino journalist has just won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize making him the second Philippines based and the sixth Filipino to get the award for outstanding work in journalism.
Manuel Mogato, won the award for international reporting with colleagues Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall for their “relentless” reporting on deaths allegedly linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy announced the winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes in the World Room at Columbia University in New York where a top Filipino journalist, Shiela Coronel, is the first Filipino Dean of Academic Affairs in its School of Journalism where she is a Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism and Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.
Mogato was immediately lauded for his achievement by Malacanang, other leaders and colleagues and groups, including Philippine News executive editor and Philippines Today editor in chief Alfred Gabot who is a former president of the National Press Club of the Philippines and fellow professor of Mogato at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila) where both graduated and where Prof. Gabot served as Member of the Board of Regents for two terms.
It was learned Mogato’s win could be a wake up call for the city university for downgrading its College of Mass Communication to a department, removing Mogato as adviser to the school publication Ang Pamantasan and for withholding his appointment as faculty member.
Mogato’s fellow PLM alumnus who are based in California led by former San Jose International Airport Authority commissioner George Gange and engineer Renato Pineda also hailed him. Incumbent PLM Regent Wilma Valle Galvante, former Vice President of the GMA Network, also congratulated Prof Mogato and said the Pulitzer Prize winner will be accorded proper honors by the city university.
Former President Fidel V. Ramos sent Mogato a letter commending him for his feat. Mogato covered Ramos for three decades starting as a defense and police reporter and up to Malacanang.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim also congratulated Mogato being a US International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus in 1993.
Prominent lawyer and columnist Rodel Rodis also congratulated Mogato. Rodis, as president of the San Francisco Community College, signed a sister-university agreement with the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) thru the initiative of Professor Gabot while he was a member also of the Board of Regents.
Malacanang also congratulated Mogato but insisted that the drugs war was legitimate.
Mogato urged his colleagues to stay with the fight for reporting on the drug war despite difficulties facing the free press..
As the press came under attack across the globe for reporting critical of popular leaders, Mogato told fellow journalists: “Kapag umatras ka, walang mangyayari (When you back out, nothing happens).”
The first homegrown Filipino to win the Pulitzer was Carlos Romulo, who was awarded the 1942 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Correspondence “for his observations and forecasts of Far Eastern developments during a tour of the trouble centers from Hong Kong to Batavia” which led to prediction of an imminent World War II.
Romulo, who won under the Philippines Herald newspaper, later served as member of the United States House of Representatives as Philippine Resident Commissioner when the Philippines was a colony of United States. Romulo also signed for the Philippines the founding charter of the United Nations during its assembly in San Francisco, California and became the only Filipino president of the UN General Assembly.
Four other Filipinos based in the United States won the Pulitzer Prize.
Seattle-based Byron Acohido bagged the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting on “The Seattle Times.” He covered the aerospace industry and did an extensive investigation of Boeing 737’s rudder control problems. He won the prize for his coverage of the aerospace industry, notably an exhaustive investigation of rudder control problems on the Boeing 737, which contributed to new FAA requirements for major improvements.
Acohido is said to be the only Pulitzer Prize winner born and raised in Hawaii. He now lives in Washington state and works with USA Today, among others.
Oregon-based Alex Tizon won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting on “The Seattle Times” with his colleagues. They covered fraud and corruption in the Federal Indian Housing Program. Tizon, formerly a professor at the University of Oregon, was the author of the viral “My Family’s Slave” published by The Atlantic in June 2017 after his death.
Washington-based and Quezon City born Cheryl Diaz Meyer won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography on “The Dallas Morning News” with her colleague. They covered the war in Iraq with striking pictures of the conflict.
San Francisco-based and Antipolo City born Jose Antonio Vargas won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting on “The Washington Post” with his colleagues. They covered the Virginia Tech shooting in online and in print. (Jo Erlinda Maufit Gabotemail@example.com)