Veteran journalist and former University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman College of Mass Communication (CMC) Dean Professor Luis Teodoro has passed away on Monday, March 13. He was 81.

Teodoro was UP CMC’s Dean for six years from 1994 to 2000. Before becoming Dean, the late professor was thrice Chair of the UP Department of Journalism where he taught various journalism subjects during his decades of service to the University, even after his retirement.

He wrote columns for various newspapers and authored several books on media. Teodoro was a trustee of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and editor of its Philippine Journalism Review Reports. He was also the founding chairman of Altermidya, a network of independent media groups and practitioners. In the 1970s, Teodoro was editor of Philippine News and Features, an alternative news agency initiated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

At the news of his passing, tributes poured in for Teodoro.

“As educator, editor, and journalist, Dean Teodoro was pivotal in fostering academic excellence in our discipline, upholding integrity in the practice of media, and defending our freedoms of the press, speech, and assembly,” UP CMC said in a statement.

Current CMC Dean Fernando Paragas considers his predecessor’s unwavering passion for democracy as Teodoro’s greatest contribution to Philippine society.

“Iyong patuloy na paglaban talaga para sa pangangalaga ng ating demokrasya. I think that is his biggest contribution kasi po ang tagal ni Prof. Teodoro na naglingkod sa ating bayan. At tuloy-tuloy po iyon. Wala po siyang [tigil] sa pagpapahalaga ng ating demokrasya. ‘Yun pong gan’ong sustained effort ay napakahalaga. At ilang henerasyon ang kaniyang naturuan para ituloy ang laban na ito. I think people will remember him for the consistency, for the constancy of the strength of his convictions,” Paragas said in an interview on Teleradyo.

“Kasi consistent si Dekano Teodoro. At makikita mo, we’ve been monitoring social media the whole day, at tuloy-tuloy ang pagpupugay para sa kaniya kasi nga talagang tumindig siya para sa katotohanan. At bihira ‘yung gano’ng katagal na paninindigan kayâ pinahahalagahan talaga natin ‘yang kaniyang naging serbisyo sa ating bayan,” he added.

CMFR said it will “uphold his contribution to the work of building of a free and independent press and its role in Philippine democracy.”

“A pillar of Philippine journalism, Teodoro’s combined careers as an academic and journalist is unparalleled. His place as an esteemed colleague and friend is unique,” it added.

Other organizations also praised Teodoro for his life of dedicated service.

“He is credited with advancing the ideals of pro-people journalism, both as a respected member of the academe and through the alternative media that he helped organize in the Philippines,” Altermidya said.

“The current and the future generations of journalists have been gifted by Dean Teodoro’s lessons on journalism. We pledge to continue his legacy of wielding the pen in the service of the people,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said.

In 1964, the late Dean graduated from UP with a degree in AB English major in journalism and creative writing.

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