Newsman Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina, 59, succumbed to liver cancer at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, July 7.
The former National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chairman died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family at their home at Capitol Heights, Barangay Villamonte, Bacolod City, his sister Mate Espina said.
Espina, a veteran journalist and fierce advocate of freedoms and human rights, had just turned over the NUJP chairmanship, his sister Inday Espina-Varona wrote on her Facebook page.
“We are grateful that Nonoy survived a severe infection of COVID-19 and was able to return to the bosom of the family. His death was due to liver cancer,” she said.
“A few days ago, Nonoy was able to enjoy sitting in front of the organ, to hear family make some music. That music was something he looked forward to,” Varona added.
He took up humanities in UP Visayas-Iloilo, where he was a member of the Silak fraternity.
“Nonoy preferred to mostly practice his journalism in Negros Occidental, his home province,” Varona said.
He was a member of the alternative media organization, COBRA-ANS, and an editor of the local Courier.
He was also a correspondent of the defunct Today Newspaper and worked for a time in the Lifestyle magazine of The Manila Standard. He became an editor of the online news outfits Inquirer.net and Interaksyon.
Because Bacolod is under general community quarantine, there will be no wake, the family will announce details for memorials soon, Varona said.
Espina is survived by his wife, Leny Rojo Espina, and his children Mayumi Liwayway and Daki Ojor.*