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Veteran NAIA scribe writes ‘30’

Republika

Longtime airport mediaman Recto Mercene died peacefully from cancer complications recently. He was 77.


Reports said he was staying in the Asian Hospital since Sept. 7 after figuring in a fall at home.


During his career, Mercene had worked for several news outfits, including the Times Journal, Daily Globe, BusinessMirror and Philippine News Agency.


Mercene, a former air traffic controller and private pilot, became known in media circles for his snapshots of Sen. Ninoy Aquino when he was assassinated at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983.


These photographs were submitted to the Agrava Fact Finding Commission which had been tasked to investigate the incident.


Mercene later recounted to colleagues he was obliged by the Presidential Security Command (under Gen. Fabian Ver) to surrender all the negatives of said photographs he had taken on that fateful day, but decided to keep some of the “more interesting” ones which he had intended to publish in his memoirs at some point. He never did.


Mercene and his (long-departed) contemporaries Manuel Silva of the Daily Express and Louie Perez of the Manila Bulletin were known as the “Big 3” of the MIA beat due to their numerous contacts throughout who provided them with numerous photo scoops.

Photo: Esquire Philippines


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