Mike Enriquez, the veteran broadcaster and one of the most influential journalists in the Philippines, died on Tuesday aged 71.
Enriquez had been suffering ill health since 2018, taking medical leave to undergo a heart bypass and recover from kidney disease. In 2021, he took another medical break to undergo a transplant but returned to air in time for the election coverage last year.
“It is with profound sadness that GMA Network announces the passing of our beloved Kapuso, Mr Miguel ‘Mike’ C Enriquez,” GMA Network, his home channel for decades, posted on social media.
Considered a pillar in the country's media industry, he was one of the anchors of the GMA's flagship news programme 24 Oras. He also hosted the network's long-running docudrama Imbestigador. He also led several radio shows and served as the senior vice president of GMA's radio operations.
“He joined the broadcast industry in 1969 and then became part of GMA Network in 1995, wholeheartedly serving the Filipino audience for 54 years," the network added. "His dedication to the industry will serve as an inspiration to all. We pray for the eternal repose of our beloved Kapuso."
Tributes pour in
Enriquez's colleagues expressed their condolences, including his long-time co-anchor Mel Tiangco, who fought back tears while delivering the news on their show 24 Oras.
Other colleagues took to social media to express their sympathies, including fellow broadcast journalists Arnold Clavio, Nelson Canlas and Connie Season.