Former Press Secretary and veteran broadcast journalist Ricardo “Dong” Puno Jr. died on Tuesday, his family confirmed. He was 76.
He died at 12:15 p.m. due to a lingering illness, his son Donnie said in a text message to CNN Philippines.
With a career in the media industry spanning three decades, Puno hosted a number of news and public affairs shows, including “Dong Puno Live,” “Insider,” “Business Today,” and “Viewpoint.”
He also served as senior vice president for ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs.
In 2000, Puno became press secretary for the administration of President Joseph Estrada. In the years after, he ran for senator but lost, and later unsuccessfully vied for a congressional seat of Muntinlupa.
In a statement, Malacañang extended its condolences to the family and friends of the former Palace official.
“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Sec. Puno as we join them in praying for his eternal repose,” it said.
“Known for his intelligent, insightful interviews, Secretary Puno received numerous distinctions for his work in public affairs programs that helped provide the public with a better understanding of the issues of the day,” Malacañang added.
Puno was a lawyer with a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and a Master of Laws degree from the Harvard Law School.
He was the son of former Minister of Justice Ricardo Puno Sr., with whom he co-founded the PunoLaw firm.