Roy Acosta: An Editor’s Editor

Mr. Roy Acosta

WHILE I was a reporter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer sometime in 1989, I co-wrote a story, “Wasted Marcos Millions,” with my late colleague Roy De Guzman when my attention was called by Mr. Rosauro “Roy” Acosta.



Roy, who was PDI’s managing editor at the time, wondered about my choice of words in our article.

“Why labyrinth of plunder? Why not just maze, or complex or intricate maze of plunder?” he asked as he wants to know from our story how the Presidential Commission on Good Government has also become a corrupt agency itself as it locates and recovers the hidden wealth of the family of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Roy mangled my prose. But he earned my earned my respect that day as a consummate wordsmith. While some colleagues described him as “tough” and “acerbic,” I will always remember him as a fair-minded editor’s editor.

Roy passed away last Aug. 4 due to a lingering illness while confined at the Philippine Heart Center. I will be praying for my former boss as his mortal remains are memorialized in Manila today Aug. 8, 2017.

Danny Petilla
The writer Danny Petilla is a member of the Missouri-based Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). He also worked with the Philippine Daily Inquirer from 1988-1991.

2 Replies to “Roy Acosta: An Editor’s Editor

  1. Indeed! He, too, once straightened out the title of my column in “Peregrine Notes” (which he himself named as one so apt, my having migrated to Canada, hence, away from home) at The Market Monitor. Writing about my grief over the felling of an oak tree that shaded our terrace, I titled it, “Bereaved Over an Oak”. When published, ’twas changed to “Bereaved of an Oak”. I questioned the “editor’s” edit, unaware, that he, as editor-in-chief, also read the opinion items (Views and Perspectives). He explained his correction ever so gently; he awed me more. His being a wordsmith might also come from his being a poet though he had long traded his muse for the roar in the newsroom. He loved words. Knowing this, I worked hard on my columns, quite a challenge being his niece by his oldest sister. Will miss him deeply, and I can’t imagine writing the way I did for him, to him, again.

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