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Veteran pope ‘shooter’ Noli Yamsuan dies at 71

The Filipino photographer who "shot" Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis has passed away. He was 71.

The family of veteran photographer Manuel "Noli" Yamsuan announced that he died at 3:54 p.m. on Saturday at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in Greenhills, San Juan City.

"He was in the presence of family and friends when he returned to the Father and was in no pain," said his son Erwin in a post on Facebook.

Yamsuan was a photographer for 43 years. During the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines from January 15-19 last year, Yamsuan was appointed as a photographer by the Papal Visit Committee and he rendered his services for free.

Yamsuan also covered the two visits of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines in 1981 and in 1995. He also took photos during the canonization in Rome of the Philippines' first saint — San Lorenzo Ruiz in 1987.

He became the official photographer of Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin from 1974 to 2005.

In last year's interview with GMA News Online, Yamsuan shared how Sin, who became a father figure to him, had "scolded" him as his work as a photographer covered everything from the sacred to the profane.

He worked for Veritas Magazine, Lifestyle Asia, Time Magazine, Asiaweek, Metro Magazine, Taipan, and many others including the adult magazine Penthouse.

However, his proudest moment was during the 1986 People Power Revolution when a military tank ran over his camera. He cherished that camera, saying it bore the "scars of the battle."

Yamsuan is survived by his wife Peachy, head of the media office of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and their children and grandchildren.

His wake will be at Chapel A, Christ the King Parish, in Greenmeadows, Quezon City, starting on Sunday.

"We thank everyone for your prayers during this trying time for our family. We are certain that Papa will bring all of your well wishes with him in heaven," Erwin said. —ALG, GMA News