Rollin, a radio commentator at DXSY-AM in Ozamiz and program head of DXRA–FM in Oroquieta, was gunned down in neighboring Oroquieta City at around 5:30 Monday morning while on his way to work in a radio station here.
Rollin’s partner, Ligaya, told radio DxSY-AM that he was shot at around 5:30 a.m. at a gasoline station in Barangay Talic.
Rollin, a radio commentator at DxSY-AM in Ozamiz and program head of DXRA –FM in Oroquieta, would usually leave his motorcycle there before taking public transport to this city, 45 minutes away, said Ligaya.
Ligaya, who got off at the waiting shed while Rollin was parking his motorcycle at a corner of the gas station, said two motorcycle-riding men went near him and soonafter, she heard three gunshots.
"I was not expecting it was Ernie who was targeted," she said.
From where she was, she saw Rollin had fallen, face down. "At that time, I did not immediately notice he was bloodied.”
When she tried to assist Rollin to stand up, Ligaya said somebody prevented her then shot him on the nape.
Ligaya said the two men wore bonnets.
The NUJP local chapter immediately condemned the “brutality.”
“The brutality that he suffered in the hands of his assailants is not befitting of a civilized way of life,” the NUJP Ozamiz chapter statement issued by Neptalie Batolenio and Ryan Rosauro, said.
“He was first pumped with three bullets in different parts of his body, and seeing that he still managed to survive, his attackers finished him off with a fourth and fatal gunshot in the head. Like other attacks on journalists, the slaying of Ka Ernie has cast more shadow of gloom over press freedom and adds to the continuing mockery of Philippine democracy. Granting that the attackers and/or their mastermind have scores to settle with Ka Ernie, the four gunshots that ended his life clearly are not the appropriate way for this,” the statement added.
The NUJP Ozamiz City chapter urged local authorities to conduct a “no-nonsense investigation on Ka Ernie's slay and be steadfast in enforcing the law no matter who the suspects of the crime are.”
It also called on colleagues to maintain, if not improve further, our unity in order to surmount this seemingly incessant threat that undermines a no-nonsense dispatch of our duties as bearers of truthful information that the public ought to know of” and called on media watchdog groups to “help us look over the performance of our law enforcement agencies in solving this case.”
“Let us not be cowed by this act of cowardice lurking under the destructive power of the gun,” the statement concluded.
A month earlier, on January 21, a gunman shot dead an anchor for a radio block time program in Cotabato City.
Badrodin Abas, host of a weekly block time program at DXCM-Radyo Ukay, deputy secretary of the regional management committee of the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in Cotabato City and a member of the United Youth for Peace and Development was driving his family’s passenger multi-cab along Quezon Avenue corner Jacinto Street at around 9 p.m. when two men onboard a motorcycle blocked his way. One of the men shot him in the head.
The program he hosted was funded by CBCS, a network of Moro civil society organizations in Mindanao. (MindaNews)