February 23, 2009
KIKO CONDEMNS LATEST SLAYING OF JOURNALIST IN MINDANAO
Independent senator and judicial reform advocate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today condemned the slaying of radio commentator Ernie Rollin, who was shot by two masked men in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental.
Reports state that Rollin was on his way to work in Ozamis City and had just parked his motorcycle at a gas station when two masked men on a motorbike shot him. Rollin’s girlfriend was a few meters from the scene and tried to help him, but one of the gunmen stopped her and fired another shot at the back of his head.
According to her, while Rollin was known to be a hard-hitting journalist who often spoke against corruption and criminal activities in their community, he had no known enemies.
Reacting to the news, Kiko said, “I am outraged by this report. I strongly condemn this act of violence, especially against journalists who are only speaking the truth.”
Kiko called on Malacañang to focus on the necessary reforms to strengthen the rule of law.
“When there is a breakdown in the rule of law, when vicious criminals are not punished and when ordinary citizens no longer feel safe, violence and vigilantism erupt. This leads to a meltdown in the very structures that keep our society intact,” Kiko said.
The international news agency Reuters, upon reporting this incident, was quoted as declaring that “The Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.”
“Corruption in the media, with underpaid journalists sometimes taking bribes to report stories, also places reporters in danger from disgruntled paymasters or their rivals,” the Reuters report stated.
“Is this the face that we want to keep showing to the international community?” Kiko asked. “Where is the law, where is justice here? We can no longer pretend that systems are functioning when they are not. I call on the president to lead the charge in cleaning up this mess.”