Ernie Rollin

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two men shot Rollin at around 5:30 a.m. at a gas station in Oroquieta City in the Philippine province of Misamis Occidental, according to a statement issued by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and local news reports.

The men, who were riding a motorcycle and wearing ski masks, shot him at least three times while he was parking at a gas station, the reports said. Rollin’s partner, Ligaya Barero, who was waiting for him nearby, tried to help him when she heard the gunshots but the assailants shot him another time and fled, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Barero was placed in the government’s witness protection program along with another witness, according to news reports.

Rollin had been a journalist for about 10 years and was popular for his outspoken comments on a prime-time current affairs program on the DXSY radio station. In the days preceding his death, Rollin had talked about controversial laws affecting the province. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility told CPJ in Manila in July that Rollin’s criticism of various politicians in his radio commentaries was most likely the cause of his death. The center confirmed that impression in follow-up interviews with family and work colleagues later in the year, they told CPJ. Justice Undersecretary Ricardo Blancaflor, head of Task Force 211, a government agency created to prevent political violence, said in a July 30 statement that the group considered Rollin’s murder to be work-related.

On May 24, police arrested suspected triggerman Juel Jumalon, a former member of the New People’s Army, the reports said. A murder case was filed against Jumalon and another, unnamed man at the Misamis Occidental Regional Trial Court on June 22. The investigation did not reveal the mastermind behind the attack.