Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oroquieta Press Club seeks justice for murdered broadcaster in Mindanao

We wish to convey our deepest sympathy and condolence to the bereaved family of Ernesto “Ka Ernie” Rollin. The whole community of media practitioners in Oroquieta City and Misamis Occidental is one with you in the search for justice to his untimely death.

While we understand the utmost risk involved in the nature of our profession, we strongly condemn the brutal and treacherous murder of our fellow journalist who earned his living through his journalistic practice. In this regard, we call on the police to fast track its investigation into the case and pave the way for immediate justice to Ka Ernie and his family.

Likewise, we call on the people to be vigilant in monitoring the conduct and any development pertaining to the investigation currently being undertaken by the authorities.

As a full-time radio commentator, Ka Ernie must have earned the ire from traditional politicians in Misamis Occidental for his fierce attacks and commentaries on corruption issues involving them. Irregardless of his political affiliation and personal belief, he deserves the rights every journalist in the country should enjoy.

Telling the truth to the public no matter how dismal it may seem to the public official involved remains a noble principle of every media practitioner. Besides, it is the public’s right to know every detail concerning the affairs of any government body and the performance of every elected government official.

Killing a journalist cannot kill the truth nor can conceal the official’s misdoings from the public’s eye. In contrast, it only further shows the lack of moral authority to the part of the official.

We understand that the lack of economic security, low income, and political violence have forced several media practitioners into several corrupt practices to include the familiar term of “envelopmental journalism”, among others.

These practices then easily make them frontline targets of political violence. But in Ka Ernie and all other media deaths, there is absolutely no moral and rational justification for murder. Now, Ka Ernie has become a part of the long-list of victims of impunity against journalists in the Philippines.

While justice remains elusive for Ka Ernie and the rest of our fallen journalists, the national government still falls short of providing protection and long-term solution to the issue of media killings. The lack of concrete actions, delay in investigative and judicial proceedings contributes much to the culture of media killings.

The lack of seriousness and sincerity to the part of the police in the pursuit of investigations further denies the media community right to speedy justice. The Oroquieta City Press Club joins hand with other media groups in the country for this common call for an end to media killings.

We at the Oroquieta Press Club reiterate our call for a swift and impartial investigation that will eventually lead towards the delivery of justice to Ka Ernie’s family and the media community as well.

Stop the Killings! Justice to Ka Ernie!

Paul Pastrano Gangoso
President, Oroquieta City Press Club


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