Tribute to Veteran Journalist Rolando “Rolly” Espina

National Democratic Front of the Philippines
National Executive Committee

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines renders high tribute to veteran journalist ROLANDO “ROLLY” ESPINA, who passed away peacefully on December 28, 2017. We convey our heartfelt condolences to his eleven children, 23 grandchildren, five great grandchildren, colleagues and numerous friends.

Upon his death, his daughter, herself a well-known journalist and former president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in touching tribute: “Thank you for THE GIFT OF YOU!”

From his journalist son, Nonoy, we learn that he covered the march of the Lapiang Malaya which was attacked by government troopers. Rolly Espina dragged wounded some victims to safety and his pediatician wife, Lourdes “Nene” Llavore administerd first aid.

Rolly Espina was a journalist for more than 50 years. He was with the pre-martial law Chronicle, bureau chief of the Philippine News Agency, and correspondent of various wire service and foreign periodicals. He was also an editor with the Philippine Daily Inquirer and later the Philippine Star.

Of great importance for the NDFP, is the fact that he was twice the Vice-President of the National Press Club together with his close friend, during the dual term of the NPC President Antonio Zumel. Zumel would later be the first Chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and hailed as a revolutionary leader of the Filipino people.

After the Ampatuan massacre of 32 media persons, Rolly joined marches advocating press freedom.

He was also a noted civic leader, the recipient of several awards in recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments, including the Banwahanon Award.

His family, colleagues and friends gave a moving farewell to him. Among his children, those who have followed in his footsteps and have become outstanding journalists are Inday Espina-Varona and Nonoy Espina.

May the noble legacy and memory of ROLANDO “ROLLY” ESPINA be a model for other media people and a continuing inspiration to them and the Filipino people.

Luis G. Jalandoni
Member, National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines