An unidentified gunman shot Bernardo twice in the head at around 9:45 p.m. on October 31 in front of a fast food restaurant in Quezon City, Metro Manila, according to news reports. The gunman escaped on a motorcycle with an accomplice who served as a lookout for the attack, according to local news reports that cited witnesses. Spent shells from a .45 caliber handgun were recovered from the crime scene, the reports said.
Bernardo was a reporter for the privately owned DWBL and DWIZ local radio stations and a columnist with the privately owned local tabloid Bandera Pilipino. His newspaper commentaries often addressed issues of corruption and organized crime in the Caloocan City area of the capital, news reports said.
Bernardo also served as a public information officer of the Northern Police District Tri-Media Organization, a group of media workers who cover the Metro Manila police beat, according to news reports.
A preliminary task force report indicated Bernardo had received threatening text messages before his death, reports said. The reports did not indicate who sent the threatening messages or their content.
Police Chief Inspector Rodelio Marcelo told local media that Bernardo’s death was motivated by either his work or a personal dispute, news reports said. He said police were collecting CCTV footage.
National Capital Region Police Office Director Joel Pagdilao ordered the creation of Special Investigation Task Force "Jose" to investigate the killing. Pagdilao also ordered an investigation into reports that Bernardo had shouted at several police officers in an apparent dispute before his murder, according to reports.