Two men shot Roxas in the back as he drove his motorcycle from DYVR in Roxas City, on the country’s central Panay Island, where he worked as a program director and had just concluded his midday show, according to news reports. Police said Roxas died at a local hospital from a gunshot wound to his spine, the reports said.
Dennievin Macaranas, an operations head at Radio Mindanao Network, which includes DYVR, told CPJ that Roxas had been threatened in relation to his work. Roxas covered various political issues in his show, and police told reporters at the time that they were investigating his recent coverage.
Agence France-Presse quoted a manager at the station’s parent network as saying that Roxas had recently reported on a dispute between two local politicians. The report did not elaborate. Roxas also recently broadcast a report on misappropriation of city funds, according to The Associated Press.
Roxas told his colleagues that a group of men attacked him a week before his death, news reports said, but it was not clear if the attack was related to his work or to his murder.
On March 22, 2016, Roxas City Regional Trial Court convicted Kristian Tan and Joelnel Lastimoso of homicide, according to a local news report. They were sentenced to 11 and 19 years respectively and ordered to pay the Roxas’ family 275,000 pesos (US$5,100) in damages, the report said.
A prosecution witness identified Tan as the gunman and Lastimoso as the driver of the motorcycle used in the attack.
Presiding judge Ignacio Alajar ruled that Tan and Lastimoso were guilty of homicide rather than murder due to a lack of qualifying circumstance to establish treachery. Both men denied any role in the killing during the trial, the report said.