Rowell Endrinal

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Two unidentified assailants shot Endrinal, a commentator on radio station DZRC in Legazpi City, Albay Province, while he was exercising in the early morning on a basketball court near his house. The local police chief, Jaime Lazar, told journalists that the assailants shot Endrinal in the foot and then continued shooting him in the head and body as he fell.

Endrinal hosted a political commentary show on DZRC in which he spoke out against local politicians and criminal gangs, said the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), a local press freedom organization. He also published the regional newspaper Bicol Metro News.

Endrinal’s wife and colleagues said he had received death threats before his murder. In 2010, a judge in Manila acquitted two suspects, one of them a senior police official, in connection with the killing.

On November 26, 2012, a Regional Trial Court in Legazpi City convicted Clarito Arizobal, also known as “Boy Zapanta,” for murder and sentenced him to reclusion perpetua, according to a Department of Justice press release on the conviction.  Under Reclusion perpetua,  a sentence under the Revised Penal Code, a person serves at least 30 years before being eligible for a pardon.

Witnesses said they saw Arizobal squatting by the side of the road with .45 caliber pistol tucked in his pants before the attack. An autopsy report showed that Endrinal sustained eight gunshot wounds, the Department of Justice release said.

Arizobal was also ordered to pay 50,000 pesos (US$930)  in civil indemnity, 35,000 pesos in damages and 50,000 pesos in moral damages to Endrinal’s heirs, the same release said.

A second suspect in the killing, referred to in the press release as an "unknown companion,” is still at large. The Department of Justice release said the conviction represented a successful prosecution of a media killing.