Unidentified assailants shot Escanilla multiple times at his residential compound at around 11:45 p.m. in Tadon village, Barcelona town, Sorsogon province, according to press reports. Reports quoting his wife said he was shot while speaking with a man in front of his house. He was pronounced dead upon arriving at a local hospital, reports said.
Investigators recovered three empty shells from a .45 caliber pistol and five from an assault rifle at the crime scene, news reports said. Sorsogon Provincial police director Senior Superintendant Ronaldo Cabral said a special task force had been created to investigate the killing. Authorities had not yet identified a motive for the crime, the reports said.
Escanilla anchored the "Parmana ng Lahi" radio program, where he regularly spoke about human rights issues and criticized the military, according to news reports. He also served as chairman of the local Anakpawis political party and as spokesman of the local Karapatan human rights group, the reports said.