Rodriguez, a correspondent in Pampanga Province for the Manila radio station DZMM, was killed on assignment near the town of Sasmuan when guerrillas ambushed the boat convoy in which he was traveling. Rodriguez was shot in the leg and then sustained a fatal skull fracture when his boat crashed into the riverbank.
Rodriguez was covering a tour of village development projects with Sasmuan mayor Catalina Bagasina and Jojo Osorio Ejercito, son of Philippine president Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The attack occurred on the Malusac River, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Manila.
The Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan (RHB), a breakaway faction of the leftist rebel New People's Army, claimed responsibility for the attack in an interview with a CPJ source. An RHB spokesman apologized for Rodriguez's death and said local police were the intended target.