Villarante, of the local radio station DZJV, was shot dead in Santa Cruz (in Laguna province, 70 kms southeast of Manila). One gunman opened fire on him outside his home. Villarante managed to flee inside. When family members tried to take him to hospital, the other gunman began shooting to prevent them and then killed the journalist at point-blank range and continued firing at him as he lay on the ground wounded.
Villarante, 32, who also wrote for the local paper Laguna Score, had often criticised regional authorities for corruption. His wife Jocelyn told radio station DZRH he had also denounced illegal gambling. A few days before he was killed, she overheard him telling at least two members of the regional council (Rolando Bagnes and Susano Tapia) on the phone that "it’s nothing personal, it’s just work."