Harry Joseph Doyle, 62, died of multiple gunshot wounds at a beach resort in Surigao City on Sunday.
He was shot in front of his family, his wife told CBC News.
His former business partner and long-time friend Stephen Thompson says he spoke to Doyle on the phone about a month ago about coming home.
“We had a conversation about, someone had tried to shoot him back in February,” Thompson told CBC News.
“He was sitting in his home reading one night and somebody drove by and took a shot through his window and just barely missed him,” he said.
“Of course, he was quite concerned about his environment, his safety and his family's safety.”
Doyle’s Facebook profile picture is of him with the apparent bullet hole in the window behind him.
There is also a separate photo album, entitled murder attempt, with 11 photographs of the bullet hole.
“I told my sister two years ago I would be murdered for being a good guy,” Doyle had posted on his Facebook page on Feb. 4.
“Everyone carries a gun here," he wrote.
Police seek suspects in fatal shooting
Doyle had moved to the Philippines about seven or eight years ago, but still owned several properties in Fredericton.
It’s unclear whether police in the Philippines were investigating the alleged murder attempt in February, but Doyle had posted “the police will get us justice.”
Police are now investigating his death.
Police said Doyle was at Palma Beach in Surigao City when he was approached by two men who apparently asked for food.
Doyle reportedly pushed one of the men and the other man drew a pistol and shot Doyle several times, killing him, police said.
"Just underneath everything, Harry's a real decent guy and he was … you know, when he was your friend, he was your friend for life," said Thompson.
"He would do anything for you and I know he loved his family," Thompson said.
Another friend, Paul Butterwick, said the last time he saw Doyle was in November, when he dropped Doyle off at the Fredericton airport to fly back to the Philippines at the end of what turned out to be his final visit to Fredericton.
The pair were friends for almost 50 years, and Butterwick says Doyle enjoyed a good beer, rock music and adventure.
"I can't say I was completely shocked because he told me these stories of what was going on over there. It almost sounds like he was in a war with some thugs," Butterwick said.
"He told me that they had already taken a shot at him. I said, 'If I were you Harry, I think I'd vacate the Philippines because you have a wife and son and you never know.' I think he actually considered it. Too late now."
Jane Doyle, Harry Doyle's wife, says he was shot in front of her and their children.
"It's very hard for me. It's like you eat something that you never digest. So I feel terrible and I'm very, very sad. It shouldn't happen to anybody what happened to me and my husband," she told CBC News.
Family in Fredericton are planning a memorial service for Doyle on Aug. 24. His wife plans to have his body cremated and is hoping to travel to Fredericton sometime next week.