An unidentified assailant shot Sablas three times from behind
at about 10 a.m. as the radio commentator rode a three-wheeled motorcycle
away from a supermarket in Surigao del Sur Province on the southern
island of Mindanao.
Local journalists noted that Sablas, who hosted “Singgit sa mga Lungsuranon”
(Cry of the People) on Radio DXJR-FM, was a strident critic of the
drug trade and illegal gambling. Regional Police Chief Rene Elumbaring
told The Associated Press that police were investigating the murder,
which occurred in the town of Tandag, 510 miles (820 kilometers) southeast
of the capital, Manila.
Local sources told CPJ that Sablas was likely killed in retaliation
for his hard-hitting commentary about illegal gambling.