Sonny Alcantara

Beats Covered:
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Alcantara, a newspaper publisher and cable TV commentator, was shot dead in the city of San Pablo, south of the capital, Manila.

A lone gunman shot the journalist in the forehead while he was riding a motorcycle near his home, police investigators told CPJ. Investigators said they believe that at least one accomplice informed the gunman by cell phone of Alcantara’s departure from his home at about 10 a.m.

San Pablo journalists told CPJ that Alcantara had recently broken a story on his cable TV program, “Quo Vadis San Pablo,” implicating a local politician in a corrupt land deal. Alcantara was also the publisher of Kokus, a weekly newspaper that covered politics and community affairs. According to Alcantara’s wife, colleagues had warned the journalist to be careful in his reporting on local government officials.

Police agree that Alcantara, 51, may have been killed because of his work as a journalist. “He was a very vocal commentator,” San Pablo police chief Ernesto Cuizon told CPJ. “We can’t discount that he was killed because of his journalism.” Though investigators told CPJ that they know the identity of the suspected assailant and have circulated a sketch of the man, who is believed to be a hired killer, no one had been charged with the murder by year’s end.