May 8, 2012, in Mati, Philippines
Two unidentified gunmen shot Libaton, 45, as he rode on the back of a motorcycle driven by a fellow reporter in the southern city of Mati, in Davao Oriental province, in Mindanao, the southernmost island in the Philippines, according to local news reports. He died in a local hospital from gunshot wounds to his face and body, according to the reports. His colleague, Eldon Cruz, was unharmed.
Libaton was an anchor for the church-run DXHM Radio, local journalists reported. His colleagues told journalists that he had no known enemies and was not known for sensitive commentaries.
On May 12, police released composite images of two alleged gunmen based on information received by eyewitnesses, according to report by the Mindanao Examiner. Superintendent Anthony Placido, the deputy provincial police chief who led the task force investigating Libaton's murder, said that police had launched a manhunt for the two unnamed suspects. Placido said the motive for the attack was unknown, according to the report.
Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.