Butalib was shot dead by an unidentified gunman at around 9 a.m. while getting on his motorcycle at a busy intersection outside of his radio station in Tagum town in Davao Del Norte province, according to news reports. Witnesses cited in the reports said the gunman fled the scene on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. Police said they recovered six shells from a .45 caliber handgun from the crime scene.
Butalib hosted a regular blocktime radio show known as "Ang Kamatuoran" (The Truth) on 107.9 FM Radyo Natin, on which he often covered local corruption issues, according to news accounts. Unidentified colleagues said Butalib regularly received anonymous death threats, according to news reports.
Radio blocktime reporters, who lease airtime from a radio station, are frequently targeted in provincial areas of the Philippines, CPJ research shows.
Police Chief Inspector Jed Clamor told local journalists that the killing could also be related to Butalib's election in October to councilman of Mankilam village, which was a "hotly contested district post," according to news reports. He said police were investigating whether the journalist's murder was related to his work.