Cops have person of interest in gay man’s murder

Screengrabbed from Aksyon Radyo Iloilo video

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Police have identified a person of interest in the murder of a gay man in Jaro, Iloilo City, during Pride Month.

The body of 40-year-old “Vic,” a resident of Maasin, Iloilo, was found in his rented apartment on Jalandoni Street, Barangay Our Lady of Lourdes, Jaro.

CCTV footage has led investigators to a possible suspect, whose identity remains unknown.

Captain Melchor Tolentino, Iloilo City Police Station 3 chief, said the footage showed a man leaving the victim’s apartment around 6 a.m. on June 13.

The man, described as around 5’4″ to 5’5″ with a small build, was seen driving the victim’s motorcycle, which is still missing.

Tolentino said the victim could have been killed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on the same day.

The victim’s body was discovered around 3:30 p.m. on Friday by a co-tenant and a female co-worker who decided to check on him after he failed to report to work on June 11.

Both are in the medical profession and work at a government regional office in Iloilo.

When they checked Vic’s room, they found his body on the floor with visible head injuries.

Tolentino said the victim was last seen alive around midnight on Thursday.

Initial investigation led police to the victim’s helper, who also served as a masseuse.

This man allegedly visited Vic’s apartment early Wednesday evening but left after the victim said he was expecting a friend from Maasin town.

The friend, who was later found to be staying in Jaro, said that he left around midnight on his bicycle, with Vic accompanying him on his motorcycle, supposedly to dispose of garbage.

However, neither the masseuse nor the friend matched the build of the man seen on CCTV leaving the victim’s apartment.

Tolentino noted that the friend from Maasin is around 5’10” to 6 feet tall, while the suspect is much smaller.

Police are considering robbery as a possible motive since Vic’s wallet, bracelet, necklace, mobile phone, and sling bag were missing. His laptop, however, was still in the room.

Tolentino said tracker teams have been assigned to locate the suspect.