Man charged in Miag-ao rape-homicide case

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A 26-year-old man faces charges for the alleged sexual assault and murder of a 52-year-old woman in Miag-ao, Iloilo.

Kenneth Paguntalan was charged with rape with homicide at the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutors Office on Monday, April 15.

Paguntalan, who surrendered to authorities on April 14, confessed to strangling Marivic Felicisimo but denied her murder.

He recounted attending a fiesta with Felicisimo and others on April 5, where they drank and sang karaoke into the early hours of April 6.

Felicisimo reportedly requested Paguntalan to find her a sleeping mat after the party, and when he failed, she opted to accompany him to a place in Barangay Diday.

There, they paused until they noticed someone approaching. Felicisimo indicated that this person would accompany her, instructing Paguntalan to wait.

Paguntalan alleged that after an apparent argument and presumable sexual encounter between Felicisimo and the man, she called for help, leading Paguntalan to strangle her.

However, he claimed she was still alive when he departed, a detail contradicting his alleged observations of photos on social media showing her without shoes.

Police assert Felicisimo was last seen solely with Paguntalan. An autopsy indicated she had been sexually assaulted.

Felicisimo, a Barangay Tambong resident, was discovered in a grassy section of Diday village, partially undressed with her blouse raised, and her underwear on her neck. She also had a forehead wound.

CCTV footage captured Felicisimo, presumably heading home, at around 3:05 a.m. on April 6, accompanied by Paguntalan.

Captain Francis Donne Lomahan, Miag-ao police chief, noted Paguntalan’s absence from the area after the incident.

Paguntalan cited panic as his reason for fleeing and claimed his surrender was an effort to exonerate himself.