Man arrested for attempted rape of Spanish tourist in El Nido

Spanish tourist
The Spanish tourist identifies Melecio Cahilig at El Nido Police Station. Both pictures courtesy of the PNP.

Police have arrested a 43-year old for the attempted rape of a Spanish tourist in El Nido – the second such attack this year.

Palawan police today (Tuesday, March 12) identified the suspect as Melecio Cahilig, a resident of Narra.

Investigators said the victim met Cahilig during a drinking session at an El Nido bar at about 2.30am on Monday.

Cahilig reportedly befriended the alleged victim and offered to let her rest at his house before returning to her hotel where her travelling companions were also staying.

According to the victim, Cahilig started to “take advantage of her” while she was sleeping on the floor of his house.

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“The victim tried to struggle and defend herself but the suspect choked her and pointed a knife on her neck and threatened to kill,” the police report read.

However, the Spanish tourist was able to escape after hitting Cahilig and jumping out of a window. According to the Manila Bulletin, she suffered light injuries in doing so.

Police investigations are continuing, and Cahilig remains in custody at El Nido police station facing charges of attempted rape.

Second rape this year

As we reported last month, a trike driver in El Nido was jailed for up to 20 years less than a week after he admitted raping an Irish tourist.

In a rare example of swift justice, Perry Gaspe was sentenced by a court on February 19 following the attack on February 13.

Gaspe was convicted under Republic Act 8353 or the Anti-Rape Law of 1997. He has since been transferred to the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa City.

The 21-year-old tourist had been returning by trike from a night out with two friends, who were staying at a different guesthouse.

When the trike arrived at the Elternative Hostel at 4am the trike driver offered to help his victim find her room. 

However, before they arrived, he attacked and raped her in a dark alleyway.

Gaspe escaped after the attack and the victim contacted her friends for help. Together, they went to the El Nido Police Station to report the incident.

Police immediately launched a manhunt that led to the arrest of Gaspe just two hours later.

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