Body of girl who died years ago still intact-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
HE felt his heart thud, recalled Roy Liloan, who was still 10 at the time. Liloan and his playmates were silent after they saw something in the stockroom of the Carreta Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cebu City fifteen years ago: a body of a girl inside an open wooden box.
“Buhi pa man tingali ni (I think she is still alive),” he recalled telling his friends.
His heart, he said, kept pounding his chest. Cold sweat rolled down his face.
“Kulba kaayo ko ato (I was so afraid that time),” he said.
They ran outside and told their parents about what they saw.
Now that he is an adult, Liloan, 25, said he is amazed that the girl’s body has not decomposed.
“Milagro tingali ni (It’s like a miracle),” said Liloan, who now works as an errand boy in the cemetery.
The corpse, which is about four feet tall, is still inside a box, which is placed in one corner of the stockroom where unclaimed sacks of human bones are piled up.
Thick dust has settled on the corpse. Its right leg has been cut off.
Incorruptibility, according to the Roman Catholic belief, is a supernatural or Godly intervention allowing some human bodies to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death.
An incorruptible body is generally seen as a sign that the person is a saint, although not every saint is expected to have an incorruptible corpse.
A body is not deemed incorruptible if it had undergone embalming.
Medico-legal officer Chief Insp. David Alexander Patriana said a body won’t decompose
if it is injected with formalin or other preservative chemicals.
When the chemical substance is already gone, Patriana said the body will slowly decay.
“Madugta sad ang lawas sa tawo tungod sa microorganisms sa hangin,” he said in a phone interview.
A corpse won’t rot if it is enclosed in an airtight coffin, said Patriana.
For Jesus Desuyo, caretaker on the part of the cemetery run by the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, he said they can’t easily dispose of the body.
“Maghuwat mi sa tagtungod (We will wait for the relatives to claim it),” he said in a separate interview.
Msgr. Roberto Alesna, parish priest of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, has been informed about it.
Desuyo was told the girl was buried in the cemetery sometime in the 1970s.
He said an autopsy could determine why the corpse did not decompose, but they can’t proceed without authority.
He said some people who learned about the uncorrupted body went to the cemetery to have a glimpse of it.
“We have to control the crowd,” said Desuyo.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 27, 2012.