THE Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas ordered on Thursday the Bohol Provincial Police Office to investigate the death of a 56-year-old priest in Loboc.

This, after the autopsy conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) showed that Fr. Marcelino Biliran did not commit suicide.

Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, the PRO-Central Visayas deputy director for operations, said the police will coordinate with the NBI for the investigation.

According to initial findings of investigators of the Loboc Municipal Police Station, the parish priest of St. Peter the Apostle Parish took his own life after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Earlier findings

PO2 Eigen Daryl Yecyec said the post-mortem examination conducted by Dr. Lev Varquez Nadela, rural health unit officer, showed no signs of foul play.

Biliran’s family asked the NBI to conduct an autopsy last week to determine if he really committed suicide.

The autopsy conducted by NBI medico-legal officer Dr. Rene Cam showed horizontal lacerations on the priest’s neck.

In cases of suicide, the lacerations always form vertical pattern on the neck, he said.

“In my findings, his injuries were not consistent with suicide. It was not self-inflicted,” Cam told Sun.Star Cebu.

The way the wire was also tied in a knot could not have been the priest’s doing as there were two loops, he said. A person who commits suicide usually only ties one loop.

Cam said it was also impossible for the priest to dislocate two vertebrae in his spinal column. “It was caused by another force,” he said.

Confirmation

Cam said the perpetrator tied the wire around the priest’s neck to make it look like suicide.

Atty. Rennan Oliva, chief of NBI Bohol, confirmed the findings.

“We are re-enacting the crime scene. And it is very sensitive,” he said.

However, Oliva did not confirm if the crime was a murder or homicide, as stated in earlier reports.

“This is a command case of NBI Bohol. Every investigator is working on it,” he said.

The Archdiocesan of Tagbilaran and Biliran’s family are calling for justice for his death.

Last June 27, around 6 p.m., a church worker went to check why Biliran had not come out for dinner.

The worker found him hanging inside the toilet in his room at the convent.

Msgr. Jose Tan, spokesperson of Archdiocese of Cebu, described Biliran as a good person while they were attending classes at San Carlos Major Seminary in Cebu City.

Biliran, who was ordained in 1991, was buried in Tagbilaran City, Bohol last Wednesday.