Priest linked to woman’s death in Camarines Sur

SAN FERNANDO, Camarines Sur — Catholic Church officials in the province said they were “deeply troubled” that a priest had been linked to the death of a 28-year-old woman, whose body was dumped along a road in Barangay Buenavista here last week.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Caceres said church officials were “shocked and saddened” by the woman’s “gruesome death.”

“We are deeply troubled that, in media reports, a priest has been alluded to as a person of interest,” it said, without naming the priest.

“We hold the report very serious. The archdiocese supports and will fully cooperate with the … investigation of the case by the proper authority,” said the statement signed by Fr. Darius Romualdo, chancellor of the archdiocese.

‘Appropriate action’

It said the archdiocese would conduct its own investigation and “take appropriate action in accordance with the Code of Canon Law.”

Police have identified persons of interest in the murder but declined to name them while investigation was ongoing.

“As soon as we have sufficient evidence, we will carry on with the operations,” said Supt. Venerando Ramirez, spokesperson for the Camarines Sur provincial police.

Reports, citing the victim’s relatives, have been circulating in the province that a Catholic priest was allegedly behind the woman’s death.

Police declined to comment on these reports, saying investigators have to gather more evidence.

Ramirez said investigators had secured a security camera footage showing how the woman was dumped in Buenavista at 8 a.m. on June 15.

The Inquirer went to the wake of the victim in Baao town but her family refused to discuss the case.

The woman’s mother said the family only wanted justice, noting that the woman left behind a 5-month-old boy.

The archdiocese’s statement said: “We assure the family of the victim of our prayers and support in the search for justice.” —Stephanie Florida

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