Dr. Tomas Dimaandal, who performed the autopsy on the exhumed remains of Mariannet Thursday, announced the results in a press conference at the Grand Men Seng Hotel late Thursday afternoon.
Dimaandal said they found two wounds in the girl's private part, one located at the left side, described as "shallow healed" and the other at the right side, described as "deep healed."
He said she died of “asphyxia by ligature.” She could no longer breathe because of the strangulation.
Mariannet was earlier reported to have been driven to suicide due to her family’s poverty.
P/Supt. Matthew Baccay, Talomo police chief, told MindaNews Mariannet died of suicide but the indications of sexual abuse could have prompted Mariannet to hang herself.
The Amper family, however, denied involvement in the alleged foul play.
Baccay led a police team to the Ampers' residence in an uphill community in Maa at past 7p.m.
Before the police arrived, Isabelo Amper, Sr., Mariannet’s father, declined to grant reporters an interview and appealed for assistance for the family to respond personally to the mayor. "Please understand us, the family agreed to talk first to the mayor," he said.
But the Ampers agreed to talk to reporters when Baccay's team arrived.
The father denied raping his daughter. He said he couldn't have done that to Mariannet, a daughter who is a baby to the family. He said neither he nor his sons could have done that to Mariannet. The Amper household has three other male members, Isabelo Jr., 20; Julieto, 18; and Reynald, 10.
It was Reynald who found her "Ate Mannet" first. His older brother Julieto was the one who removed the rope around her neck.
Baccay asked the two to reenact what they did on the day Mariannet died. They were later questioned separately, as were their father and brother Isabelo, Jr.
Mariannet’s father, however, said he couldn't pinpoint a suspect. "This shock ed us. We didn't know she was already going through this," he said. "She was not telling us about her problems," he said.
"Na shock mi. Dili ko katoo nga gi rape siya," (We were shocked. We couldn't believe that she was raped).
Mariannet’s father said they have big dogs that would bark at strangers and would attack intruders if ordered so.
He also denied a report that a page of Mariannet's makeshift diary was torn to hide the truth.
The Department of Education regional office said in their investigation, that Nilda Alasagas, who teaches Pilipino, required her sixth grade pupils to submit a "talaarawan" (diary) written on recycled notebook for submission on November 5.
The assignment was for the month of October. Mariannet's entries were only from October 1 to 25. She died on November 2. Her death was reported only on November 6 when the family sought the city government for burial assistance.
Mariannet’s father vowed to cooperate with the investigators even if he said he was shocked that he and his other sons are now suspects. "Bisan pag akong mga anak ang makit-an nga nihimo ana," (Even if my sons did it) he said.
"Padamgohan nalang unta mi ni niya aron mahibaw-an namo kinsa gyud naghimo ato," (I hope Mariannet will show us in a dream who did it to her), he said.
Magdalena, the girl's mother, came to the defense of her husband and sons.
"They could not do that to Mariannet. Dili na mabuhat sa akong bana kang Maneth. Buoton pud na akong mga anak," (My husband could not do that. My sons are good children, too) she said.
"Lisud kaayo among kahimtang ani karon uy. Nahutdan na ko og luha para mohilak," (We are in very difficult times. I have run out of tears), she said.
Baccay told MindaNews it is possible that Mariannet hanged herself with no assistance from anyone, after her brothers reenacted what they saw. Earlier in the day, he told a press conference, there was a possibility somebody older helped her, citing Reynald's testimony.
He explained that the evening visit was meant to be an initial questioning on the new course of their investigation. He said he came to formally inform the Ampers of the results of the autopsy. The Amper family, he said, was asked to visit the Talomo police station today (Friday) to make their formal statements.
Duterte ordered Baccay to establish if there was rape and to pinpoint the perpetrators.
Baccay said everybody who was in contact with Mariannet is a suspect. (Walter I. Balane/ MindaNews)