Police forensic investigators have ruled out foul play in the death of 25-year-old screen idol Rico Yan in Palawan last Friday, Chief Superintendent Edgardo Aglipay said yesterday in a television interview.

"Two teams of doctors held an autopsy on Rico's remains Friday evening after it arrived from Palawan and they both concluded that no harm had been inflicted on him prior to his death," said Aglipay, who is related to the actor.

Earlier, speculation was rife that Yan may have been murdered. However, Aglipay said the autopsy, conducted separately by private doctors and a team from the Philippine National Police (PNP), both arrived at a similar conclusion. "They said Rico died in his sleep from haemorrhagic pancreatitis," he said.

Doctors said individuals who eat heavily minutes before sleeping are susceptible to haemorrhagic pancreatitis. Yan, according to his companions, partied the night before he died.

The actor and several of his friends took a vacation in eastern Palawan island's Dos Palmas Resort where he died on Friday.

The death of the actor was the second unfortunate incident to hit Dos Palmas in a year, after a group of Abu Sayyaf extremists abducted 21 people from the resort last May.

According to Yan's friend Dominic Ochoa, they discovered the lifeless body around 9am on Friday inside his suite. "We heard him groaning the night before but thought he was just having a bad sleep," he said.

The actor was taken to a hospital in Palawan's capital, Puerto Princesa, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Fans flocked to Yan's wake yesterday at a chapel in his alma mater in La Salle Greenhills in Manila's central suburb of San Juan with the hope of taking a last glimpse of their idol before he was finally laid to rest on Thursday.

Yan's father, Roberto, said his family was "devastated" by the actor's unexpected demise. "We thank God for giving him a peaceful and quiet death," said the elder Yan, who asked local journalists not to sensationalise his son's demise with baseless presumptions.

Born Ricardo Carlos Castro Yan, the actor had just celebrated his 25th birthday on March 14. He was known for his easy dimpled smile and 'boy-next-door' roles.

In his five-year film career he starred in more than 10 movies which had him paired with various female heart throbs including his last girlfriend Claudine Barretto, with whom he co-starred in a romantic-comedy Got to Believe.

Days before Yan's death, the couple admitted to splitting up after a reported spat over Yan's rumoured affair. As of yesterday, Barretto, according to her elder sister, Marjorie, is still in "a state of shock", upon learning of Yan's demise. Yan was also a successful entrepreneur who owned two restaurants in Manila.