4 suspects in killing of Nueva Ecija priest nabbed

MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has announced the arrest of four individuals in the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo in Nueva Ecija last month.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame Monday, Albayalde showed a video footage of suspect Omar Mallari a.k.a. “Bulik” admitting to the killing in exchange for a payment.

According to the PNP, Omar had been recruited by Rolando Garcia who in turn was asked by primary suspect Manuel Torres to scout for a gun-for-hire to kill the priest. Aside from Garcia, a certain Mario Torres also surrendered to policemen.

As for the motive of the crime, the police said Manuel Torres bore a grudge against Fr. Nilo after the victim accused his nephew, a seminarian, of abusing three altar boys. The altar boys later recanted their statement against Torres’ nephew.

An initial suspect, Adel Milan, who was initially identified by a witness was freed last Thursday.

Albayalde also showed and noted the similarities in the facial features in photos of Milan, Omar and the cartographic sketch of a then unknown suspect before the arrests were made.

Mallari’s arrest also came after police recovered vehicle registration papers in his name covering the engine block of a Nissan Sentra which had been burnt and sold for scrap shortly after the incident.

Persons using the vehicle were seen surveilling the priest before the killing. Benjamin Pulta/PNA-northboundasia.com