By Roy Narra/Manila Times
The self-confessed gunman in the killing of Father Richmond Nilo in Zaragosa, Nueva Ecija said he was paid P100,000 to kill the priest.
Omar Mallari alias “Bulik” also identified the alleged mastermind as Manuel Torres.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde on Monday said aside from Mallari and Torres, four other suspects were arrested last week. They were identified as Marius Albis, Rolly Sigua, Bernie Limpio, Allan Maniacop alias “Macky” and Michael Ocampo alias “Bamboo.”
The four are in the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Central Luzon. Albayalde said Mallari was arrested by police operatives on June 22 in Arayat, Pampanga after a record check revealed that he has a standing warrant of arrest for robbery with frustrated homicide.
Mallari admitted being the gunman and a member of a gun-for-hire group.
In his filmed confession, which was shown to the media, he said it was Torres who contracted and paid his group to kill Fr Nilo. Torres was arrested last week for illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Albis and Garcia surrendered to authorities. According to the affidavits of Mallari and Garcia, Torres paid them P100,000 to kill Fr Nilo as he prepared to celebrate Mass last June 10. Albayalde said police were validating Mallari’s confession.
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) congratulated the PNP for arresting the alleged mastermind and three accomplices in the killing of Fr. Nilo. Arsenio “Boy” Evangelista, vice president and spokesman of the VACC, said his group also hoped that all suspects would be prosecuted soonest.
“Is this case being closed or solved? Case is solved if the arrested suspects are convicted. Now what? Is the killing of Father Nilo either case closed or solved?” Evangelista said.
In his affidavit, Mallari said Torres hired their group to kill
Fr. Nilo to avenge the priest’s revival of a rape case against Torres’ nephew.
Torres’ nephew, identified only as “Christopher” in Mallari’s affidavit, was Fr. Nilo’s altar boy. He was charged with rape for allegedly sexually molesting three other altar boys.
The rape case was dropped but Fr. Nilo revived the case in March 2017, adversely affecting the chances of Torres’ nephew to become a priest, the police said. Police theorised that Torres could have hired Mallari and his group in April or May this year.
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