By Rose Anne Dela Cruz
THE Philippine National Police on Monday announced the arrest of the alleged mastermind and confessed gunman in the recent slaying of Father Richmond Nilo in Cabanatuan City.
According to the PNP, businessman Manuel Torres, through Ronaldo Garcia, hired the alleged gunman Omar Mallari for PhP100,000 to kill Nilo. Torres blames Nilo for the dismissal of his nephew from the seminary due to a sexual molestation case.
The seminarian, it was learned, allegedly sexually abused three minor servers of Fr. Nilo.
“It was Fr. Nilo who helped the victims pressed criminal charges against the seminarian,” said PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde.
“As a result, Manuel Torres got mad because his nephew was not able to become a priest and he then contacted Rolando Garcia to find a gunman,” Albayalde said adding that Torres and Garcia are close friends.
Based on Garcia’s affidavit, it was learned that together with Marius Albis, he was able to contact Mallari who then executed the assassination plan against Father Nilo on June 10 while the priest was preparing to celebrate mass, Albayalde said.
He added that Torres allegedly gave PhP40,000 as initial payment and paid another PhP40,000 after the killing. He has yet to pay the balance of PhP20,000.
Garcia and Albis surrendered to the police and executed an affidavit incriminating Torres and Mallari.
The police said Mallari, who is from Arayat, Pampanga initially denied and involvement in the slaying of Fr. Nilo when he was arrested but later relented after being confronted with irrefutable evidence of his deed.
The other suspects in this case, Rolly Sigua, Bernie Lumpio, Allan Maniacop and Michael Ocampo remain at large and subject to a police manhunt.
Meanwhile, Albayalde defended the earlier arrest of Adel Roll Milan, who was then identified by an altar boy as the man who shot dead Nilo. (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/06/17/police-have-arrested-the-alleged-gunman-of-fr-nilo/)
“It’s not us who gave the mistaken identity, it’s the altar boy. Kasi hindi kami ang may kasalanan dito. Kasi wala kaming control over the altar boy”, Albayalde said.
The court ordered the release of and the dropping of charges against Milan after his family presented evidence proving that he could not have killed Fr. Nilo at the time of the incident as he was drinking with friends at the time.
Albayalde said the misidentification should not be taken against the police as the PNP did not stop with the investigation despite the testimony of the altar boy and the arrest of Milan.
Furthermore, the country’s top cop noted the similarities in the PNP’s sketch of Milan, as based on the description provided by the altar-boy, and the facial features of Mallari.
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