Gunman in Ecija priest slay held, admits killing

>> Sunday, July 8, 2018

First murder suspect released 

ZARAGOZA, Nueva Ecija -- The supposed self-confessed gunman in the killing of Catholic priest Richmond Nilo in this town reportedly admitted doing the slay. Omar Mallari, 25, was arrested in Barangay Arenas, Arayat, Pampanga on June 29, a source said.
The source, who refused to be identified because he was not authorized to make a public statement, said Mallari admitted using a Cal.45 pistol to shoot Nilo while preparing for Sunday night mass at a chapel in Barangay Mayamot in Zaragoza town.
Mallari reportedly executed an extrajudicial confession in the presence of his mother and a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office.
The source said Mallari told police that he received only P6,000 of the P100,000 promised by the masterminds of the killing, which he shared with four of his accomplices.
Mallari identified a certain Rollie Sigua and an alias Bernie, reportedly duck raisers in Zaragoza, as the masterminds, and his accomplices only as Michael, Tony and a resident of a resettlement site in Mabalacat.
Sigua reportedly planned to kill Nilo at a chapel in Barangay Valeriana, but asked Mallari to do the job when he found out that the priest had left for Barangay Mayamot.
Mallari claimed the plan to kill Nilo was broached during a drinking spree in Barangay Laquiaos in Arayat three weeks before the incident.
Mallari said Sigua justified the killing of the priest, claiming he was involved in illegal drugs and had a pending case for rape.
Last June 29 Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court Branch 27 Judge Angelo Perez, citing mistaken identity, ordered the release of Adell Roll Milan, who was arrested as Nilo was buried on June 15.
 A case of mistaken identity, a local court ruled as it ordered the release of a suspect in the killing of Catholic priest Richmond Nilo here.
Milan was released at around 11 a.m. Tuesday upon order of Perez, according to Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr., Philippine National Police spokesman.
“Milan was released, but again we need to emphasize that this case is not yet closed,”  Durana told reporters.
Durana said there are “encouraging developments” related to Nilo’s murder, but refused to elaborate.
“We cannot divulge the details because it may compromise ongoing investigation,” he said.
Milan’s counsel Lorenzo Gadon said the prosecutor’s office filed a motion to withdraw the case due to mistaken identity.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, Central Luzon police director, said it is up to Milan whether to file charges against the police.
“It’s okay with us. It’s his right,” Corpus said.
Gadon had earlier threatened to file charges for illegal detention against the police officers who arrested Milan.
Gadon said they would no longer file a case as they believe it was a result of the “eagerness” of the police officers to solve the case.
”The police did not do it in bad faith,” Gadon said.
Milan, allegedly a gun-for-hire, was arrested in Barangay Malapit, San Isidro four days after Nilo was gunned down on June 10.
A manhunt for five other suspects is underway.
Probers said they are looking at a land dispute, Nilo’s assistance to rape victims and the clergyman’s criticism of other religious sects as possible motives for the killing.
Nilo was shot dead while preparing Sunday night mass at a chapel in Barangay Mayamot. – With Romina Cabrera


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