CABANATUAN CITY – Eight persons tagged as conspirators in the murder of Catholic priest Fr. Richmond Nilo in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija last June 10 have been charged before a Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch here, the Nueva Ecija police reported Friday.
Charged were Omar Mallari, Rolly Sigua, Bernie Limpio, Arlan Maniacup Sr., Michael Ocampo, Manuel Torres, Marius Albis, and Ronaldo Garcia. Their respective addresses were not mentioned in the police report.
They were charged before the sala of Judge Angelo Perez of RTC Branch 27 under Criminal Case No. 29063-F after OIC provincial prosecutor Eddie Gutierrez conducted preliminary investigations last June 29 and July 2, and came up later with an inquest resolution and information.
Nilo, 44, then parish priest of Zaragoza, was about to celebrate Mass in a chapel in Barangay Mayamot, that town, when gunned down.
Last July 2, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, in a press briefing in Camp Crame, identified the mastermind as Manuel Torres who allegedly hired a killer to shoot Father Nilo.
Albayalde said it was Mallari, the arrested “self-confessed gunman”, who pointed to Torres as the person who “hired” him to kill the priest.
Mallari, 25, was arrested by the police in Barangay Arenas, Arayat, Pampanga last June 29.
Police Director Roel Obusan, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), disclosed that the investigators traced the whereabouts of Mallari through the plate number of a vehicle caught in a CCTV footage when Fr. Nilo was killed.
In another statement, Central Luzon police director Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, said the suspected killer revealed that Torres promised to pay him P100,000 to kill Nilo but that only P80,000 was paid.
He added that Torres allegedly wanted Nilo killed “because the priest supported a rape case against his nephew.”
In his executed extrajudicial confession in the presence of his mother and a lawyer from the Public Attorney’s Office, Torres named his accomplices.
The complainants in the murder charges, according to the police, was Father Noel Jetajobe, et. al, Jetajobe is a member of the board of consultors in the chancery of the Diocese of Cabanatuan.