Nueva Ecija priest’s gunman nabbed
By Marilyn Galang
CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija (Philippines News Agency) — The alleged gunman in the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo was arrested Thursday evening, police said several minutes after the Catholic priest was laid to rest on Friday.
Chief Supt. Amador Corpus, director of Central Luzon police, identified the suspect as Adell Roll Milan Matias, resident of Barangay Malapit, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.
Corpus said Milan was identified from the rouges’ gallery of the provincial police’s intelligence branch by a companion of Fr. Nilo during the attack.
“Milan, it turned out was a drug surrenderer involved in gun for hire activities in the Nueva Ecija,” Corpus said.
He said the suspect was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday by operatives of the provincial police office under the supervision of Senior Supt. Eliseo Tanding, provincial police director, in Barangay Malapit, San Isidro.
Tanding said Milan has yet to speak anything about the killing.
“Panay basic information tungkol sa kanyang sarili ang sinasagot niya (Only the basic information regarding him was being answered),” Tanding said of the suspect, who was placed under inquest proceeding on Friday.
Corpus said it was Milan seen as backrider in the closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) footage near the chapel of Nuestra Señora dela Nieve before and after the killing.
Meanwhile, the sedan car that was used by the other suspects was traced to be originally registered to a foreigner but has been subject of a deed of sale for at least twice, police said.
“With the evidence gathered, it can be deduced that this case started to uncover the real motive and rest assured that the PNP (Philippine National Police) continuously exert effort to arrest the other suspects,” Corpus said.
Meanwhile, some 15,000 people in black shirts and armbands attended the interment of Nilo after a concelebrated Mass led by Bishop Sofronio Bancud of the Diocese of Cabanatuan at the Crypta here.
Aided by an interpreter, Juliet Ocampo, a deaf mute, was among the people who were “touched by Nilo’s life.”
She expressed gratefulness to the priest for opening a program for them at the College of the Immaculate Conception.
Nilo, a member of the apostolate for the deaf mute, served as president of the CIC.
Several men and women were seen crying when Nilo was finally laid to rest shortly after 12 noon.
Fr. Antonio Mangahas of Gen. Tinio, Nueva Ecija, noted that while everyone was speaking of grief and calling for justice, “no one talked about vengeance.” (PNA)