By Martin Sadongdong
Police have already identified a suspect in the killing of a Catholic priest in Nueva Ecija province last week while four others have already been the subject of an investigation.
In a press briefing at Camp Crame, Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus, regional director of Central Luzon Police Regional Office (PRO-3), said the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Nilo are already on the process of confirming the identity of the identified suspect tagged in the killing of Father Richmond Nilo, the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza, Nueva, Ecija.
He said that the SITG Nilo are hot on the trail of the five suspects who were seen in the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footages retrieved from the nearby barangays and towns.
“We are now looking into five suspects based on the CCTV footages na nakuha po since… up to the next towns na pwedeng pagkuhanan ng CCTV,” he shared.
However, Corpus refused to give specific details on the identified suspect so as not to jeopardize the on-going investigation by the SITG Nilo. However, he dropped a hint that the suspect was among the three “lookouts” who rode the get-away vehicle parked about two to three kilometers from the chapel.
Meanwhile, the two other suspects, who are considered as the gunmen, were onboard a motorcycle.
“In the backtrack and review of the CCTV footages, it appeared that the two groups have changed vehicles [after the crime]. The two gunmen used the get-away vehicle while the three lookouts boarded the motorcycle,” he said.
Furthermore, at least three possible motives behind Father Nilo’s killing are being considered by the SITG Nilo, including the priest’s active participation in land dispute issues in Nueva Ecija, his role in supporting rape victims and filing charges against the suspects, and his staunch “criticism” of other religious sect’s wrongdoings.